For five days during the year 2000 (Y2K) changeover, Microsoft Corp. will assist PC users from its 24-hour Sydney regional support center.
The software giant will keep its existing Ryde personal and professional support centers open on a 24-hour basis between 8 a.m. on Dec 31, 1999, and 8 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2000.
Lance Smith, Microsoft's Y2K manager for Australia, said at any given time during the period, one-third of the company's 100 staff would be on duty, one-third would be on standby and one-third would be resting. Support center staff were given options of working eight or 12-hour shifts, he said.
The center will be closely monitored by Microsoft's U.S. office. The U.S. office will also watch Sydney's transition into 2000 to learn of any unexpected problems in advance.
Smith said the Sydney center would receive calls from Australia and New Zealand.
"This is essentially for the Pacific region," he said. "Most of the Asian support is run out of China."