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Microsoft Software The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Charging Businesses $4K for DST Fix 395

Posted by Zonk
from the pricey-way-to-tell-time dept.
eldavojohn writes "Microsoft has slashed the price it's going to charge users on the daylight saving time fixes. As you know, the federal law that moves the date for DST goes into effect this month. Although the price of $4000 is 1/10 of the original estimate Microsoft made, it seems a bit pricey for a patch to a product you've already paid for. From the article: 'Among the titles in that extended support category are Windows 2000, Exchange Server 2000 and Outlook 2000, the e-mail and calendar client included with Office 2000. For users running that software, Microsoft charges $4,000 per product for DST fixes. For that amount, customers can apply the patches to all systems in their organizations, including branch offices and affiliate.' The only thing they can't do, said a Microsoft rep, is redistribute them."
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Microsoft Charging Businesses $4K for DST Fix

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  • Re:Screw 'em (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @04:27PM (#18220504) Homepage
    But all Linux had to do was update its zone info stuff.

    Why is Windows so much harder? Didnt they do it properly?
  • by Anml4ixoye (264762) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @04:54PM (#18220762) Homepage
    I would be willing to bet big money that if MS did anything it lobbied against this change. It is a Really Big Deal, and not something that is easy to just modify.

    Also, by the US doing this it created more time zones. How? Mexico is choosing not to go along with the DST updates, therefore anywhere in Mexico using PST effectively isn't anymore.
  • Re:Screw 'em (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @05:21PM (#18220948) Homepage
    Any *application* that needs updating because of this is just plain broken. UTC is the only safe way to represent time... as has been proven over and over again. When will they learn?

    Updating the timezone files on a Unix OS is trivially easy and can be scripted over ssh normally.

    With Windows it's a *lot* harder because it really doesn't want to use UTC.. it always tries to start from local time and convert to it, and it does in fact get it wrong for about 6 months of the year (known bug, been there since NT4 and still not fixed in Vista - See KB 128126, 129574, 190315).
  • Re:Down with DST! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theCoder (23772) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @05:25PM (#18220992) Homepage Journal
    Do what I do -- protest DST. I grew up in Indiana where they didn't participate in the DST silliness (Indiana recently caved to the peer pressure and now does do the switch). I've since moved to another state that does practice DST. For a few years, I went along with it, but last summer I decided to try not switching. I just got up earlier and mentally subtracted an hour from other people's times. It's a little confusing at times (especially when others send meeting notices that clearly say standard time but they mean daylight time), but otherwise it works very well. At work, I set my TZ variable correctly, and 90% of all the times I see on clocks are as I expect them. I plan on doing the same with this year's summer time.

    The thing I learned most from my experiment, however, is that it takes a lot of will power to get up earlier. Most people simply do not have the will power to get up and be in bed an hour earlier. And sadly, that's the reason we spend so much time, money, and effort on DST. Just to trick lazy people into getting out of bed an hour earlier. It's also the reason why a permanent year round DST (which I've seen some people advocate) is doomed to fail. People would just adjust and do everything an hour later (and then we'd need a 2 hour DST). Only the constant switching keeps them in line.

    So, while I personally despise DST as a ridiculous concept, it does have its uses.

  • Personal Users? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shabadage (1037824) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @05:43PM (#18221108)
    I still use 2K, so am I basically screwed on getting the DST right on my system? Or will there be a free patch for end users? I'm sure if I asked someone at M$ that, I'd get the response "Upgrade to VISTA"; which is NOT going to happen; my system doesn't need to be any slower thank you, it's already 5 years old. I'm not too concerned (Hell, I don't even keep a firewall active on my home system; but that's) cause I don't do ANYTHING of value on it. Just wondering.
  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:26PM (#18221428) Journal
    I agree wholeheartedly, blaming MS is pure idiocy. Here in Australia we had DST well before we had computers plugged into everything. Didin't stop the bullshit though, the main complaints were...

    1. Dairy cows will require milking at the "wrong time" and will suffer from overfull udders.

    2. Drapes will fade quicker due to the "extra" UV light.

    BTW: This DST "calamity" is not restricted to MS software, I mean how the hell does someone with a traditional diary get around the problem, I have never seen a diary that has a 23 or 25 hour day on the change over date. Will receptionists in small offices all across the US go into meltdown? Will the publishers responsible for the "defective" diaries be issuing page updates? - Nah, but hopefull it will convince the remaining ludites to dump Win2000 and look for something better.
  • by dosquatch (924618) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:44PM (#18221536) Journal

    And, please note that these products aren't even officially being supported anymore

    Allow me to dance upon the grave of this particular party line here and now -- bullshit [theregister.co.uk], MS is still actively selling this operating system if you happen to be the right customer.

    My gripe isn't that they want to charge for an update to a (now) 2-gen-old version of a product. My gripe is what they want to charge, even the new bargain-basement price. I could see a "nominal charge" up to the original sticker price, but I just can't swallow that a relatively simple change to the OS incurs a 40x higher cost than the original development of the entire OS, especially considering its a change they have to come up with anyway, because they are still actively selling it.

  • Re:Screw 'em (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Caduceus1 (178942) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:21PM (#18221810) Homepage
    You did know that not only did you have to update the zone stuff in Linux, but reboot as well, or at least restart all applications that make use of it (including syslog, apache, etc.)? Some vendors seem to have forgotten that bit of info in their instructions. We did some independent research to find out that updating the zoneinfo files alone wasn't enough - and then we started to see updated instructions from at least one vendor, where they tacked on the need to reboot...

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