advertising information
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




banner From...

Microsoft downplays 2001 glitch

January 15, 1999
Web posted at: 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GMT)

by Sharon Gaudin graphic

(IDG) -- Microsoft Corp. is downplaying a bug in its Windows operating systems family that is set to throw off program timing on April 1, 2001.

The bug, which is caused by a single missing equal sign in Visual C++ code in the runtime library in Windows 95, 98 and NT, causes an error in calculating the beginning of Daylight Savings Time in 2001, throwing it off by an hour. The bug doesn't wind itself out until April 8, 2001 when it shifts back to the correct time, according to Richard M. Smith, president of Cambridge, Mass.-based development company Phar Lab Software, Inc.

The bug, Smith noted, will throw off any time-sensitive application, such as electronic calendars and automated hotel wake-up calls.

Smith said the bug could affect any application that links directly in to the operating system library. He estimated that could involve as many as 20% to 30% of the applications out there, including Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator and Microsoft's own Internet Explorer.

  Computerworld's home page
 Computerworld Year 2000 resource center
 Computerworld's online subscription center
 Reviews & in-depth info at's personal news page
  Questions about computers? Let's editors help you
  Search in 12 languages
  Subscribe to's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
 News Radio
 * Computerworld Minute
 * Fusion audio primers

That also means third-party vendors will have to build and distribute patches for their affected applications, Smith said.

But Chris Hargarten, Microsoft's Visual C++ product manager, disputed that assessment, saying that the glitch isn't serious and shouldn't affect a large number of applications.

"This is a really small date problem," Hargarten said. "The biggest thing here is that the number of applications out there that use that library is widespread. But the number that use the time function and will get hit by this bug is very, very small.

Hargarten also said Microsoft should be making an announcement within the next week addressing the bug and putting a time frame on releasing a patch. He also noted that it's possible Microsoft will build a patch that will address any linked applications so users won't have to worry about dealing with more than one patch.

"There's a number of different ways we could fix this," he added. "That is a possibility, but I'm not saying that's what we will do."

In-Depth Special:
Message Board:
Related stories:
Latest Headlines

Today on CNN

Related stories:

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window Related sites:

External sites are not
endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help


Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.