As millions of mainframes threaten to expire on the stroke of midnight on New Year?s Eve 1999, Microsoft?s message is ?don?t shoot the messenger? when PCs fail to access mainframe data.Mo< This is one of the pleas in Microsoft?s long awaited question and answer Web page on the year 2000 problem. It is also keen to admit, ?Microsoft products cannot solve an organisation?s entire Year 2000 problem.?
Microsoft said that its products rely on the operating system or database to store and manipulate dates. Of its own database products, the year limit for Access 95 and previous versions is 1999. Access 95 inteprets ?00? to ?29? as short cuts for ?1900? to ?1929?. However, the last year that Windows NT file systems can handle is 29601.
On the issue of PC Bios, which has been singled out as a problem for millions of PC users, Microsoft advises users to manually set the date to 2000, and to load a utility that corrects the Bios error. Another option, says Microsoft, is to upgrade to Windows NT or the next release of Windows 95, codenamed Memphis. Bios is a problem because older PCs, or those using low level Bios software, are likely to reset the date to 1980 when the computer reaches 2000.
But even if all possibilities are covered, Microsoft has calculated that the year 2000 is a leap year.
Microsoft?s year 2000 FAQ web page is at: www.microsoft.com/cio/articles/year2000faq.htm
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