Microsoft Releases Year 2000 Update for Windows 98

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 7, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has identified and addressed minor year 2000 issues in the Microsoft® Windows® 98 operating system. The identified issues pose no risk of data loss or PC damage, and customers would be unlikely to encounter the issues during normal, daily use of their computer. Nevertheless, because these minor issues can potentially result in the inaccurate display of dates in 2000 in certain areas of the operating system, Microsoft is making the Year 2000 Update widely available so its customers can obtain and install it easily. Customers can download the free Windows 98 Year 2000 Update from the Windows Update Web site at or call (800) 360-7561 to receive it on CD-ROM.

“Microsoft understands the critical nature of the year 2000 issue and is committed to diligently testing its products and promptly providing information and solutions to its customers if issues do arise,” said Rich Kaplan, director of the platforms infrastructure group at Microsoft. “In the course of Microsoft’s ongoing testing efforts with Windows 98, we have identified and fixed these minor year 2000 issues.”

Year 2000 Issues Pose No Threat of Lost Data or PC Damage

While the year 2000 issues discovered in Windows 98 result in the incorrect display of dates in 2000 in certain rare scenarios, they pose no risk of data loss. Most customers would have an extremely small chance of ever running into these issues in their normal, daily computer use. For example, an issue discovered involves the Date/Time control applet, in which a user can in certain instances set the date to Feb. 29 of a leap year and then do the same for other years as well. This is simply a display problem, however. The user cannot apply this incorrect date. Another issue discovered involves the Phone Dialer applet in Windows 98, in which the log file created after a user makes a phone call with the applet may in certain instances display the year portion of the call date incorrectly.

Please see the addendum for a complete list of the year 2000 issues found in Windows 98.

Update Widely Available

Microsoft is making the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update available through several channels so it will be as easy as possible for customers to update Windows 98. To ensure that users of Windows 98 are aware of the update, Microsoft will begin sending announcements via e-mail to registered users of Windows 98 within 24 hours. The Windows 98 Year 2000 Update is available on the Microsoft Windows Update site at . Users of Windows 98 who have downloaded the Critical Notification Update from the Windows Update site will be automatically notified of the year 2000 update when they log on to the Internet. Customers can also receive the update on CD-ROM free of charge by ordering it from the Microsoft Web site or by calling (800) 360-7561. In addition, Microsoft is making the update available to OEMs and will include the update on the Microsoft Select CD for corporate customers. Some Microsoft vendors will offer the CD-ROM at select retail locations as well .

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled its Year 2000 Resource Center, a comprehensive Web site for customers facing year 2000 computer problems. The site, at, includes a product guide that outlines compliance and the testing status of specific Microsoft products. Microsoft recommends that customers frequently check the Microsoft Year 2000 Web site or call (888) MSFTY2K (673-8925) to keep up to date on the latest compliance information, as it is subject to change.

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Windows 98 Year 2000 Issues

Microsoft has found minor year 2000 incompatibilities in Windows 98. Below is a complete list of these issues:

  • Date rollover. If a system is booting at the precise fraction of a second when the date rolls, the system clock may display an inaccurate time or date. The occurrence of this would be extremely rare because the exact time frame varies from machine to machine and lasts typically less than one second.

  • Date/Time control applet. If a user opens the Date/Time applet in the control panel and sets the date to Feb. 29 of a leap year and then uses the up and down buttons to change years, Feb. 29 might be displayed for other years. This is simply a display problem, however. The user cannot apply this incorrect date.

  • Dialer.Exe Log. When a user makes a phone call using the Phone Dialer applet, the log file created after completion of the call displays the year portion of the call date incorrectly.

  • DOS XCOPY. When using XCOPY in real mode with the optional parameter /D:date, xcopy does not accept years entered as two digits, except for the years 80 through 99. The message “Invalid date” is displayed. When using xcopy in protected mode (from within Windows), two-digit dates are accepted but are recognized as being within the 20th century (for example, 02/05/01 is seen as 02/05/1901).

  • Java Virtual Machine. Some year 2000 issues have been reported in connection with Java Virtual Machines based on the Sun Microsystems Java Development Kit (versions 1.1.1 to 1.1.5). For example, if a Web site uses Java and makes use of the java.txt.SimpleDateFormat class library and the user enters four digits for the year, the date functions may truncate the year and use only the first two digits.

  • Lagging IP lease dates. If a user logs onto a LAN on or after March 1, 2000, and runs Winipcfg from the Run command or Ipconfig from the DOS VM, the DHCP client reports the IP lease date as having been obtained on the previous day.

  • Microsoft Foundation Class Library. After the year 2000, programs that use the COleDateTime function may improperly parse a date. For example, 02/05/2000 may display as 2/05/100. To view an example of this after the year 2000, from ProgramsAccessoriesSystem Tools users can run System Information (msinfo32.exe) and save the file. Users should then open this info extension file and from the File menu select Properties. The date stamp may display the improper date.

  • Microsoft Wallet. When entering credit card information in versions of Microsoft Wallet that precede 2.1.1383, users must enter the month, day and year for expiration dates beyond 2000. Otherwise, information may be parsed incorrectly. For example, entering an expiration date of 5/01 could be parsed as May 1 rather than May 2001. Users can correct this by installing Microsoft Wallet version 2.1.1383 or later or by downloading the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update.

  • Programming to data access components. If a programmer codes to ADO or OLE DB and uses data access components such as adDate, adDBDate or Dbtype_Filetime, chooses to use an international date format with periods as separators and specifies a year by two digits earlier than 60, then the date may be translated as a time.

  • Regional Settings Date/Time Picker. If Regional Settings in the Control Panel is set to use two-digit years, then the Date/Time Picker function may not return the proper date. Only two digits are accepted at a time. To ensure proper handling of dates, the user can either set Regional Settings to four-digit date handling or download the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update.

  • WordPad custom properties. If a user selects Properties, Custom on a WordPad or Word document, the custom date setting will not accept 2000 as a valid entry when entered as “00.” All two-digit dates are assumed to be in the 20th century, and if the time zone is set to Far East, the date properties will lose a day when the year is entered as 2000.

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