The Redmond, Washington-based company next week will issue a patch for Windows 95 that will make the operating system Year-2000 compliant, company executives said Friday.
Microsoft will maintain the operating system at "compliant" status if any additional issues are reported by users, Don Jones, Microsoft's year 2000 product manager, said.
The patch will be posted to the company's Web site next week.
Previously, Microsoft offered patches to Windows 95 that made the operating system "compliant with minor issues."
The new patch allows Windows 95 users to achieve Year-2000 compliance without upgrading to Windows 98, Jones said.
"Year 2000 is not a reason to upgrade to Windows 98," Jones said. "Clearly what we've done is make a commitment to our older platforms."
In related news, the software giant also released new tools to assist its customers in their Year 2000 compliance efforts.
The Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer and the Microsoft Year 2000 Product Guide Workbook are designed to help customers inventory their Microsoft products on PCs and network drives and take appropriate action to make those products Year-2000 compliant, Jones said.
The Product Analyzer and the Product Guide Workbook are currently available in English and will be available in more than 12 other languages within the next 60 days. They are both available free of charge at Microsoft's Web site and will also be released via subscription service to the Microsoft Year 2000 Resource CD, according to Jones.