US daylight-saving change: IT impact

Some major IT vendors are releasing software patches and fixes designed to handle the earlier start of US daylight-saving time, which takes effect 11 March.

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Some major IT vendors are releasing software patches and fixes designed to handle the earlier start of US daylight-saving time, which takes effect 11 March.

But others have not made clear how the time change will affect users of their applications.

Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system already includes the updated DST rules, but earlier versions of Windows will need to be changed. For Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003’s Service Pack 1, the company will release a combined global time-zone update that will include modifications for the DST change in the US.

Earlier versions of Windows, including XP Service Pack1 and NT 4.0, are no longer supported but can be patched manually using Microsoft’s Tzedit.exe utility, which allows administrators to create and edit time-zone entries for the date/time settings in the Windows Control Panel.

Other affected Microsoft products include Windows Mobile, SharePoint Services, Exchange Server, Outlook, BizTalk Server and the Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) applications, according to the company. Some patches are available now, and the remainder are scheduled to be released by early March.

A detailed summary of the effects of the DST changes on Microsoft products is available on the company’s website.

Sun Microsystems said it is offering free patches for Solaris Versions 8, 9 and 10, but the company will charge a fee for patches for Versions 5, 6 and 7 of the operating system.

Patches will also have to be applied to Java technologies, including the Java Runtime Environment, Sun said. More recent JRE versions already include new time rules designed to handle the DST changes, according to the vendor. Older versions can be replaced with the newer, corrected versions, or systems administrators can download Sun’s TZupdater tool to update Versions 1.4 or later of the JRE.

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