Daylight Savings May Cost You

Discussion in 'Events' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Windows Header,1895,2102230,00.asp?kc=EWNAVEMNL030907EOAD

    Microsoft Customers Irate over Daylight-Saving Time Woes
    By Peter Galli
    March 8, 2007

    Updated: This year's daylight-saving time change is causing major frustration for IT administrators running Microsoft programs that need to be individually patched to reflect the change.

    10 comments posted
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    The extension of daylight-saving time by a month in the United States is causing enormous grief for some IT administrators running Microsoft software, as many of the software programs running on their users' systems need to be individually patched to reflect the change.

    This year, DST (daylight-saving time) starts on Sunday, March 11—three weeks earlier than usual—and ends a week later than usual on Nov. 4.

    Microsoft has been warning customers that unless certain updates are applied to their computers, the time zone settings for their system clock may be incorrect during this four-week period.

    "In particular, you must make sure that both your Windows operating system and your calendar programs are updated," the company said on its support site.

    In an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the DST change and the problems being experienced by its customers, at 5 a.m. PT on March 8 Microsoft opened its DST Support Central Site, a series of sites in Redmond, North Carolina, Las Colinas and in India, where 24-hour support is provided for customers who run into escalations.

    "I have been here [in Redmond] all day long, and I have seen very few escalations come through from our field. But it is early, so we may see more tomorrow and the next day. But today we have not been flooded with requests for information and guidance or help," M3 Sweatt, the chief of staff for the Windows Core Operating System Development Group, told eWEEK.

    But, that being said, Microsoft was already working closely with its enterprise customers to ensure they had what they needed.

    "Some of them are happy, some of them are not. But we are working with them as best we can to make sure we are addressing their issues," he said.

    As such, the Redmond software maker has also posted a list of the most commonly asked questions it is receiving about DST, which customers can easily search to find the answers to their questions, he said.

    While Windows Vista, Exchange 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 do not require any updates, a host of other products do, including Exchange Server, Outlook, SQL Server Notification Services, Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Entourage, Dynamics CRM, Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Mobile and Windows CE.

    Don't Be Left in the Dark by the Daylight-Saving Time Change

    But some customers are experiencing problems with implementing the patches and getting them to work, and are expressing their frustration and anger in comments on online chat sites.

    Microsoft's online DST chat room, which the company is currently staffing with technical experts 15 hours a day from 6 a.m. PST to 9 p.m. PST to facilitate the discussion and resolution of issues around DST, is inundated with customers experiencing a myriad of issues with the patches.

    "This is INSANE. I buy a standard product for 2500 bucks and then I get a note telling me to update it for a problem known for a couple years. And the patch screws up my system. How long will my appointments be shifted? For three weeks now and two weeks at the end of "old" dst?," a post from customer on the Microsoft DST chat said.

    PointerIs the daylight-saving time change bigger than Y2K? Click here to read more.

    Another customer experienced similar frustration. "When I try to bring up a calendar date or appointment, the form required to view it is not available. What do I do? Are you getting this error: The form you selected could not be displayed. The form required to view this message cannot be displayed. Contact your administrator?"

    Microsoft's Sweatt acknowledged that DST updating had been a challenge for customers with a myriad of solutions in their IT shop, whether those be from Microsoft, Sun, IBM or Oracle, and who were now looking to their suppliers for solutions.

    "One of the things we have been working on closely is to provide them with the solutions they need. If there is an escalation or a customer does not have an answer, they can get through to us, and we are making sure they understand the path to get their answer," he said.

    But, that being said, Sweatt did admit that there were some areas where Microsoft had been late to provide the solutions that customers needed, specifically some customer updates such as for CRM 3.0.

    "In those difficult situations we have tried to make sure that we have a dialogue with customers so they understand what the options are. But we haven't run into an issue that I'm aware of where we had incompatibilities with products," he said.

    "The challenges we have had have largely been with people's understanding of what they should do when. Many customers also found out later that they had other products installed that they may not have been aware of, and this then meant that they had not followed Microsoft's guidance correctly, or were not aware that we had refined our guidance," Sweatt said.

