March 11, the new date on which Daylight Saving Time (DST) will take effect in the U.S. and a growing number of other countries, is fast approaching. And Microsoft is working overtime to get the message out that users need to patch a bunch of their Microsoft products, from Exchange Server, to Windows Mobile, in order to head off date-change headaches.
There's one bit of DST fine print that Microsoft isn't sharing quite so readily, however. (I discovered it by wading through a slide deck that Microsoft is providing to analysts to get them up-to-speed on the company's DST guidance.)
Page 20 of the deck mentions that Microsoft has decided, due to the number of customers and products affected by the DST 2007 changes, to "amend the regular Extended Hotfix support program." If you need to patch older Microsoft products that already have moved from "Mainstream" to "Extended" support phase, Microsoft will give you a chance to buy the hotfixes you need -- for $4,000.
"For products that have entered into the Extended Support phase, Microsoft will provide customers with the opportunity to purchase the DST 20007 hotfix at a reduced price of Four Thousand Dollars (US $4,000). Customers will only be charged a single fee of $4,000 to obtain all hotfixes, for products in Extended Support phase, needed to update their systems for DST 2007.
"For customers who have previously purchased DST 2007 hotfixes for products in Extended Support, Microsoft will reimburse the difference to them under the new pricing category."
A Microsoft spokesman said that the $4,000 price represents a substantial discount.
"Originally, all the out-of-support patches were $40,000 each. However, we realized this hardship and lowered the price to $4,000 for ALL THE DST PATCHES for our customers best interest. The $4,000 is to just cover costs," he said.
Windows Server 2000, Exchange Server 2000, Outlook 2000 and a number of other Microsoft products are currently in the Extended Support phase. The full list of Microsoft products affected by DST 2007 changes is here.