Microsoft is putting QR codes on Windows 10 BSODs for easier lookups

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft made a minor tweak to the Blue Screen of Death: they added an emoticon. Hopefully you’ve never seen it, and hopefully you’ll also never see their newest addition.

They’ve decided to slap a QR code on to the BSOD, too. Why? To make it a little easier for the unfortunate folks who see them to troubleshoot their systems. It should definitely speed up the process a bit, since instead of querying Google or Bing for the words you see on the screen you can just scan and be whisked directly over to Microsoft’s documentation.

For right now, the codes link to a page that offers some generalized help for a variety of different errors. It’s only just arrived in in the latest preview build of Windows 10, though, so it’s likely that more information will be added before this feature rolls out to all Windows 10 users.

The Register’s Chris Williams thinks that malware authors are going to have a field day with this. Why? Because QR codes are a convenient way to trick people into opening URLs. Fake a blue screen with a convincing pop-up window, flash a QR code that connects unsuspecting users to the “fix,” and when they scan it… bam! Malware infection.

Except the QR code will presumably be scanned by another device — most likely your phone, and that means you’ll have to commit the same sin that almost always accompanies an infection on a smartphone: allowing an app to be installed from an unofficial source. Not to mention you’d have to convince yourself that an app that’s trying to install on your phone was somehow going to magically fix your PC.

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