Microsoft wants to show the leap seconds on Windows

Leap seconds are a phenomenon that might seem sometimes mysterious in the eyes of the profane. The idea that a minute in the course of sixty, and a second can surreptitiously slip into our clocks, has anything to be thrown so the simple quidam.

But it is even worse for computers : in effect the addition of a leap second is one of the events that caused the past failures are essential in a variety of computing services, the machines have not been designed to adequately account for the addition of this second, necessary to synchronize the various clocks across the world.

Microsoft has decided for its part to solve the problem in an update to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, which is expected to be deployed in the coming months. It should implement the support for leap seconds in Windows, that will display on the clock of the operating system.

In an image released by Microsoft, a gif shows how it is supported by the system, which adds a 61st second in the minute in question. As the note Bleeping Computer, this implementation method is the most classical method. Other methods exist, like the one put in place by Google, which “spreads” the second additional counting of seconds longer to smooth the impact of this extra second.

This update comes at a time when the regulatory framework imposes more obligation for safety-critical systems, which must be able to synchronize quickly and easily on the ‘official’ time UTC. In a blog post regarding the new features of measurement of time that will be added to Windows Server 2019, Microsoft explains that the technique of “spread” leap seconds lack of precision and that it has not been validated by the NIST, the American authority in charge to implement the standard.

The feature has yet been shown on a build Preview of Windows server 2019, without any precision on the date of the availability thereof. However, it is known that it will be extended to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 is expected by the end of the year 2018.

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