Microsoft will be offering sweeping refunds for customers of its Azure cloud service, regardless of whether or not their individual service was impacted. The refunds are to compensate for an embarrassing bug that caused some customers to be unable to access their service on Leap Day. Yes, even in 2012 computer systems can be crippled because the month of February this year had more days than it did last year.
Dates are the most aggravating data type in any computer development environment, but nevertheless Microsoft should be the one company that's able to overcome this issue. The refund will be 33% of every customer's service charge for February, a more than generous offer. According to new details that were revealed, the most that anyone was without Azure services was 12 hours.
Microsoft Azure team member Bill Laing had the unenviable task of writing a blog post to explain everything. "uses midnight UST of the current day as the valid-from date and one year from that date as the valid-to date. The leap day bug is that the [system] calculated the valid-to date by simply taking the current date and adding one to its year. That meant that any GA that tried to create a transfer certificate on leap day set a valid-to date of February 29, 2013, an invalid date that caused the certificate creation to fail," he wrote.