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Summary and Comments

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1997-05-07 00:00:00


Microsoft's Legal Position: No Year 2000 Warranty


This is Microsoft's public position on the Year 2000. Read through the verbiage to get to the last paragraph, which says, in effect: "You're on your own!" Note: "Year 2000 ready" is not the same as "Year 2000 compliant."

I'm not faulting Microsoft. This problem is inherently unsolvable. It's a hardware problem. It's a software problem. Only marginally is it an operating system problem. Microsoft can't guarantee what Microsoft hasn't produced. But note: it also isn't guaranteeing what it has produced.

At the end of this report is an addendum: IBM follows Microsoft's new language: "year 2000 ready," not "year 2000 compliant."

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Microsoft's products are Year 2000 ready. Microsoft cares deeply about its customers and feels a responsibility with the industry to raise the awareness about this issue. Since Microsoft's products are the predominant "window" into corporate data, wherever it resides, it is important that companies and governments take a complete look at their information systems to ensure they transition smoothly into the next millennium.

For Microsoft's products to be "Year 2000 ready" means to be able to: * Enter and store 4-digit dates well past 1999 * Enter 2-digit short cuts for a year but actually have all 4 digits of the year stored * Override a 2-digit short cut by entering all 4 digits of a year * Handle calculations on dates that span the 1900's and the 2000's * Recognize the year 2000 as a leap year * Avoid applying any special business meaning to a date

In some cases, Microsoft's software recognizes Year 2000-related problems in other PC software, such as the BIOS problem (see below for details), and automatically fixes it.

Microsoft products cannot solve an organization's entire Year 2000 problem. It is important that any IT organization with the potential for Year 2000 problems look at their information systems end-to-end. In addition to the points above for all systems, it is also important to consider: * Setting all clients to display all 4 digits of a year as the default * Checking the impact of BIOS problems on older systems * Converting all years stored as 2 digits to 4 digits * Placing business logic in key parts of a system to watch for data entry errors or bad data sources * Training help desk personnel for the year 2000 transition * Upgrading systems to take advantage of new ease of use functions for dates into the next century * Re-hosting systems with Year 2000 problems to provide a flexible foundation for the future

Given the complexity of an entire information system, Microsoft does not provide a specific Year 2000 warranty. Microsoft looks forward to working with you as we transition to the next century.

Please contact me if you have questions, Douglas Dedo ( Microsoft Corporation

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Here is a June, 1997, posting on Peter de Jager's discussion forum:

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Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 09:34:54 -0400 To: From: Bruce Maples Subject: Compliance: IBM "ready", not "compliant"

In a recent meeting with some IBM folks about their MQ product (which is a cool app, BTW), I asked whether or not it was Y2k compliant. They looked at each other, and said, "No, it's Y2k ready." I started laughing, and asked them when they started using the Microsoft line.

They said that IBM was now calling all its products "Y2k ready," on advice of legal counsel.

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