This Story Posted:
February 9th


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[12:10 PM]
NeXTStep, OpenStep Not Y2K Compliant, Mac Is
According to SEC filings made by Apple, NeXTStep and OpenStep are not Y2K compliant. According to Apple:

"Certain products acquired from NeXT Software, Inc., including OpenStep and NextStep, are not currently Y2K compliant. The Company intends to develop and make available during the third quarter of 1999 a software patch intended to allow such products to become Y2K compliant."

This somewhat strange considering the fact that NeXTStep is much newer than the MacOS and was overseen by the same person, Steve Jobs. To remind those that may not remember, NeXT was the computer company founded by Mr. Jobs after his unceremonious removal from Apple in 1986. NeXTStep and its cousin OpenStep form the basis of Rhapsody and OS X Server and the nucleus of OS X. If any Rhapsody, NeXTStep, or OpenStep developers can tell us why those systems are not Y2K compliant, we would like to hear from you.

In the same filing, Apple discusses over all MacOS compliance and pronounces the system to in fact be Y2K compliant. According to Apple:

"The Company tested certain Apple Branded Products to determine Y2K compliance, although such testing did not include third party products bundled with Apple Branded Products and certain Apple Branded Products no longer supported by the Company. For purposes of this discussion, Y2K compliant means a product will not produce errors processing date data in connection with the year change from December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000, when used with accurate date data in accordance with the its documentation, provided all other products (including other software, firmware and hardware) used with it properly exchange date data with it. A Y2K compliant product will recognize the Year 2000 as a leap year. Information regarding the Y2K readiness of all Apple Branded Products is available on the Apple corporate web site at Such information is not to be considered part of this quarterly report."

Going to Apple's site we found a list of products on their Y2K web page. That web page has an extensive list of Mac products, almost all of which are listed as compliant, some older 68k machines are listed as "will not test." It is an impressive list we encourage Observers to go and see.

Lastly Apple goes so far as to say that it believes that most 3rd party Mac products are also Y2K compliant, though it doesn't guarantee it of course. According to Apple:

"The Company believes that the unsupported Apple Branded Products are Y2K compliant because, unlike other companies personal computers and related products, the Company's products do not rely upon the two digit date format but used a long word approach which allows the correct representation of dates up to the year 2040. The current date and time utilities utilized by Apple Branded Products are 64 bit signed value which covers dates from 30081 BC to 29940 AD. Since the Company does not control the design of non-Apple Branded Products or third party products bundled with Apple Branded Products, it cannot assure they are Y2K compliant."

The Mac Observer Spin: We believe the Y2K message to be a very powerful potential selling tool for Apple. Hopefully the information from the SEC filing will make its way into the hands of CEOs and CFOs around the world.