Alliance Offers Gateway To Understanding Y2K

Leading PC manufacturers and technology suppliers announced The PC Y2000 Alliance this week, featuring the launch of a Web portal to provide information regarding Y2K hardware readiness, and to demystify the issue by describing it in non-technical terms.

According to Microsoft Corporate Year 2000 product manager Mark Light, although achieving Y2K readiness is an endeavor encompassing hardware, software, and data, “the PCY2000 Alliance has just made the hardware portion of that process simpler.”

The site offers Y2K-related links, testing, and “The Year 2000 Personal Computer Compliance Specification version 1.0.” Users are encouraged to comment and contribute to a future version that will be posted at the site sometime in June.

Members of the alliance include Acer, American Megatrends, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Phoenix Technologies and Toshiba. Clicknet, Intel, Microsoft, NSTL and Symantec are supporters of the effort.

AOL & Planet City in a Y2K Dance

America Online (NYSE: AOL) users will have access to Planet City Software’s Y2K remediation resources, according to Terry Dennis in an Emerging Company Report interview. Dennis, who recently took over as Planet City’s CEO, explained that the deal was intended to enhance his company’s existent contract with AOL.

In August, 1998, AOL of Canada announced a similar agreement with Planet City, a wholly owned subsidiary of Millennium Software Solutions (MSS), to provide a Y2K compliance area for members of the online service.

Planet City’s Millennium Bug Compliance Kit, retailing for an estimated $49.95, runs Power on/off Real Time Clock, BIOS and OS tests, and “makes sure the computer understands that the year 2000 is a leap year and the year 2001 is a non-leap year.” They’re hardly alone in providing such software solutions aimed at solving potential Y2K-related problems, however.

“Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives”

While an end of the world as we know it scenario has been receiving a fair amount of media play, showcasing the lunatic fringe and kindred company, e-commerce industry giants have been offering practical solutions. Nothing like a little capitalism to quell the chaos.

Beyond.Com, (Nasdaq: BYND) an online software store, offers a Y2K Center where consumers can shop for related solution products. Selections include software packages such as Symantec’s Norton 2000, which “audits your applications against a database of known Year 2000 problems and gives you a comprehensive report.”

Books on the subject are also available through the site with such titles as “The Y2K Survival Guide,” “Time Bomb 2000,” and “Year 2000 Solutions For Dummies.”

Freeware and shareware Y2K solution alternatives exist, and are made available though the online resources at Shareware.com and the recently introduced Download.com.

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