Microsoft Skates : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Microsoft Beats Y2K Claim

Windowing in FoxPro is OK says judge with head up his ass. As long as Microsoft tells you their stuff sucks, they're off the hook.

-- vbProg (, March 29, 1999


Do you really want customers to be able to sue software manufacturers over bugs? Given that no program ever written is bug free, it would basically mean big problems for anyone who writes code. The standard PC off-the-shelf software license basically says "you've bought a disk with something on it. If you don't like it, we'll send you another one." I really think that money-back is the best this industry is going to offer.

-- Michael Goodfellow (, March 29, 1999.

Since I graduated to writing commercial retail software (which is now available in some of the larger computer chains, by the way. I won't insult the NG's intelligence by mindlessly plugging it here, but only state this to establish some level of credibility) I have a bit more expertise in this area than is normal.

It's exceedingly unlikely that any laws will be passed, etc. that permit the user to sue the developer over bugs. Imagine what would happen from the Windows 98 upgrades alone as a case-in-point. Mr. Goodfellow is entirely correct when he stated: The standard PC off- the-shelf software license basically says "you've bought a disk with something on it. If you don't like it, we'll send you another one." I really think that money-back is the best this industry is going to offer. That is the extent of it.

Those of us that aren't mega(lomaniacal)-corporations often go out of our way to please a customer. My policy, for example, is that if you find and report a bug, I'll try my level best to duplicate your work and find it too. If I find it I most certainly will squash it with extreme vigor and you'll get the first fixed copy I can send out as a thank-you for alerting me. Then, all other users that registered their purchased software will get notified of the bug and the fix. (Registering purchased software is SO important, folks, and not just for marketing! Increasing numbers of companies will not provide ANY technical support if you don't.)

Besides, FoxPro has an option to eliminate the Y2K hassle anyway. Suing over problems caused by not setting an option? This raises another potentially important point: the possiblity of suits about Y2K issues that can be traced to something as simple as not taking a few moments to at least skim over the documentation, and thus missing a Y2K-fixer option, etc.

OddOne, wearer of many hats...

-- OddOne (, March 29, 1999.

Y2K is not a BUG. It is a well-known DEFECT.

-- Excuseeeemeeee (y2kn@abug.bug), March 29, 1999.

Actually Oddone,

That license is no longer valid. It was in use for many years, but has been rejected in several cases over the years.

The NEW standard, which is about 3 years old or so, is that the product must "perform substantially as described in the user's manual", and be "reasonably defect free" (whatever THAT means).

If your company is relying on the "disk defect is the only thing we'll warrant against" license agreement - you'll lose in court.

To establish MY pedigree, I've shipped over a dozen shrink-wrapped products from a half dozen companies in the last 10 years.


-- Jollyprez (, March 29, 1999.

Hmmm... Let's say that you buy a car in 1995 and find out in 1999 that the brakes, steering, transmission, and engine will all irreparably fail at the stroke of midnight on 1/1/2000. I guess that the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Transportation, and courts would let the manufacturer get off free and clear.

-- Incredulous (, March 29, 1999.


When that car manufacturer points out that the brakes, steering, transmission, and engine were all designed and manufactured in strict accordance with the published federal regulations in effect at the time of manufacture (in analogy with all those 1970s-era COBOL programs that had to use two-digit years because the federal standard not only specified two-digit years but actually, for a while, did not even allow four-digit years), it's going to be difficult for the federal court to justify holding the manufacturer responsible for the failures.

-- No Spam Please (, March 29, 1999.

Uhhh excuse me, but when did U.S. government standards become the official world standard on product suitability?

Not all nations accept the legal argument that a product purchased in the past 3 years that ceases to operate and requires the customer to buy an upgrade or spend money to remedy is excusable because it might adverserly impact political donations from the congressional district or state of a U.S. Member of Congress introducing liability limit legislation.

-- PNG (, March 30, 1999.

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