microsoft alert : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

this was posted to csy2k 10 minutes ago... i haven't verified it but it doesn't look good.

Microsoft continues to lose the war for Y2K compliance. There are now 393 Microsoft applications that have had Y2K status changes since December 1. This includes some applications that recently finished testing. Of these 393 applications:

53 are rated compliant, 11 cannot be made compliant, 159 need updates that aren't available yet, 76 need new updates that are available, 4 don't process dates, 4 are considered compliant "with acceptable deviations", and 76 have changed status from compliant to "under revision".

Among the products which require updates that aren't available yet, are Excel 95, Excel 97, Excel 2000, and all versions of Office 2000.

Windows Media Player 6.1 used to be listed as compliant, now it's "under revision". This is a component of all recent versions of Internet Explorer.

There is also a new Y2K update for Windows NT that has been released in the last few days.

This is as of 10:00 am today,12/9/1999. With the recent pace of Microsoft products falling off their "compliant" list, you will likely find a different number if you go to: and do a search.

There are another 34 products on the "yet to be tested" list, some of which used to listed as Y2K compliant.

Bottom line: if you use Microsoft software on your PC or server, you are probably not Y2K compliant, even if you thought you were and verified that with Microsoft as recently as 10 days ago.

-- marianne (, December 09, 1999


BBBBut, I don't understand. Mister Gates, that paragon of truth and virtue, told a collection of CEOs two years ago that Y2K is a trivial problem to solve. All they had to do is convert to Microsuck products.

-- Mr. Adequate (, December 10, 1999.

Bill Gates Gets It BIG TIME. He bought an island, and will shortly be taking his leave to go there and partake of his stash of freeze dried caviar.

-- Gia (, December 10, 1999.

Mr Gates did not buy an island, he built a house. A very nice house.

And, please, the immature use of "Microsuck" and so forth makes your comments less credible.

This is a real situation that affects Lotus (IBM), Sun, Microsoft, Oracle, and every other computur hardware and software company. Microsoft was not even around when the core of the problem was first coded so it is a bit tiresome to see them as the issue's poster child.

Rather than typing like 3rd graders, help the situation by testing your own software and reporting your findings here for the benefit of others. (you know how to test? set up date based macros & formulae then set your computer to 11:59 Pm Dec 31 1999. Wait ten minutes and restart. Now run your applications and look for inconsistancies)

By the way, I code usign MS Jet 3x as my multiuser database engine, I use MS VisualBasic and MS VisualC++ and Borland Delphi for my languages.

Jet, the underlying engine for Access and the default database engine for VB and VC++ *CAN BE* Y2K un-compliant if the programmer makes it uncompliant. The programmer has to go out of their way to do this and they have to make the personal decision to bypass the date system safeguards that Microsoft has put into the database engine for the last few eyars.

So, you *Could* say that this MS database engine is not compliant ... if you do not know anything about how programming is done.

But the real truth is that MS has done more than it's part to make the technology secure, and they have pestered us developers for the past few years about how we should use the tools ... however, I know more than a few coders who outright ignore the MS advise.

My code is based on MS core technologies, used the way that the maker has strongly recommended. Not all code is done that way.

This is not a MS deal .. because they give programmers the freedom to do programming how they want to, and if MS forced developers to always follow the rules then MS would be in court again. Funny double edged sword isn't it?

Contact the developers who have done custom solutions for you (macros & addons) and check their compliance. Once your Office has been customized you are outside the protection of the MS core technologies.

BUT if you are like the vast majority of users who run MS Office97 (sp2) or Office2000 (out of the box) then you will never see a hiccupp going into the new year.

Robert Smith

-- Robert Smith (, December 10, 1999.

Gee Robert, are you aware that Jet 3.x is NOT Y2K compliant. It has nothing to do with the "skill" of the programmer using it. Microsoft has posted a fix for this little problem. Do all your customers have it installed? Do you think they'll call Microsoft or call you when they have problems with the applications you wrote?

Oh, and Jet 4.0 is not compliant either, and requires a patch.

And, by the way, Office 97 SR-2 (not sp2 as you wrote) is not sufficient to achieve compliance for Office 97. As of this writing, Microsoft is up to SR-2b. Both SR-2a and SR-2b contained additional Y2K fixes that were not included in SR-2.

According to Microsoft, even after applying SR-2b, you still need to apply at least MDAC 2.1 SP1 or SP2 in order to get the ODBC and OLE components up to snuff. You wouldn't use any of those features in your programs, would you?

Even after all the above, Microsoft says that Excel 97 and Excel 2000 are still not compliant. They're working on the fix for the latest issues.

None of this is blaming Microsoft for the Y2K problem, or criticizing them unduly, or spreading unsubstantiated rumors. It's all information that is taken directly from Microsoft's web site.

