May 12, 2006 5:32 PM PDT

Bounty for Vista coders who squish bugs at home

Related Stories

FAQ: Getting a handle on Windows Vista

November 29, 2006

Microsoft updates Vista test build

April 24, 2006

Vista debut hits a delay

March 21, 2006
A top Microsoft engineer has thrown out a weekend challenge to the Windows Vista team: Find and fix a bug in the current code and earn $100.

The employee who installs the latest Vista build at home and squashes the most bugs before Monday will get an extra $500.

Brian Valentine issued the challenge Friday in an e-mail to members of the team working on Vista, the next update of the company's Windows operating system.

The move comes as Microsoft is wrapping up work on a broad test version of Vista, expected by many Windows watchers to be released later this month. Microsoft has said it is on track to deliver a test version to roughly two million users this quarter.

Microsoft is pushing to wrap up development of Vista this year, with a mainstream launch slated for January. The company had long hoped to release it this holiday season, but in March announced that the launch would be delayed.

Valentine's e-mail was noted earlier Friday by Windows enthusiast site ActiveWin.

As bug bounties go, it's small potatoes--though most others are for outsiders who report flaws. In February, VeriSign's iDefense offered to pay $10,000 for reports of flaws that end up with a "critical" severity rating in a Microsoft Security Bulletin. And Mozilla offers $500 and a Mozilla T-shirt to those who find critical security flaws in its products, which include the Firefox Web browser.

CNET News.com's Joris Evers contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
Brian Valentine, bounty, bug, Microsoft Windows Vista, Mozilla Corp.

24 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Dilbert
This reminds me of a Dilbert comic where the boss gave $20 to every programmer who fixed a bug and $20 to each Quality Assurance guy for finding a bug. The result: a bug black market where programmers create bugs to be found, and one guy netting $1200 in a week.
Posted by LIGC (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Joke
I remember that joke. "Hey, I'm going to write myself a new minivan!".
But keep in mind that Vista is pretty much written at this point, there's almost no new code being added, so it's just about cleaning up code already written. If anything, this may be a problem for the next product if it sets a precedent and the developers know it.
Posted by Hernys (744 comments )
Link Flag
Dilbert
This reminds me of a Dilbert comic where the boss gave $20 to every programmer who fixed a bug and $20 to each Quality Assurance guy for finding a bug. The result: a bug black market where programmers create bugs to be found, and one guy netting $1200 in a week.
Posted by LIGC (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Joke
I remember that joke. "Hey, I'm going to write myself a new minivan!".
But keep in mind that Vista is pretty much written at this point, there's almost no new code being added, so it's just about cleaning up code already written. If anything, this may be a problem for the next product if it sets a precedent and the developers know it.
Posted by Hernys (744 comments )
Link Flag
Wow!
Are things that bad over there in Redmond? Forget the $500
Monday bonus to employees. If MS open-sourced Vista, ALL of the
bugs would get fixed by Monday.
Posted by buldir (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow!
Are things that bad over there in Redmond? Forget the $500
Monday bonus to employees. If MS open-sourced Vista, ALL of the
bugs would get fixed by Monday.
Posted by buldir (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Give me a cup of water and i give you 10 cents
mean water is widely available. Give me a cup of water and i give you 100 dollars means water is rather scarce or money is rather worthless.
In this case are bugs widely available or is money too valuable?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Give me a cup of water and i give you 10 cents
mean water is widely available. Give me a cup of water and i give you 100 dollars means water is rather scarce or money is rather worthless.
In this case are bugs widely available or is money too valuable?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How Stupid does he think the employees are?
Flat stock for 5 years +, spend all weekend reformating, installing, and bug checking, all for a chance to get $500?

Who would sign up for that?
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No bugs found = fired?
This is no more than modern slavery, most of them won't find more
than 1 bug a weekend so its very cheap labor for MS.

There's 10.000 people working on Vista but that won't make it
faster or better, more the opposite.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
You would if you programmed the bugs in!!
Wooo hoooo!!! Someone is going to be rich!!!
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
How Stupid does he think the employees are?
Flat stock for 5 years +, spend all weekend reformating, installing, and bug checking, all for a chance to get $500?

Who would sign up for that?
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No bugs found = fired?
This is no more than modern slavery, most of them won't find more
than 1 bug a weekend so its very cheap labor for MS.

There's 10.000 people working on Vista but that won't make it
faster or better, more the opposite.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
You would if you programmed the bugs in!!
Wooo hoooo!!! Someone is going to be rich!!!
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
How dumb
i'd rather create bugs for vista than fix it.
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How dumb
i'd rather create bugs for vista than fix it.
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows turtle 2020?
If you find a bug, keep it to yourself until ya get a bounty. :)

This is a desperate move by the management and things will just
slow down. If the bounty is only 100$ then there has to be lots of
them, this will be a bug infested Windows.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Reply Link Flag
2220 Hitman is driving a new Cadillac.
xoxo's
Posted by Stalin Hornsby (60 comments )
Link Flag
Windows turtle 2020?
If you find a bug, keep it to yourself until ya get a bounty. :)

This is a desperate move by the management and things will just
slow down. If the bounty is only 100$ then there has to be lots of
them, this will be a bug infested Windows.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Reply Link Flag
2220 Hitman is driving a new Cadillac.
xoxo's
Posted by Stalin Hornsby (60 comments )
Link Flag
Won't this bankrupt the company?
Several billion bugs @ $100 apiece?
Even Gates and Embalmer don't have that much.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Won't this bankrupt the company?
Several billion bugs @ $100 apiece?
Even Gates and Embalmer don't have that much.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
similar to another story i heard
A colleague of mine mentioned a story of another co-worker at her old job. He put on his resume that he was responsible for fixing a series of bugs that would've caused millions of $$ of lose. What was omitted was the fact that he was the cause for those series of bugs!!
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
Reply Link Flag
similar to another story i heard
A colleague of mine mentioned a story of another co-worker at her old job. He put on his resume that he was responsible for fixing a series of bugs that would've caused millions of $$ of lose. What was omitted was the fact that he was the cause for those series of bugs!!
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.