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Living On Microsoft Time


Microsoft's recent purchase of a 25% stake in the Motorola developed
"Iridium" global mobile telephone system, and their two year-old
"Memorandum of Co-Operation" with the US National Physics Laboratory were put into perspective today at a meeting in the Palexpo exhibition center in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the invitation-only event at the 37th Clock & Watchmakers Convention, William Gates II, president of Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, Wash.), announced an agreement with Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.), Motorola Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Casio Corp. (Tokyo), Swatch AG (Biel/Bienne, Switzerland), Rolex AG (Bern, Switzerland) and the US Government, on the establishment of a new universal standard for time measurement for use with Personal Computers (PCs), clocks, watches, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and mobile communications systems. A number of production and prototype products and tools were demonstrated that make use of the new standard.

Microsoft's new Time standard - known as MSTime - was developed in co-operation with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and is claimed to remove the need for national and local time zones, solves problems with poor PC time-keeping, and even looks ahead to deal with time-dilation effects associated with space travel.

Gates informed the meeting that MSTime will allow the synchronisation of Chinese, Moslem and Western calender systems, and will automatically adjust for irregularities in the rate of rotation of the Earth. MSTime signals will be broadcast on Motorola's "Iridium" global mobile telephone system, the US Government's Global Positioning System satellites, from radio beacons in various national centers, and via Microsoft's new on-line network.

A new Microsoft designed PC card, incorporating a short range radio
transmitter, will be made available, at low cost, to provide further local
distribution of the MSTime signal from the Microsoft Network.

Many computer applications, Gates claimed, will not function beyond the
year 2000 - current Microsoft Operating System (OS) architectures are only good until (variously) 2078 and 2099. MS supplied software libraries for MSTime will allow software developers to write new programs, or recompile old ones, that will function correctly indefinitely. Since Microsoft is keen to see the MSTime standard adopted as soon as possible, it will be providing these libraries on a free of charge or royalties basis.

An MSTime Software Development Kit (SDK) is already available, and contains routines for seamless re-synchronisation of time-zones and for scheduling changes of time-passage.

Once the MSTime infrastructure is in place, Gates claimed, travellers will
never again need to adjust their watches. Timepieces and computers
compatible with MSTime will carry an "I'm on MSTime!" logo. Latest watches from Rolex, Swatch and Casio, displayed at the meeting, are able to switch their display between Universal, Local and Very Local Time-zones.

Very Local Time (VLT) was originally envisaged to deal with the time
dilation effects associated with high-speed travel. These effects, first
described by physicist Albert Einstein, are exhibited when one of two
identical clocks is taken on a high speed journey, after which the two
clocks show differing times. As speeds increase the differences are more
pronounced. Gates claims that the VLT-mode of MSTime provides continuous synchronisation of the two clocks, thus removing the problems and potentially embarrassing time-dilation effects experienced by high-speed travellers.

However, as Gates pointed out, VLT-mode will also allow individuals and communities the freedom to live at speeds and times that best suit their attitudes and beliefs.

The first PC version of MSTime will be bundled with the latest version of
Microsoft's successful "Windows" computer operating system - Windows'95. Further updates will be issued via the recently inaugurated Microsoft Network. As Gates told the meeting: "Keeping your version of MSTime current is going to be pretty crucial if you want to keep up with the competition, or even meet your customers on time!"

Gates claimed that Microsoft itself has been using MSTime internally for
the last year - and that the results have been very encouraging. The first
public release of MSTime is reported "well on schedule for launch at the
end of 1994".





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- Walter Cronkite

April and her band of fools just love the tomfoolery on this site. From media hoaxes to pranks to gag gifts to practical jokes this site makes me laugh even when I'm in trouble with the law. Say, does anyone know if April is available because I would like to be her fool if you know what I mean. And if not does she have a sister?

- Bill Clinton

This April fools practical jokes and gag gifts pad is a jolly good site, indeed. I perused it over one time and laughed so hard it almost made me pee. Then a month later, I thought I would look up a few April fools practical jokes to play on dear young William (and even bought a few gag gifts) and I came back to this pad and laughed so hard I did pee my pants. Jolly good thing I am wearing Depends now days.

- Queen Elizabeth

It is not knowledge that is important, but rather imagination. And this April fools site is chocked full of imagination. And of course knowledge. Of course you can't deny the great gag gifts and practical jokes you find here, either. When I wrote my great theory I wasn't really thinking of great media hoaxes or fart jokes but yes, now I see that they too can apply. The jokes here are practical and the gifts make me gag. Would you like to see me slurp a loogie?

Eddie Einstein (Albert's little brother)

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