Updated: February 13, 2012
Windows Error Reporting (WER) is a set of Windows technologies that capture software crash and hang data from end users. Through the Winqual website, software and hardware vendors can access these reports in order to analyze, fix and respond to these problems. WER technologies were originally implemented in Windows XP/Windows Server 2003, and are still a part of current Windows releases.
Broad-based trend analysis of error reporting data shows that across all the issues that exist on the affected Windows platforms and the number of incidents received:
Fixing 20 percent of the top-reported bugs can solve 80 percent of customer issues.
Addressing 1 percent of the bugs would address 50 percent of the customer issues.
Vendors can use WER to view error reports with no recurring charges. This service is available for all products, even those that do not qualify for the Windows hardware or software logo—although we strongly recommend that you submit your products to the Windows Logo Program. Note: A class 3 VeriSign certificate is required to sign-up and use the service.
Microsoft sorts error reports received through Windows Error Reporting into virtual "buckets." A bucket is a categorization of all instances of a specific error associated with a particular version of a driver, application, Windows feature, or other component.
On the Hardware Dashboard, you can use the reporting service to view driver-specific, application-specific, or operating system-specific errors associated with your organization. Each error report provides details related to that bucket, and you can then request a file of the associated data.
For more information, see Dashboard Reports.
When a user submits an error report, WER determines whether a message has been associated with that category of error. If there is, the message is shown to the user in response to the user's error report.
After you have analyzed your company's error reports and created fixes or other solutions, you can create a message to be delivered through WER to customers who experience that issue in the future. By taking advantage of the WER feedback loop, you can provide information to your customers to help solve their problems and to reduce your company's support costs.
For more information, see Hardware Dashboard Reports.