Leap year software bug: Another damp squib?

Software applications that Action 2000 warned could be susceptible to the new leap year computer bug have not been affected, according to the manufacturers of these packages

The potential problem has developed from the fact that the leap year rule is occasionally missed out, and some computer packages might assume this is not a leap year. According to Action 2000, this could result in the dates becoming jumbled on some computer applications.

Earlier this month, Action 2000 issued a list of 21 "at risk" software applications, including such mainstream packages as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus WordPro and Filemaker by Claris. None of these software companies, however, have received reports of problems with their applications.

Software giant Microsoft was top of Action 2000's list of likely offenders. It claims it has received no reports of problems relating to this particular bug.

Microsoft claims it has dedicated as many resources to safe guarding against this situation as it did for the Y2K bug, but that the problem seems to be non-existent. "We have a group of people dedicated to waiting for reports of the problem, and as yet we haven't heard anything. At the moment there's just nothing at all," said a spokesperson.

Action 2000 also says that it has seen no evidence of leap year-related problems, but warns that it is too early to become complacent. "Things might not happen until later," said a spokesman, "and it might take time for reports to filter through."

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