Leaves are turning and nights are cool. To IT managers in Windows shops, this can mean only one thing – time to make sure that all machines purchased this summer have all their proper daylight-saving time updates.
Microsoft released two DST updates through Windows Software Update Service this week, which were all minor tweaks for time changes in countries like Armenia and Jordan. This update includes the spring's DST updates as well, according to Microsoft.
But Windows shops that bought new machines this summer should take time out to determine if they have DST updates on all of them.
"The people who may be caught unaware are going to be those [IT managers] who bought new servers and desktops that may not have that update," said Eric Schultze, chief security architect at Shavlik Technologies, a software security company in Roseville, Minn.
Federal legislation added about three weeks to the DST period as an energy conservation effort. This fall, standard time will start on Nov. 4, which is one week later than in the past.
Although all machines should still be double-checked, experts don't expect the same confusion that came with the spring updates. Earlier this year as it got closer to March 11 – the newly designated DST start date, which was about two weeks earlier than the usual one – IT managers began to get anxious with such little time left.
IT managers were also irritated by what they said they believed was an overly complicated and chaotic update process. Microsoft issued no other patches one month so IT managers could catch up on DST updates.
M3 Sweatt, Microsoft's chief of staff in the Windows Core Operating System Development, said he thinks most enterprise IT administrators know what changes, if any, they need to make to keep their systems completely updates.
If there is any doubt, IT managers can get online support and more details about how to run a test on existing systems to check for updated.Microsoft also has a DST area on its Web site called A test version of the 2007 global time zone update for Windows that provides a DST assessment checklist, an enterprise response plan and a patching overview for DST updates.
"The same risks are involved this time," Schultze said. "There will be a mini-flurry of activity, and IT managers should check their systems for new machines or machines that somehow didn't get patched the first time around."