Volume 19, Number 8
December 2002

Microsoft Haiku.
If you missed them on the web,
Read and be amused.

The e-mails forwarded early this fall all carried the following tale: In Japan, Microsoft replaced its impersonal and unhelpful error messages with haiku more in line with Asian sensibilities. Haiku, an ancient form of poetry, has strict construction rules: Each poem can have only 17 syllables: 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. Haiku are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning, and powerful insight through extreme brevity.

The message spread like proverbial wildfire, and soon more than 700 hits for the "authentic Japanese Microsoft messages" registered; a month later, that number had grown to more than 15,500. Urban legend or online mythology? All we can say is, none of the sites originated with Microsoft….

The website you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot
Order shall return.

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


Back to Top