Monday, March 12, 2007

Microsoft to Seniors and Poor: "Screw you!"

Thanks to Microsoft, the Daylight Savings Time "bug" has bitten everyone who has a PC running Windows 2000 and earlier versions of Windows.

Rather than providing an automatic patch in Windows Update to fix the "bug" before it caused problems, Microsoft asserted the following claims:

  • "Windows 2000 has passed the end of Mainstream Support and will not be receiving an update without Extended Hotfix Support."
    • Extended Hotfix Support for Windows 2000 costs $4,000. Clearly, this is an option designed for large, cash-rich organizations.
  • Windows ME, NT, 98 et al. are "no longer supported."

No matter which earlier version one is running, the fix is very simple. Microsoft does provide a tool, TZEdit, and instructions to do the job, although it is not a trivial job to find them. So here they are for Windows 2000:

  • Open TZEdit from the link here:
    • This will unzip and install the file to the Program Files folder on the C: drive.
  • Use Windows Explorer or My Computer to find the TZEdit application that was installed.
  • Run TZEdit and change the start date of DST in your time zone to 2nd Sunday in March and the end date to 1st Sunday in November.
  • Close out of TZEdit.
  • Open Control Panel and click the Date/Time icon.
  • Click the Time Zone tab.
  • Select or re-select the time zone you have changed.
  • Click OK.
Now the system clock will take into account the changes you have made, and it will show the correct daylight savings time.

What was Microsoft thinking!?

  • Windows Update provides automatic security updates for Windows 2000, but it did not provide a fix for the DST "bug"?
  • Windows Update automatically fixed the "bug" for pirated copies of Windows XP, but not for any instances of Windows 2000?
  • It would have been simple for Microsoft to have Windows Update fix the "bug" in Windows 2000 automatically, but they preferred not to?

Who is harmed? People who have not had the inclination or the money to upgrade their "old" equipment are the ones who are affected. The former group includes technophobes who will not be able to make the simple fix. The latter includes the poor. Seniors are disproportionately represented in both groups.

I don't begrudge Microsoft making a little more money out of large organizations. Nor do I begrudge IT professionals the work involved in deploying the solution for large organizations. However, Microsoft is not being a good corporate citizen by leaving seniors and the poor behind time-wise.

No comments: