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Microsoft Wrongly Gives Britain the Day Off 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the should-have-slept-in dept.
Barence writes "An error in Outlook's public holidays calendar has incorrectly given Britons the day off work. Today was originally meant to be a Bank Holiday in Britain, but the holiday was postponed for a week to coincide with the Queen's diamond jubilee next week. However, Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live services are still reporting today as Britain's Spring Bank Holiday, potentially tricking Britons into believing they have the day off work."
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Microsoft Wrongly Gives Britain the Day Off

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  • Cancel or post-pone some actual holiday because their kings/queens have done something else. It's hardly Microsoft's fault. And this would not be mentioned in news if it wasn't USA or UK Kingdom.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Microsoft has people working in the UK and the USA...

      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday May 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#40136185)

        Microsoft has people working in the UK and the USA...

        Not today.

      • Microsoft has people working in the UK and the USA...

        Maybe, but the Microsoft people working in the UK are largely employed to market products and lie to governments and standards bodies.

        http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/05/how-microsoft-fought-true-open-standards-v/index.htm [computerworlduk.com]
        http://people.skolelinux.org/pere/blog/The_cost_of_ODF_and_OOXML.html [skolelinux.org]

        Note that you have until June 4 2012 to counter some of this Microsoft propaganda.

        Within the Government Digital Service we are already demonstrating how collaboration between departments, along with a clear focus on the user, delivers better public services for less. Open Standards are crucial for sharing information across government boundaries and to deliver a common platform and systems that more easily interconnect. Open standards are vital for progressing this work and I encourage you to share your views in this consultation.

        Francis Maude MP- Minister for the Cabinet Office
        http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/ [cabinetoffice.gov.uk]

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      And this would not be mentioned in news if it wasn't USA or UK

      Well, this prediction is probably correct, but what I see here as news is what can happen when you outsource your clocks/calendars. Microsoft is not that influential in that matter, but an iPhone bug like this one [osxdaily.com] that affects when your morning alarm goes off, will probably end up with you arriving at work one hour late.

      Not that it matters too much, because your boss, along with a fair share of the rest of your country, will be affected as well.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      UK Kingdom

      Are those the friends of the USA of America?

      • by arisvega (1414195)

        UK Kingdom

        Are those the friends of the USA of America?

        That they are. They are not very good friends with the People's Republic of PRC though.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Your post is 100% full of fail because:

      1) The queen didn't postpone or cancel the holiday, the government did

      2) It is Microsoft's fault because no one else has both access to the source code and the ability to push out a correction other than Microsoft

      3) Yes it would be mentioned if it was another country, I recall a number of stories on this sort of topic for countries as small as Samoa, and Tokelau. Here, have some:

      http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/30/1810227/samoa-and-tokelau-are-skipping-december-30t [slashdot.org]

  • meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:18PM (#40135521) Journal
    "potentially"? How about you find some git that skipped work because of it.
    • by oPless (63249)

      *raises hand*

      I skipped work today.

      Google listed today as a day off too, and at some point redacted it. But my iPhone (and android devices) held on to the notion that it was still a bank holiday.

  • by nurhussein (864532) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:21PM (#40135553) Homepage
    After all, Microsoft does own England [jmitchell.me].
    • by RDW (41497)

      This bit doesn't look quite so funny now:

      'One change will immediately be instituted by Microsoft. "Currently students attend English universities yet they do not pay tuition. This is ridiculous. If students in the U.S. pay $50,000 to attend Harvard, Yale or Stanford, British students should do the same to attend Oxbridge." What about those students who cannot afford to pay such a high level of tuition? Gates responded, "Look, I am not totally heartless. Microsoft will be introducing its lifetime earnings pr

      • by ais523 (1172701)

        For non-Brits who don't know: the paragraph in question, although it was written as a joke, is turning out to be surprisingly accurate (the numbers aren't 100% spot on, but the basic concept is). Fortunately, the earnings tax goes away after you've paid off enough money, but it can still last quite a while.

        There were student riots over this last year (not the big riots in London, smaller ones in individual universities).

        • by isorox (205688)

          For non-Brits who don't know: the paragraph in question, although it was written as a joke, is turning out to be surprisingly accurate (the numbers aren't 100% spot on, but the basic concept is). Fortunately, the earnings tax goes away after you've paid off enough money, but it can still last quite a while.

          There were student riots over this last year (not the big riots in London, smaller ones in individual universities).

          When I was at uni, you had to fork out money up front for tuition (£1100 a year).

          Now, you don't. You effectivly pay a higher rate of income tax. Another way would be to say those brickies and sparks that don't go to university pay a lower rate of income tax.

          Why should a coal miner, or perpetual student, subsidise the education of some city lawyers and bankers?

          • by jd (1658)

            You pay twice. You pay the interest on the loan AND you pay for being in a higher tax bracket. On top of that, since there's two groups collecting these taxes, you're paying double the overhead.

            The correct thing would be to determine how much the educational system alters the economy, adjust the higher tax brackets accordingly, abolish loans and re-establish the grant system. You'd end up paying less (since you pay for fewer staff to collect the money), the system becomes simpler (one point of collection, n

          • by RDW (41497)

            Why should a coal miner, or perpetual student, subsidise the education of some city lawyers and bankers?

            I'm descended from coal miners. They were people who cared about education; they built libraries in their working men's halls, organised festivals of music and culture, and wanted the best for their children. I think they would have been delighted to know that free university education was, for a few decades at least, available to any of their descendents who were able to take advantage of it. I think they would have been deeply disappointed that the idea of higher education as a public good, which allowed

          • Why should a coal miner, or perpetual student, subsidise the education of some city lawyers and bankers?

            Because I want a meritocracy.

            If she is smart enough to benefit from a university education then I do not want worries about finance to affect her decision to go into further education.

            What the taxpayer should be deciding (via his elected representatives) is how many places he wants to fund.

            There's still a place for private higher education if there's unfulfilled demand but, given that in the UK you could

  • by tmosley (996283) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:25PM (#40135585)
    My Dilbert calender says today was a holiday in the UK as well. DAMN YOU SCOTT ADAMS!
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tehlinux (896034) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:26PM (#40135593)
    If the brits don't already know their holiday was moved, why should they expect MS to be on top of that?
    • I agree, I mean... I love to laugh at Microsoft blunders as much as the next guy, but I don't see this as anything to write home about...
      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        If anything this is more the fault of the government for making the change without enough time for software makers to fix it, or at least not deciding to make the change well enough in advance so they don't have to change it at all.

        Though I can't find anything that lists when exactly this change was made.

        Littered throughout the comments are other tech having the same problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:28PM (#40135605)

    Windows Genuine Advantage

  • Lessee here.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:29PM (#40135621) Journal

    1. Google calendar has the same issue which is more embarrassing since Google calendar is online by definition and can be fixed more easily than outlook.

    2. Apparently you can download an updated holidays file and patch Outlook.

    3. Now that we've had our daily Microsoft-is-the-stupidest-and-evilest-company-on-the-planet-for-not-accurately-predicting-an-arbitrary-holiday-date-change-years-in-advance post, I'd like to see some more stories about how Americans are stupid and evil and some scientific studies showing that Christians are genetically inferior to the Atheist master race.

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      1. Google calendar has the same issue which is more embarrassing since Google calendar is online by definition and can be fixed more easily than outlook.

      Google's getting it right for me - of course, I didn't check this morning so they may have fixed it at the 11th hour...

      • They did. Eventually.

        • They did. Eventually.

          ^ this. When I first spotted it (last week, during which I thought the coming weekend was a bank-holiday weekend**) I did a search and discovered a report for this very issue.... from last year. You'd think they'd learn!

          Also, even though it has been corrected in Google Calendar, my Android now has two "Spring Bank Holiday" Mondays in succession! If there's a way to remove the erroneous one, it evades me.

          ** Although the weather was nice so obviously it could not possibly be a bank-holiday weekend!

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:31PM (#40135633) Homepage

    but the holiday was postponed for a week to coincide with the Queen's diamond jubilee

    In their defense, I must point out that the Queen of England writes terrible VBScript code. It probably is still being reviewed. If she wants to postpone a national holiday, she needs to get her changes committed at least 2 weeks prior to the hotfix release date.

