Microsoft releases update for 98 Y2K problems

And there's quite a substantial list of these 'minor' issues

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Microsoft has today released a Year 2000 update for Windows 98, correcting a surprisingly substantial list of problems in a product just a few months old. Windows 98 is however just one of a long list of "minor" Year 2000 compliancy issues Microsoft has to tackle over the next 12 months. Sources in the channel claim Microsoft has told staff they may not take leave in the first weeks of 2000, and this is scarcely surprising, considering the number of Microsoft products currently listed on the company's site as Year 2000 "compliant with minor issues." (MS Compliance List) Fixing these "minor issues" will require the application of patches to large numbers of clients and servers in corporate networks, and in the absence of Windows 2000, beta 3 of which has now slipped to Q1 1999 (Windows 2000 beta slips), Microsoft doesn't have a ready mechanism for rolling out patches automatically. And even if Windows 2000 does go gold before the end of 1999, it's unlikely that many companies will see it as a reasonable solution for Y2K problems - deploying a new server OS while at the same time attempting to eradicate Y2K bugs sounds like a recipe for IT management career suicide. The general corporate view of Microsoft and Y2K is that the company didn't take the issue seriously early enough, and still hasn't got its act together properly; the Windows 98 situation is unlikely to change their views. Last week Microsoft's Y2K site listed Windows 98 as compliant with "minor issues," whereas today it's listed as compliant. Referencing the downloadable update for Windows 98, Microsoft talks about the "minor issues" the update fixes. And puzzlingly, the Windows 98 entry in the Y2K site claims it was last updated on 15th October 1998. The Y2K problems of Windows 98 are indeed minor, but in common with a lot of other Microsoft minor problems, they still need a patch. Microsoft lists them as follows (for the sake of completeness, we've quoted the post in its entirety: Date Rollover: If a system is booting at the precise fraction of a second when the date rolls, the system clock may display an inaccurate time or date. The occurrence of this would be extremely rare because the exact time frame varies from machine to machine and lasts typically less than 1 second. Date/Time Control Applet: If a user opens the Date/Time applet in the control panel and sets the date to February 29 of a leap year and then uses the up and down buttons to change years, February 29 might be displayed even for non leap years. This is simply a display problem, however. The user cannot apply this incorrect date. Dialer.Exe Log: When a user makes a phone call using the Phone Dialer applet, the log file created after completion of the telephone call displays the year portion of the call date incorrectly. DOS XCOPY: When using XCOPY in real mode with the optional parameter /D:date, xcopy does not accept years entered as two digits, except for the years 80 through 99. The message "Invalid date" is displayed. When using xcopy in protected mode (from within Windows), two-digit dates are accepted but are recognized as being within the 20th century (for example, 02/05/01 is seen as 02/05/1901). Java Virtual Machine: Some year 2000 issues have been reported in connection with Java virtual machines based on the Sun Microsystems Java Development Kit (versions 1.1.1 to 1.1.5). For example if a Web site uses Java and makes use of the java.txt.SimpleDateFormat class library, and the user enters four digits for the year, the date functions may truncate the year and use only the first two digits. Lagging IP Lease Dates: If a user logs onto a LAN on or after March 1, 2000, and runs Winipcfg from the Run command or Ipconfig from the DOS VM, the DHCP client reports the IP lease date as having been obtained on the previous day. Microsoft Foundation Class Library: After the year 2000, programs that use the COleDateTime function may improperly parse a date. For example, 02/05/2000 may display as 2/05/100. To view an example of this after the year 2000, from Programs\Accessories\System Tools users can run System Information (msinfo32.exe) and save the file. Users should then open this info extension file and from the File menu select Properties. The date stamp may display the improper date. Microsoft Wallet: When entering credit card information in versions of Microsoft Wallet that precede 2.1.1383, users must enter the month, day, and year for expiration dates beyond 2000. Otherwise, information may be parsed incorrectly. For example, entering an expiration date of 5/01 could be parsed as May 1, rather than May, 2001. Users can correct this by installing Microsoft Wallet version 2.1.1383 or later or by downloading the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update. Programming to Data Access Components: If a programmer codes to ADO or OLE DB, and uses data access components such as adDate, adDBDate, Dbtype_Filetime, chooses to use an international date format with periods as separators, and specifies a year by two digits earlier than 60, then the date may be translated as a time. Regional Settings Date/Time Picker: If Regional Settings in the control panel is set to use two-digit years, then the date/time picker function may not return the proper date. Only two digits are accepted at a time. To ensure proper handling of dates, the user can either set Regional Settings to four-digit date handling or download the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update. WordPad Custom Properties: If a user selects properties, custom on a WordPad or Word document, the custom date setting will not accept 2000 as a valid entry when entered as "00". All two-digit dates are assumed to be in the 20th century and if the time zone is set to Far East, the date properties will lose a day when the year is entered as 2000.

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