Seventeen months ago I mentioned how the changes in Daylight Saving Time policy was going to wreak havoc with software all over the world, and I am being proven right. The new laws shift daylight savings to start three weeks earlier, starting with March 11 of this year (it would normally have started April 2, 2006) and ending two weeks later, on November 4 (instead of October 29).
Naturally, this change to Daylight Savings Time (which is frankly is a policy of questionable sanity and effectiveness) is going to make hell with any software more than a few years old and no longer supported. Windows Vista won’t have the problem, being that it is new and ships with the changes, but only Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server SP1 will receive updates (which shipped December 12, 2006) through Windows Update to correct them. Older operating system are not supported, including Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows NT, and even Windows XP SP1.
Still, problems are to be expected with older software. I’m sure no one would expect OS/2 or DOS or Mac OS 9 to have updates, either. The real problem is going to come with Windows Mobile. Because Microsoft has not set itself up to properly support Windows Mobile devices, leaving it to device makers to release firmware updates and registry fixes, some of which wipe the memory of the device and discourage end users from installing them. T-Mobile issued a firmware update for my MDA phone, but I have no clue how to back up all my data and program properly, so I won’t install it.
In this case, the solution is actually simpler: Microsoft has given a list of registry key changes that can be included in an INF file, contained in a CAB file, and distributed by manufacturers to fix all the time zone info. But will device makers actually do it? I haven’t exactly seen a lot of support from T-Mobile, and I’ve heard of a lot of devices simply not getting really important updates, fixes, and features from WinMobile OEMs. Microsoft just doesn’t require enough from them, and they deliver even less.
The point: Windows Mobile 5.0 is a current operating system. There is nothing old about it, released in just May 2005, and it needs as much support as any current operating system. Microsoft needs to stop relying on the manufacturers, some of whom have shown they don’t care about customer support, and just release this as an update through Windows Update. Find a way.
Oh yeah, and Omar Shahine explains how this is going to mess up Outlook “all-day” events, making them two-day events that run from 11:00 pm the previous day to 11:00 pm the day of the event. That’s grrrreat! Could we stop messing with the f-ing clock?!? Someone tell the federal government to leave time alone, and not issue any changes any more. I’d rather work 8:00am-4pm during the current DST period than have to change my clock.