Have you ever encountered the Blue Screen of Death? If you've used Microsoft's Windows you've almost certainly run into this unsettling screen.
It's a blue screen that pops up when you're having computer problems. For older versions of Windows it had dense text show error codes and other near-gibberish information. Then in Windows 8 and 10 it changed to a sad face with almost no information other than something like "Your PC ran into a problem."
If you're like most people, you get alarmed, then just restart your computer, hoping for the best. Now, Microsoft has added a new feature that can provide real help, and comfort.
It's a QR code (the square with squiggly lines that you scan with your smartphone). You might scan a QR code for an in-store coupon, for example.
Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death QR code is useful in two ways. First, if you call Microsoft support, they can figure out the problem, based on the specific QR code that's on your screen.
Second, you can use your smartphone to scan it. That'll take you to websites with information about fixing the problem. (See photo below.)
So, the next time you see that ominous frown, scroll down a little more for the QR code. Note: The BSOD QR codes are coming out this summer, when Microsoft releases its Windows 10 Anniversary Update.