Microsoft's date bug: Update

Microsoft's beleagured Windows 98 product manager Thursday gave his response to claims that the operating system has a date bug.

David Weeks admits the company is still not sure whether or not a bug exists in Windows 98 or, if it does, whether it poses a threat to normal users. "What I can tell you," he says, "is that the tests carried out by Prove It 2000 were done under a forced environment and may not carry any risk." Prove It 2000 is now working with Microsoft and Weeks was eager to point out that the Y2K specialist has already "confirmed to us publicly that Windows 98 is year 2000 compliant".

That public absolution may have been given too soon: if the date function has a flaw, it won't matter whether it's 1998 or 2000.

Weeks is aware that his response is well overdue but he is in no hurry to deliver flaky information: "We hope to come back with concrete answers for everyone within the next few days. We obviously take this issue very seriously and are running tests on as many machines as possible to come to a satisfactory answer." That answer may well prove that Windows 98 does indeed have a date related issue, which will in turn mean a patch.

Asked if the patch would be part of the multimedia offering Microsoft insists is not a service pack, Weeks said no, "if there is an issue, we will post the patch on the Microsoft Web site."

Both Prove It 2000 and Microsoft will inform ZDNet News "the moment" they have a statement to make.