Microsoft's NT Terminal Server Edition (TSE) is under fire yet again after the software giant admitted the product was still not year 2000 compliant, despite having already issued a patch.
TSE, which has faced a barrage of criticism from analysts and users for its high licensing costs, was released non-compliant in mid-1998. Microsoft promised year 2000 fixes first in September and then in December, neither of which were delivered.
According to industry analysts Gartner Group, Microsoft 'quietly' posted a set of year 2000 hot fixes for TSE in January this year, but has now admitted that these are inadequate.
Neil MacDonald, NT analyst at Gartner Group, said: 'Microsoft has now just as quietly acknowledged that those hot fixes were incomplete - that further year 2000 related problems have been discovered and that re-application of a complete set of fixes will be required.'
He added that as a result, many organisations mistakenly believe their deployments of TSE are compliant.
MacDonald also claimed that since Microsoft had given no estimate of when the complete fixes would be available, it may not be until the second quarter, leaving limited time for users to complete millennium projects and testing.
Jim Huntington, IT infrastructure manager at Muller Dairy, agreed saying TSE's non-compliant status was causing headaches.
'We have a status box to fill in on each of our systems and TSE does not have a tick in the box,' he said. 'We have no idea when SP4 will arrive.
If Microsoft doesn't bring out the pack in time for our deadlines, we can't use it.'
Simon Moores, chairman of the NT User Group, said: 'Gartner has caught Microsoft out on this occasion. It doesn't do wonders for customer confidence.'
Microsoft has insisted TSE's millennium compliance problems will be fixed with NT Service Pack(SP) 4, which it claims will be delivered this month.
But MacDonald said SP4 for NT4 cannot be applied to TSE because it is based on a different kernel and users will be left waiting for the separate fix.
A representative at Microsoft said SP4 was scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of this year but admitted that even this could slip.
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