Microsoft Corporation confirmed on Tuesday that many Windows applications will report the wrong time for a week in 2001 unless a yet-to-released fix is implemented. The bug affects Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT. It has been already fixed in beta versions of Windows 2000. It was discovered by a programmer at Phar Lap Software, who reported it to Microsoft and a bug-tracking mailing list.

"The problem is caused by the Visual C++ runtime library being confused and assuming that daylight savings time doesn't start until April the 8th," says Smith. "The confusion appears to be caused by the fact that April 1 falls on a Sunday in the year 2001. The same bug occurs in other years where April 1 also falls on a Sunday."

Microsoft says it will fix the bug but doesn't think it's that big of a deal.

"This has been blown a little bit out of proportion," says Chris Hargarten, a Visual C++ product manager. "For daylight savings time on April 1, we failed to calculate the one-hour time difference for one week's time. An application that uses a specific function called 'local time' will be affected. We've got two years \[to fix this\]. We have bugs all the time, and we take them very seriously. We have the processes in place to take care of this.