Microsoft Offers 'Blue Screen of Death' Screensaver

In addition to picking up researcher Mark Russinovich and the rest of the Winternals Software team in July, Microsoft has apparently acquired an interesting piece of intellectual property — the Sysinternals "Blue Screen of Death" screensaver.

On Nov. 1, Microsoft added the BlueScreen Screen Saver v3.2 prank software to its TechNet developer web site.

"Use Bluescreen to amaze your friends and scare your enemies!" the software claims.

• Click here to visit's Home Computing Center.

"Bluescreen cycles between different Blue Screens and simulated boots every 15 seconds or so," the BlueScreen Screen Saver v3.2 pitch continues. "Virtually all the information shown on Bluescreen's BSOD and system start screen is obtained from your system configuration — its accuracy will fool even advanced NT developers.

"For example, the NT build number, processor revision, loaded drivers and addresses, disk drive characteristics, and memory size are all taken from the system Bluescreen is running on."

Not surprisingly, Bluescreen runs on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 9x (it requires DirectX), according to Microsoft.

• Click here to get your very own permanent Blue Screen of Death.

The software is not labeled as a prank, but is buried inside the "TechNet Home>Sysinternals Home>Miscellaneous" section of Microsoft's Web site.

Although Google indicates that the link to the software goes to the domain, the link now leads to the Microsoft site.

Microsoft representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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