back to article Microsoft Office Online falls into Halloween time vortex

Either Steve "Uncle Fester" Ballmer is preparing everyone for his star turn at Halloween very early this year, or there's something wrong over at Microsoft's Office Online site. The UK landing page for Microsoft's productivity apps is currently dishing out tips on how to "create scary crafts for Halloween", while cautioning: " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The article is wrong

    The US delegation voted: Greenwich mean time is now to be called "English Winter Time". And March is now officially renamed October. And there are two winters per year now. You guys will have to adapt, as it's the next standard.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pedantic back at you

    Thankfully, GMT doesn't end in two and a half weeks' time when British Summer Time starts, nor did it begin at the end of October when British Summer Time for 2007 ends.

  3. Lawrence


    Don't you guys start planning your Halloweens around March / April?

  4. Paul Hurst


    must be a leap year...

  5. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    "must be a leap year"

    So that's now the official euphemism for totally screwing up any simple awrythmetic: "I'm sorry, I'm having a leap day". Superior!

  6. Mark
    Gates Halo

    Captain Pedantic Pants

    GMT doesn't start or end anytime soon!

    However British (and Irish) Summer Time starts in March and ends in October of each year.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid DST Changes

    At the risk of injecting some rationality into this discussion, I suspect that the problem was triggered by the US time change this last weekend. Since the States now puts the clocks forward three weeks earlier than before, it may be that there might be a bug in Microsoft's software (is that even possible?) that misinterpreted the time change on the UK site.

    I am curious whether other territories that change their clocks later than the US (which, I think, is all of them) saw the same bug.

  8. DR
    Paris Hilton

    more pedantic

    having looked at the page, the clock don't go back at 1am either,

    the clocks go back at 2am...

  9. twelvebore
    Paris Hilton

    That'll be because...

    10/3/2008 is the 3rd of October for those silly Yanks.

  10. Michael Miller

    Global Warming

    Strikes again............

  11. Mr B

    180 day eval period almost over

    someone must have rolled back the clock on the MS 2003 Server eval version

  12. Jason Ward

    Contact us

    But we make no effort to contact you.

    Anyone notice that if you give them feedback on the website, after typing in your feedback you are told "whilst we make every effort to reply personally..."

    I normally don't believe statements like that at the best of times, but given that the feedback section never asks for nore provides for you to enter even the slightest bit of personal information you can certain that when they say "...we make every effort to reply personally..." they are without doubt lying.

  13. G2

    M$ standards vs. real world standards

    Microsoft must have started to implement 'correctly' the new almost-ISO OOXML standard, as has been voted (well...not really, but MS likes to think so) by the recently ended BRM meeting.

    Unfortunately they are the only ones. We in the rest of the world still use the Gregorian Calendar (well, most of the world...). M$ must be preparing to activate some world domination device if they think they can dictate that Halloween is in March.

    oh, and second, a more proper link would be:

    (without the tracking gibberish appended at the end)


    i'll take the coat that goes with my penguin hat.

  14. heystoopid


    Say , it is a wonder that M$ does restate the world time is to be officially based on zones in which zero degrees in longitude is moved from Greenwich and repositioned to a place called Redmond in Washington State !

  15. Andrew Shirley
    Gates Horns

    date formats?

    10/3/2008 vs 3/10/2008 maybe?

    surely not, MS are good at dates.

  16. Paul Hurst


    i love the clock next to it, that says "make time work for you", yes, im bored of march, how about october?

    Not forgetting that the clocks go back an hour on the 28th October and, apparently, forward seven and a half months in early march.

    good advert!

    would be quite amusing if it was tied to the same system that updates the windows system clock!.......evil plan.....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think you will find GMT no longer exists except as a quaint time zone, chaps (which I also thought were for riding a horse??) and its UTC Universal Time.

    GMT is just the British Winter time, as apposed to BST British Summer Time .. which I note we manage not to turn into something else.

    Its another argument but double summer time would suit me perfectly, then GMT can finally die a death .. hopefully taking the program of the same name down with it. Maybe we could call the time zone "Prime" .. which I like the sound of : )

  18. Michael Miller

    Did anyone else notice

    The date on the card is October 31, 2005?

  19. Scott

    What is it with that company and Halloween?

    The Halloween memos.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bonfire night!

    I wonder if its something else......

    The date today, I believe is 10th March 08 or 10/03/08 (for us in the UK) :) in the US it would be 3rd October, I just wonder if tomorrow we will see Fireworks and burning guys for the 3rd of November (11/3/08), as if you change the site to the US version everthing seems fine. Are they just reading a US date in UK format for the UK site.......

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Shot @ Uncle Fester

    Hey! Don't associate those of us who are folically challenged with the likes of Pinhead Steve, just because he's bald.

  22. Daniel Beardsall


    Using Microsoft Office may cause disruptions to the fabric of spacetime.

    Also, the annual bill for using Microsoft Office may cause disruptions to the fabric of your underwear.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only they understood

    This is obviously a date translation error. The date is UK but being read as US.

    Maybe if the USians understood why we write dd/mm/yyyy then they might get it right, so here goes:

    The date when written as 10/03/2008 is a short version of 10th March 2008, and the date written in this format is a modern shortened version of the old English way of expressing a date which was 'the 10th day of March in the year 2008'. Lots of expressions over time have been shortened, for example to eat your first meal after awakening from sleep was to break your fast which eventually became breakfast.

    Putting the month before the day just doesn't make sense!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @date formats?

    Oh, yeah. It's date formats alright. M$' programs always parse nn-nn-yyyy codes in two ways: If it finds the first nn pair less than 12, it assumes mm/dd/yyyy. I had a problem in SSIS that dates whose days are less than 12 are flipped. The solution: a painstaking derive column task that rearranges the format to yyyy-mm-dd. (Or maybe the setup of the server has something to do with it- Our office has this weird setup where all workstations must be set up for the Australian regional settings but the server is set up for the US regional settings).

  25. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Anyone mention release dates?

    Is this perhaps why they get release dates for software wrong?


  26. Michael Jolly

    its not a bug...

    ..its a feature,

    could you pass me my coat

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC "If only they understood "

    Also remember that in the UK when asked the date we say "it's the 10th of March", whereas Americans say "it's March 10th". More economical / lazy I suppose!

    Dunno if their date format follows the way they say it, or if the way they say it follows their date format (chicken/egg?).

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