Cyrus blogs about the “Watson” technology we use. I want to second his request. When a product crashes & Windows offers to upload a crash report, please send it!
The dumps get uploaded, analyzed by an automated system, and sent to the correct team as a bug report in our bug database.
We always do our best to fix the crash in the version we're currently working on. That means that crashes found in a Beta will appear in the final release, and crashes appearing in release builds will get fixed in the next version.
We also look at these when creating Service Packs. Each feature team looks at the top 10 crashes in their area and considers back-porting the fixes. For example, crashes found in VS2003 have been fixed in VS2005, and we may port the fixes to a VS2003 SP1.
We also use take Watson crash reports from internal users around the company, which gets us good data on interim builds, before we even think about releasing a Beta or Community Tech Preview.
When we started doing Watson, nearly all of the crashes that came in were 1-minute fixes, typically adding a check for NULL that we hadn't anticipated the need for ahead of time. The distribution of crashes has changed away from NULL checks, because we've fixed them. I read that as meaning that the Watson program has been very effective.
Anyway, please upload your crash reports.