Dr. Watson and the bluescreen – a story from the trenches

A fellow Microsoft employee volunteered a story from his prior work at a hospital as their enterprise architect.

I received an escalation from our Tier 1 service desk on a Dr. Watson. Why would I get a simple escalation? Strange...

Since I hadn't seen the outside of my cubicle for a while, I decided to walk over to talk to the customer in person.

The employee having the problem was named Dr. Watson. His computer had bluescreened.

I still get a chuckle out of that years later. That little unexpected name collision threw twelve people in the IT service and support teams into disarray.

Comments (14)
  1. Adam Rosenfield says:

    I would have expected this article to appear last week to coincide with the well-publicized Jeopardy! event (unless this is one of those rare articles that was just written and got bumped to the front of the queue for its awesomenes).

  2. pc says:

    I find it much more likely that it was written well before IBM named their system Watson, and has just been in the queue that long.

  3. J. Daniel Smith says:

    And now we know why marketing folks feel the need to come up with names like "Microsoft Windows 7 .NET Server 2011 Home Professional".

  4. Alex Grigoriev says:

    @J Daniel Smith:

    That's gonna be DirectActiveLive.NET server.

  5. Phylyp says:

    @J Daniel Smith:

    Its obvious why Microsoft doesn't employ you – you left off the K, N, KN and other such diplomas: "Microsoft Windows 7.NET Server 2011 Home Professional KN".

    Disclaimer: Putting in copyrights and trademarks is left as an exercise for subsequent commenters.

  6. Microsoft® Windows® 7 .NET Small Business Advanced Bing® Datacenter Home Live Server® 2011 Professional KN RTM R2 including Service Pack 4 with advanced Internet Explorer® protection features

    (Windows, Microsoft .NET, Bing, Windows Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective holders. All the other words are random bullshit thrown in by some marketing guy.)

  7. Damn, I forgot DirectX and "Your Potential. Our Passion."!

    (related: the page http://www.microsoft.com/…/EN-US.aspx is a great inspiration source)

  8. kinokijuf says:

    Reminds me of Paul Thurrot's Windows for Phones With Keyboards 2012 R2 Special Edition. Besides, Live is just the current marketoid term at MS, just like MSN was for 98-era (left for the crap news portal) and .NET for XP-era (remember .NET Server?). I wonder why they didn't change Passport.NET to Live ID in service packs.

  9. Tanveer Badar says:

    It is Windows Internet Explorer. You won't get hired for forgetting that.

  10. ALD says:

    Plus.  You forgot Plus.  For a while, Plus was The Thing.

  11. Grandest says:

    Wasn't Thomas Watson the founder of IBM?

  12. kinokijuf says:

    @ALD: They didn't stick Plus to everything.

  13. Gabe says:

    I've run into a Dr. House (same name as the titular character of a popular TV show) and a med student whose last name was Kevorkian (same name as an infamous Dr. in the US), but I have not yet noticed a Dr. Watson — I'll have to keep an eye out for one.

  14. 640k says:

    strange naming continued,

    microsoft word for windows x.y, where x.y was the *word* version.

    [At least it wasn't "Microsoft Word for Windows 3.0 6.0." -Raymond]

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