    In addition, some customers are having problems accessing the chat room, receiving an error message that states: "There was a problem loading the chat application. Please try again later or use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page." Special Report: How Microsoft Runs

    Making matters worse is the fact that some customers say that Microsoft's phone support is also overwhelmed with callers trying to resolve their DST patch issues, with many users put on hold for hours before actually talking to someone, if they get through at all.

    But Sweatt disputed this, saying that its logs show that most support calls are initially answered in less than 30 minutes, with more time needed to resolve very technical and complex questions.

    Those customers with very complex issues were also not being kept waiting on the phone, but were called back when the answer was available, he said.

    For those customers still running products like Windows 2000, Exchange 2000 or the earlier Exchange 5.5, are no longer in Microsoft mainstream support and are thus not covered under standard support agreements, the situation is even more dire, as it will cost them $4,000 for all the DST updates.

    While Microsoft's online DST support site notes that DST updates for products in mainstream support are provided at no charge, "those products in extended support require an Extended Hotfix Support Agreement ($4,000 charge for all DST updates). Products out of support are not available without a Custom Support Agreement."

    Sweatt said that Microsoft was advising customers to first install the operating system patch (931836) on their servers, then on their clients, then rebase their calendar appointments using TZMove (931667) / TZMove update 933146 / Exchange tool 930879) and then to install the Exchange DST patch for CDO (926666).

    "For those customers who have just recently realized that DST changes this weekend, we are trying to provide them with multiple access points—from online chats to webcasts and phone support—to help answer their questions as quickly as possible," he said.

    Editor's Note: This story was updated to include comments from Microsoft.
  2. 8-ball


    i think we should all have a heart attack together over this .. one big collective heart attack Oh Oh Oh it
    's the big one gracie
  3. I am not saying this will happen, but imagine the impact it could have on traders who place trades according to time of market opening and closing.

    Say you do not do the patches properly.

    However, you do know it is DST, and change your clocks for Monday trading. You are fine.

    However, if your windows clock is set for daylight savings, and the update was not applied, then come the first week in April, your clock will change thinking it is DST happening, which could impact the trading, etc.

    Is this a Y2K deal?

    No, but if you are using an old palm pilot, or smart phone not updated, and going by the appointments in your calendar...good luck.

    Hey, I hate this crap, but that's the nature of a digital world, and laws being passed that impact time irrespective of the cost of reprogramming, etc.

  4. For West Coast Traders, Just change your time zone on your computer to Arizona, and I think that will fix the problem. AZ doesn't go through the changes, it will move your clock forward an hour, and tomorrow, all should be well.
  5. That will work for the Windows clock, but it may not work to solve problems for Outlook, Windows CE devices, old Blackberry and old palm units, and or other programs that look beyond just the time the clock is set.

    There are two aspects. The time itself, and the region setting.

    If you are sending an email from California for example, and you are set to Arizona region, some of the hidden info in the header and info on the email may appear as if you are in Arizona, as some mail programs tracks by the region zone, not onlythe time that is set on the Windows clock.

  6. This is going to be about as big an issue as Y2K was.....that's my guess. Lots of hype....and no big deal.
  7. It won't be a big deal for most, it will be an issue for some.

    I think part of the problem, is that Y2K was handled so well, but people were working on the issue for years ahead of 2000.

    This DST issue is/has been ignored by most because they think it will not be any big deal (maybe because of all the hype surrounding Y2K that did not materialize...think crying wolf), and I am not saying it is going to be a big deal, but I do think it will impact many who do nothing about it, ignore it entirely, so not install any updates, and use mobile devices and/or calenders for appointments that are not updated.

    Most traders don't have appointments that matter, but I suspect a few will miss some appointments if they depend on computers/Outlook/hand held mobile calendars devices and they don't even try to make the necessary changes to reflect the new DST time cycle.

    Remember if your OS is not updated the following will happen.

    1. The time will not change automatically tomorrow.
    2. The time will change automatically in April even if you don't want it to because Windows/OS/Hand Held devices think that is when DST happens.
    3. The will automatically change in October, even though it should not, because the non updated Windows/OS/Hand held devices think that is when DST happens.
    4. The time will not automatically change in November, even though it should.

  8. YAWN
  9. You know what's 'YAWN'? Digging up a thread that is over 3 mo's old to post 'YAWN'. That's 'YAWN'.