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Greetings! Welcome to Vol. 11, No. 19 of Exchange
Messaging Outlook, a biweekly newsletter about Microsoft Exchange
and Microsoft Outlook.
A Time Zone Update
Outlook's handling of time zones are confusing for many people and
it's not going to get an easier any time soon, thanks to the US and
Canadian government's decision to start daylight saving time in
mid-March and end it in early November and Western Australia's
3-year daylight saving time trial. Unless computers are updated with
the newest time zone definitions, the system time will be off an
hour during the affected period. Unfortunately, once the system time
is changed, Outlook will adjust the appointments to reflect the new
time zone, changing them to an hour earlier (or later) than
To make it worse, automatic updates are only available for supported
operating systems: Windows XP SP2 or Windows 2003 (Vista comes with
the updated time zones). Anyone still using older versions of
Windows needs to edit the time zones using the time zone editor
How can you tell if Windows Update installed the time zone update?
Look in Add/Remove Programs. Add a check the option on top to show
all updates then look for KB 928388 and 929120. You can also check
the time zones list in the registry. If you have a Dynamic DST key
under any of the US or Canadian zones (as well as for a couple of
other countries), it was installed. The time zones are located at
Anyone using an older version of Windows will need to use a utility
to update it themselves but a patch should be automatically
installed for Windows XP SP2. Vista is not affected; it ships with
the new time zone definitions.
Should you update if you are not in the US, Canada, or Western
Australia or do not use Outlook?
Yes. This can affect meetings scheduled with people in the affected
time zones during the affected weeks. Anyone in an affected time
zone should install the patch, otherwise they'll have the wrong time
on their computer for a few weeks each spring and fall, which can
affect network connectivity (and irritates some people because email
time stamps are wrong).
information and links.
Time Zone updates:
US and Canada: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928388/
Western Australia: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929120/
More time zone information:
Outlook and the Time Zone updates
The good news is that Outlook 2007 has the capability to adjust all
of your appointments when the time zone changes. From the Tools,
Options, Calendar options dialog open the Time Zone dialog (or, if
in the daily view, right click on the time scale and choose Change
Time Zone). A new option, found at the bottom of this dialog, gives
you the ability to permanently change the time zone on all of your
appointments. Normally this is used to fix your appointment times
when you move to a new time zone but it will work just fine to fix
If you haven't upgraded to Outlook 2007 (and I'll bet most of you
won't before daylight saving time begins in March), not all is lost.
Microsoft is planning on releasing an Outlook update tool later this
month that will adjust the appointment times on affected
appointments. As a precaution, you could add the correct start time
in the subject or message body on appointments that fall between
March 11 and April 1 or October 31 and November 7 (US and Canada) or
from October to March if in Western Australia. (As a precaution to
screw ups caused by time zone changes, I always add the correct
start time to the appointment body when I create it.)
The update utility creates a log file that lists all appointments
and the old and new start and end times (in GMT), so you can very it
only changed the affected appointments. A sample of the log is seen
[Original Time Zone]
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US && Canada)
[New Time Zone]
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US && Canada) (Update)
[Time Zone Update Log]
Subject: New Year's Eve
Old Start Time: Monday, December 31, 2012 8:00 AM
New Start Time: Monday, December 31, 2012 8:00 AM
Old End Time: Tuesday, January 01, 2013 8:00 AM
New End Time: Tuesday, January 01, 2013 8:00 AM
Subject: Saint Patrick's Day
Old Start Time: Monday, March 17, 2008 8:00 AM
New Start Time: Monday, March 17, 2008 7:00 AM
Old End Time: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 8:00 AM
New End Time: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 7:00 AM
OWA problems on Vista?
A reader asks: "I upgraded to Vista and use OWA to access my email.
I can read emails fine but when I try to reply to a message, the
message body is not editable, it's blank. Do you know what's wrong
and how to fix it?"
The problem occurs because the dhtml text editor control used by OWA
is not supported in Vista and your Exchange administrators aren't
patching the servers in a timely manner. There is a hotfix your
administrator should install on the Exchange server that will fix
this and a similar issue that affects Windows XP users who've
installed the security patch described in MS06-013. The hotfix
installs a new editor for Internet Explorer which uses an iframe
instead of an ActiveX control.
For more information and links to the necessary hotfixes for
Exchange 2000 and 2003, see
MS06-013: Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer (July
Set Holidays as Out of Office
A reader wanted to know if they could set all holidays for 'out of
office' availability at the time of import. No, when you import
holidays you can't change the availability status. Fortunately, it's
fairly easy to change the Show Time As field on a group of
While you can export the holidays to Excel, change the Show Time As
field and import, there are two ways to do it within Outlook. Create
a custom Group by Category view which uses Show Time As the next
'Then by' group. Add a filter to show only Holidays, if desired.
Return to Outlook and change one event in the Holiday category to
Out of Office. Select the other holidays and drag them to the Out of
Office group. If you only need to change the Show time as field on a
few appointments, enable In-cell editing on the view and show the
Show Time As field. Click in the Show time as field and select a
different availability from the dropdown.
Both of these methods work for other fields as well, making it
fairly easy to make changes to your appointments, contacts, or