-- Jerry Heidtke (, December 10, 1999.

Robert, I went to the MS Y2K page and ran their test on my system. MS told me that the Jet database engine is not compliant...but I still haven't been able to work my way through their geek stuff and download a fix. They certainly didn't make any effort to make it user-friendly. I'm not impressed.

-- Norm Harrold (, December 10, 1999.

Just a quick update as of noon today (26 hours after the above statistics were gathered).

Number of Microsoft products

with Y2K status changes since 12/1: 495 (up from 393). which require updates that aren't available yet: 195 (up from 159). which require updates that are available: 95 (up from 76). that cannot be made compliant: 19 (up from 11). considered compliant "with acceptable deviations": 19 (up from 4).

Way to go, Bill....

-- Jerry Heidtke (, December 10, 1999.

Response to Norm Harrold on Jet engine.

Personally I have tested my coded Jet databases and support code beyond the year 2001 on Win95b(OSR2), Win98upgrade, Win98 OEM(via WebUpdate), Win98 SU and WinNT4.0 Sp3 minimum. Dates and times in English sorts (MM/DD/YYYY and DD/MM/YYYY) are being correctly read, analyzed and written when the OS has been updated as recommended by Microsoft. I will not speak for other developers, I do not know how personally they take their responsibilities to ther users.

I know it gets confusing, version upkeep is tough, but that has always been the downside of technology. My dad hated catalytic converters and still refuses to have one, his cars have to stay off the highway these days.

Some good Y2K verification software testing tools can find issues *inside* a Jet database (Jet databases typically, but are not required to, have an *.mdb extension). These issues are what I wrote of before ... where the engine itself is good, but the person who coded the custom solution took shortcuts (using strings or numbers instead of using the 64bit MS "Date" type, which is designed to handle dates between Jan 1 100 to Dec 31 9999)

... as I mentioned before, there is no legal way to force a developer to follow the rules, and if they don't, and if the code fails then the fault is not in the engine. Imagine Toyota made an engine and you paid a mechanic to add features, he takes a shortcut and installs a GM fuel pump in your car, the engine seizes ... can you sue Toyota?

The question I have is, do you know what products you are running that use the Jet engine? If you are using MS-Access 1 or 2 (16bit) then it would be in your best interest to upgrade even without the Y2K situation ... every product from every company evolves for the better and keeping up with the improvements makes your work easier. I am not yuet a big fan of Jet 4 or office 2000 but still it is a major difference from 1992's Jet1.0.

I'd better mention: I am not a Microsoft lover or hater (I've had articles published in programming journals that definitely blasted MS for certain issues) .. However, I'm a solution developer and I use the tools that best get the jobs done. And part of my job is to keep my users up to date.

Like I said, I know it can be confusing.

As of the release of Access 2000, the Jet engine is at version 4. However, the vast majority of established code is still using Jet3x. This is the engine version used by Office 97, Visual Basic 5, Visual C++ 5 and Delphi 4 and higher. So even though Ms has released Jet4, MS continues to update Jet3x.

Developers who code for this engine are responsible for coding their software correctly AND keeping their systems up to date AND passing the updates on to their users ... the current Jet3 version is Jet 3.52 which is also knows as Jet3 Sp3#2.

Jet, the underlying database engine for end user the products MS- Access and MS Money99, has had updates in Office Servicepacks 1 & 2 which are downloadable from:

For users of Jet3 via VB, VC++, Delphi4 & 5 programs, you should contact your software maker or go personally where they are supposed to go:

This page gives the information on how to update Jet3 to the final version after having installed the Office 97 service packs.

Just a personal note: It is often claimed that "software companies should not release until the product is 100% done" but such words come ususaly from people who wish to believe that software is made by elves in santas factory along with bubble gum and other magical products. It aint. Software is made by humans like me *and you* who are trying to make good products for good people. However, software development is complex and competition is beyond intense.

It is not a cop out to say that every six months technologies change radiacally and software companes have to change too ... at some point some of the responsibility is partly up to the user, sorry but that is the truth just as it is the truth that you are responsible for changing your oil in you car.

Y2K affects Lotus/IBM, Sun Microsystems, Apple, Corel, Inprise, DEC/Compaq as well as Microsoft.

Folks who ask "how to get around the geek speak" are good users, because they seem to want to know how to fix their personal issues. I hope that these site links are helpful. It is not easy, i know, I deal with it every day, but it is doable if we all try to make things work.

However, for those who would rather shut their minds, yell and bemoan and blame rather than spend the same amount of energy to actaully help themselves ... well, you get what you work for.