    • by iserlohn (49556)

      England no longer exists as a Kingdom ever since the 1707 Act of Union. The Kingdom is of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and so the Queen should be more accurately called informally the Queen of Britain or the Queen of the United Kingdom.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:36PM (#40135667)
    How many people actually rely on Outlook to tell them what days they have off, particularly something like "Spring Bank Holiday"?
    • by brusk (135896)
      I sort of do. I rely on Outlook's holidays to know, for example, whether to expect banks and government offices to be open or when my trash should be put out a day later than usual. My employer (a university) provides an .ics calendar of its schedule--it follows some official holidays but not others. So I need to be aware of both, and generally assume that Outlook's holidays are reliable (though an unusual change like this would likely have been well-publicized).
  • UK isn't England (Score:5, Interesting)

    by norfolkboy (235999) * on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:50PM (#40135759)

    I don't pay any attention anyway.

    Microsoft insists in referring to England as the UK when in fact they mean England.

    Scotland has different holidays to England, but these aren't available to Scottish users according to MS.

    Last year Windows UK had a UK tour, which only toured English cities. Nothing in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

    A peeved UK citizen in Scotland.

    • by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:58PM (#40135821) Homepage Journal

      A peeved UK citizen in Scotland.

      Isn't that statement redundant?

    • by anlprb (130123)

      Ehh... Stop your whining, They are technically correct. Any time they are in England, they are officially in the UK. If I live in a state in the US and they don't tour my state, I don't get pissy that they didn't hit ALL of the United States. You can always solve that by taking your sovereignty. We did it. Seemed to work well for us. Become sovereign, see the world, get some respect. You may even be able to do it without killing anyone. That would be better than when we chose to do it. Other than that, quit

      • Well, that's not a very good comparison.

        If we take the US Tour example, the idea of calling it a US Tour would be laughed at if it toured only one of your many states. This is precisely what Microsoft did in the UK, when they toured only one of the UK countries, and called it a UK tour.

        So if, for example, only Missouri was part of the US Tour, I'm sure most Americans would laugh at it, and point out that it's a Missouri Tour, not a US Tour.

        This is the same situation I have highlighted.

        And as for your rant a

        • by anlprb (130123)

          If it only hit Missouri, it would still be called a US Tour. It happens all the time. There are 50 of us, not counting protectorates. I don't know of ONE single US tour that hit all 50 States. Come on. It NOT being called a US Tour is silly and just not standard. So, the only way for it to be called a "US Tour" would be to hit all 50 States? It is still the US Tour, as soon as it hits any State in our Union.

          Our states are larger than many of your European countries. Many times, tours will have regio

          • by dkf (304284)

            Our states are larger than many of your European countries.

            Being bigger than Belgium isn't something particularly special in the grand scheme of things. (Heck, according to at least one definition, Paris is bigger than Belgium.)

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          Trust me, most Americans in power only consider CA, NY, and occasionally TX and consider that the entirety of the US. (Politicians also look at IA for a little while.)

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:53PM (#40135775) Homepage Journal

    if you cant think enough for yourself and don't know when a holiday really is, you have bigger problems.

    Same sorts of people that will drive into a brick wall when the GPS says to turn right.

  • No way are we that dependent on MS Outlook.
  • Wait--who relies on Microsoft to tell when they have off work? Since when is Microsoft the authority? Whatever MS may or may not say about holidays, it's your own fault if you listen to anyone other than your employer as to when you've got off work.

  • So following the announcement of the postponement, MS decides to include the updated calendar info in a patch.
    Since the patch isn't a critical or security patch, a large portion of end users -- and a larger portion of systems administrators would not install the patch.

    Still not a news item.
    I gave up on the holidays calendar years ago due to an overabundance of errors -- primarily inclusions of US holidays in the Canada calendar.
    I suspect most Outlook users in the UK did the same.
    • by westlake (615356)

      I gave up on the holidays calendar years ago due to an overabundance of errors -- primarily inclusions of US holidays in the Canada calendar.

      Iti s a good bet that a Canadian will live within commuting distance of the American border or will have business and personal contacts in the states.

  • Remember the good old days when Microsoft prevented you from working because its software crashed?

  • When I picked up my Samsung Omnia 7 this morning it gleefully had on my main screens Calender App that I was on Holiday today. Luckily my wife was on hand to shout at me to get out of bed and get the kids up as she has a Palm Pre.

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