Microsoft extends free time zone updates

Software maker will offer free time zone and daylight saving patches twice a year, even for products that are out of mainstream support.

Microsoft said Wednesday that it is changing its support policies to offer customers more time zone and daylight saving time updates at no extra charge.

Previously, Microsoft had offered the updates free while products were in their mainstream support phase (typically five years from a product's release). However, it had required customers who wanted updates during the "extended support" phase (usually the next five years) to sign up for a paid hot-fix support program to get the updates, which keep a computer's clock and calendar up-to-date with any time zone changes.

CNET News

Under its new plan, products that enter extended support after January 1 will now get free daylight saving and time zone updates twice a year, tied to the Northern hemisphere's fall and winter. The free updates will be provided via Microsoft's Web site and through Windows Update.

Microsoft said that customers who need time zone updates outside of those general distribution times will still need to enroll in the paid hot-fix program.

The company said it is making the change based on customer requests. Changes to daylight saving time have proved tricky for businesses to handle in recent years, as governments have made tweaks to when the clocks change.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    Tech industry's high-flying 2014
    Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
    Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)