The y2k problem is really bad, says Novell's CEO. It is being made worse by the conversion of European banks to the new Euro currency exchange system.
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Eric Schmidt is chief executive officer of Novell Corp., the world's fifth- largest software maker, which specializes in developing software that manages computer networks. On a recent trip to Europe, he spoke with Paul Floren of the International Herald Tribune. . . .
Q. How do you perceive the ''year 2000'' problem?
A. Personally, I am surprised at how bad the problem is. I was not aware, and I think most people were not aware, at how extensive these 30- to 35-year-old solutions were in the industry as a whole. A number of customers that I have spoken to have enormous business problems updating programs for which the programmers are literally dead.
I have reluctantly concluded that all the press about the ''year 2000'' problem is in fact correct. The danger, of course, is that the year 2000 problem coupled with the Euro, which occurs one year earlier -- and by the way, you could not have scheduled it at a worse time from an IT perspective -- will likely drain a lot of funds from a lot of other things.