File Extension SQM
File extension SQM is most commonly associated with a Software Quality Metrics file, and is generated by a number of Microsoft Applications, most notably Windows Live Messenger. Though less common, the SQM file extension is also used to denote Operation Flashpoint saved mission file.
SQM files are most commonly log files created by Microsoft applications. These are used to store a variety of data, including application usage, performance issues and debugging information created by the unexpected termination of an application. This data can then be sent to Microsoft by the user as part of their Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) which is then used to further develop applications and fix software bugs. Though SQM files are used to log application activity, no sensitive information is stored. It is also possible to opt out of the program when an application is installed or run, and in this case no data is recorded.
SQM files are most commonly found either in the root of the operating system drive, which for the majority of users is C:, or in the Application Data folder in the user's Documents and Settings folder. These follow the naming convention sqmnoopt00.sqm, with the last two digits incrementing with the creation of each new file. SQM files have the hidden file attribute, so under most circumstances will not be seen, and also contain no human-readable information so should not be opened in a text editor.
Microsoft Software Quality Metrics SQM files are a proprietary format and cannot be opened. They are designed to provide application logs to Microsoft for the purposes of providing feedback and error reporting, and are only usable by Microsoft following their submission as part of the CEIP. SQM files which relate to Operation Flashpoint can be loaded from within the game to restore a saved mission.