The forthcoming WA DST Change

Western Australia is about to trial Daylight Savings Time. Literally about to. The change will begin on December 3rd and will be a three-year trial, after which WA will hold a referendum on whether to keep the change in place.

So what does this mean for your computer? Well, not too much, hopefully. At Microsoft the team has been hard at work to implement a fix to the WA timezone for Windows, so WA users will not be subject to the confusion this move could potentially cause. Without this fix, automatic time changes won't happen, stored appointments may be an hour out, scheduled tasks may be off and all manner of transaction systems may lose accuracy.

Who should aply the fix, though? Obviously if you're in Western Australia, you'll want to apply the change, but also if you do business or otherwise interact with anyone working on a WA calendar. So if your business is in NSW, and you have a customer in WA who may send you an appointment request or task, or ask you for something at a specific time, you'll want to be updated. Basically anyone on Windows who interacts with someone in WA will want to be on the safe side and have this fix installed.

To get the update, you can check http://www.microsoft.com.au/timezone/ - This will have the latest information on the change and how to deal with it. Fixes for some specific products which maintain timezone information of their own may follow - keep checking the site.

My personal view is this could have been handled by the WA government in a more planned manner - there was potential for IT chaos here - but I think Microsoft have done pretty well to react as they have. As for other vendors, well, word is that a prominent MS competitor isn't doing so well on this, but I sincerely hope everyone pulls together to minimise the pain.

* full disclosure, I contract for Microsoft's Sydney Premier Support division.

posted @ Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:52 PM

 
 
 
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