In my years I have noticed one funny commonality in computer tech support, you may find this amusing but I promise it is true: When a person says "Bill Gates" they are acting out of fear and lack of knowledge and they do not really want a fix. When a person says "Microsoft" they are interested in a solving a problem. That's just my experience, but look at how people write in chats and newsgroups ... and you'll notice who is trying to help and who just likes yelling.


-- Robert Smith (, December 13, 1999.

Response to Jerry Heidtke:

Hello Jeff. To make you feel more comfortable in case you ever consider my products.

Yes I have been using all MDAC editions. Including 2.1Sp2. Being an experienced programmer I do not implement ANY technologies into end user systems until I have personally verified them ... hence my not yet jumping on the MS ADOx bandwagon for released apps (but using it internally to keep up with it's evolution).

The MDAC includes a few files that help update established Jet engine features ... and a good programmer knows which of the many files to use. A good developoer also knows that not all of the latest MDAC is required or even good to add to established systems.

Not to belabour, but you asked a personal question publically, so here are my credentials:

I am one of the most vocal developers against implementation of the ADOx technology in end user programs for Jet and ISAM use UNTIL MS makes that technology stable.

For details on my personal and professional Point of View on the negatives of the core of MDAC2.x please click to

For a little background as to my credibility as a solution provider more responsible to my users than to my tool vendors, please see:

Most developers take users to heart ... perhaps you could do well to assist by figuring out the intricacies of ADO, DAO and the MDAC libraries and put your findings into words that others, elss technical, would more easily understand. That would be a real help, perhaps my wording is too technical, for this I am sorry.

And, best of all: Perhaps this will spur you to work on alternatives to the systems, that is really putting your money where your mouth is. I was not born a developer, I set out to make something that worked better that what was available. I started with no knowledge and learned by years of real world experience.

It seems that you have to energy it takes to yell the sky is falling, do you also have the stamina to create a better sky?

Best wishes.

-Robert Smith

-- Robert Smith (, December 13, 1999.


I'm not a programmer any more, so some of your suggestions aren't bery relevant. A long time ago, I was heavily involved in developing Windows-based client/server database applications, but I left that field (boring!) for more rewarding(?) work.

Right now I'm responsible for about 1000 PC-based client and server systems, including hardware, OS's, and applications. Of course, my main focus right now is attempting to ensure Y2K-compliance of these systems.

The software vendors are not making this an easy task. Microsoft is by far the biggest "violator" in this regard, although Novell, IBM, Netscape, Lotus (Notes), Attachmate, and Sun (Java) have all had recent announcements of Y2K status changes in formerly "compliant" products.

As far as developing alternatives to the past, present, and future disaster that is Microsoft's data base technolgies, we've already made two strategic decisions that will be implemented after (and if) the dust settles from Y2K.

The first is that we will prohibit end-users from developing their own business-critical applications, whether using Access, VB or VBA, VC++, or any other development technology. If it doesn't come from IS, it doesn't run on our systems and network. There have just been too many problems with users buying an "Access for Dummies" type of book and thinking that they are now qualified to develop multi-user application that end up being critical for the business. The problems run the whole gamut, from Y2K issues, to data integrity, performance, and reliability.

The second is that we will be migrating all multi-user database applications that use Jet, MDE, or MS SQL Server to Oracle running on AIX or NetWare. None of the Microsoft database technologies have shown themselves to be stable or reliable enough in our environment to be trusted with criticial business data.

-- Jerry Heidtke (, December 14, 1999.

Oh, by the way, there are now 511 Microsoft products that have had Y2K status changes since December 1. In the last twenty-four hours, there have been 42.

-- Jerry Heidtke (, December 14, 1999.

Let's see, who can we blame for Y2K today? How about the developers of the ENIAC and UNIVAC systems? They were the "original" computers weren't they? Or how about the Chinese for developing the abicus? I understand that it is not Y2K compliant either. I know these comments seem a little sarcastic, BUT if we were to try and point to a source for the problem we would have to include the government, virtually every branch that had a computer in the 50's and 60's, every business that had a computer in the 50's and 60's. Every developer that worte a program upgrade in the last 50 years that maintained backward file format compatability. Every user that bought a computer before 1995. The issue is no longer who is to blame, the issue is how do we, Sys Ads, Develeopers, IS mamngers, and other computer tech people keep these things running without screwing up the whole works. I feel like enough energy has been wasted in name calling and not enough on problem resolution. If we the IS and computer industry want to call each other names in a public forum, don't you think we can at least wait until we have made our jobs, networks and programs as secure for our end users as we can. I guess what I trying to say is enough with the name calling crap let's grow up and face the fact that we as an industry have a major problem to solve. Let's fix what we can and after the smoke clears and the dust settles, then we can go back to childish name calling, but only after we have done what we need to do to vindicate our industry as a group of professionals that put our customers (the end users we service) first.

-- Paul Michaud (, December 16, 1999.

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