As expected, Microsoft last week released a package of year 2000 compliance tools, hoping to finally bury criticism that it has not done enough to prepare Windows users for the millennium.
The tools include the Y2K Product Analyzer, which scans hard drives to test Microsoft products for year 2000 compliance and points users to Web updates to bring them into full compliance.
The Product Analyzer will be available for free on Microsoft's Web site and on a Y2K Resource CD, a quarterly update that Microsoft will make available free to subscribers.
Microsoft also released three date-migration plug-ins for Excel 97: a Date Fix Wizard, which lets users change the date format from two to four digits; the Date Migration Wizard, which fixes workbook dates created in older versions of Excel; and the Date Watch Wizard, which monitors work for year-ambiguous dates and formats.
Company officials also announced new features that will be integrated into Systems Management Server (SMS) 2.0, due to ship later this quarter. SMS 2.0 will include a compliance database engine that extends the Y2K Product Analyzer to the enterprise.
Finally, Microsoft unveiled a raft of year 2000 information services, including e-mail bulletins, year 2000 sessions in its TechNet program for IT managers, and workshops for enterprise customers.
Only a few weeks ago the company released year 2000 updates to Windows 98, which was released in June 1998.