For five days during the Y2K changeover, Microsoft will assist PC users from its 24 hour Sydney regional support centre.
The software giant will keep its existing Ryde personal and professional support centres open on a 24 hour basis between 8am on December 31 and 8pm on January 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 centre staff were given options of working eight or 12-hour shifts, he said.
The centre will be closely monitored by Microsoft's US office. The US office will also watch Sydney's transition into 2000 to learn of any unexpected problems in advance.
Smith said the Sydney centre 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."