New on MScom… Microsoft Gives Customers Something to Fall Back On… a Q&A with Rich Kaplan as he “discusses the second part of the Daylight Saving Time extension to come in North America, lessons learned from March’s “spring forward,” and the effects these changes have on customers around the world.”
PressPass: What’s the “call to action” for customers this fall? What should they do to make sure they’re ready?
Kaplan: Go to the Daylight Saving Time 2007 Web site and make sure you’re up to date on all the latest information. If you’re a consumer or small business, you may not need to worry about that as much, but if you’re an enterprise company that has worldwide operations, it’s certainly important to go there and make sure you understand the impact of these changes worldwide.
For the majority of our customers — consumers, small- and mid-sized businesses — we always tell them to have automatic updates turned on. With Windows XP and Windows Vista, you really get increased product quality, not just the latest updates to align the operating system with a Congressional mandate like Daylight Saving Time, but the latest security fixes and other general updates too. So that’s always a good thing to do.
In this environment, if you got the updates in the spring for Exchange, Windows and Outlook, and you have your automatic updates turned on, there’s a good chance you may have nothing to do in anticipation of the changes this fall. However, if you do business in other parts of the world, you need to make sure to get the corrections for those other time zone changes. Not just the United States and Canadian time zone changes, but rest of the world time zone changes as well.
For larger, enterprise customers, in general the “fall back” should be much easier. We had them running a tool at the beginning of the year, The Outlook Time Zone Data Update Tool, to update people’s calendars. The majority of companies have run those tools and won’t have to do that a second time. If you’re not worried about the countries specified on the Web site listing the products affected by Daylight Saving Time, and you already took the updates for springing forward, then you’re in good shape.
The last thing I would say here is that, for customers who need to know exactly what they need to do to prepare for Daylight Saving Time — if they haven’t already — we are hosting a Web seminar on this topic at the end of this week on Friday, Sept. 14. So make sure and sign up for that.