Semi-official Windows historian Raymond Chen explains what the Y2k was like at Microsoft

Kareem Anderson

For the next two weeks, people across the world will be taking stock of their time in 2016 and what is to come in 2017. New Year’s resolutions abound, many people will be preparing for 2017 by looking back on the events in their lives and around the world that helped shape 2016 for better of for worse.

However, in 1999, a large intersection of people were clearly preparing for the worst in the following year as the Y2K scare ran rampant across the globe. As the Y2K scare or otherwise known as the Millennium Bug, grew in myth banks, software providers, computer OEMs, and other electronic device manufacturers prepared for an estimated issue programmers were not taking into account when applying the Gregorian calendar rule to software.

Fortunately, nothing ever actually became of the Y2K pandemonium, but longtime Microsoft developer and semi-official Windows historian Raymon Chen discusses how the company prepared for a potential electronic catastrophe.

While the company may have ben confident in its software’s ability to handle the calendar oversight written into integrated systems, Chen informs that Microsoft brought in backup generators and on-call staff to work around the clock in case issues did arise.

Luckily for most, 1999 smoothly transitioned into 2000 without little or no fuss regarding Y2K. As for the men and women that were on call that evening, Chen clarifies that they received their very own special Y2K celebratory party in lieu of relatively quiet night.

For more behind the scenes-type historical information, Raymond Chen hosts a series titled One Dev Question on Microsoft’s Channel 9.