1.    16 Feb 2017 #1
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Professional x64

    Are per user timezones still absent from Windows 10 ?


    Dear forum readers,

    Decades after being implemented in Unix and Linux systems (it's even possible per process), is Windows still lacking ? The pre-timezone idea that hardware clock and user time representations are necessarily the same is starting to get a bit old... I know there's something available via terminal services, but even there I suspect it's not possible to specify a timezone different from the client's. And even if it's possible, what about people not using terminal services ?

    19:00 in France, 18:00 in the UK, 05:00 the next day in Melbourne, Australia are the same. Same time, different representations. Other major OSes made the abstraction a long time ago.

    There are good reasons to make the change. As an example, I could point the journalist working on events going on in some remote country, who wants his environment showing that country's time representation : apps, desktop, etc.

    Another example : DST changes in a multiboot environment. If all OSes implement per user timezones, it's possible to have the hardware time in UTC, and each OS will update transparently without any need too fiddle with the hardware clock. But if one or more OS doesn't, things get complicated : either

    1. the DST change will be made manually, or
    2. one OS will be responsible for the change (which means the DST change won't happen as long as this OS is not booted), or
    3. all OSes unable to have per-user timezones will get fixed DST-free timezones, most likely UTC, or
    4. all OSes will rely on a time server, but what if the server is unreachable ?


    But maybe I'm wrong after all and Windows 10 finally made the change, in which case I didn't find where...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    16 Feb 2017 #2
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 234
    Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    Doubt it has per user Timezones. I mean sure it seems like a good feature to have. But thinking rationally about it. It really isn't a feature in high demand. How often are multiple users going to be using the same computer in different Timezones? If you are traveling you can just change the timezone as you move between them having it per-user isn't going to do much there. For remote sessions, you of course will be using another computer likely set in the timezone you are in, irrelevant if the remote computer isn't.

    So while I can understand it would be a nice feature, it just isn't that important to have. However if you really want it. Go to Microsoft's Feedback hub and submit it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    16 Feb 2017 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,921
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    The whole issue with different time zones is part of the compelling reason for maritime/shipping and aviation to use GMT/UTC/Zulu time as a reference, everyone seeing it converts to the time zone they are in and get an accurate picture of what others are talking about as vessels and aircraft cross multiple zones in a days work. Then using the 24-hour clock makes addition or subtraction easier.

    A general rule-of-thumb is 1 hour change for every 15 of Longitude change with exceptions for political or economic needs. The globe is 360 Longitude divided by 15 = 24 hours.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    16 Feb 2017 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 12,940
    Windows 10 Pro

    In Windows 10 you don't even have to think what time zone you are currently in when location service is enabled (Settings > Privacy > Location > Location service) and Set time zone automatically is ON:

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    16 Feb 2017 #5
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,207
    Mac OS Sierra

    Using different Time zones for each user will end up messing up the database that any OS uses to track file changes and house keeping. Really do not see a need if the unit just stays in one place. You can though set the clock to change to the time zone you are in through Date & Time Regional settings.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    16 Feb 2017 #6
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 758
    Windows 7

    I suspect this would create some difficult compatibility issues. Compatibility has implications that can be far from obvious.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    20 Feb 2017 #7
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Professional x64
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all your replies !

    So as I suspected it's likely not implemented, which is not susprising since in my opinion MS has often been late in the technical department, and only billions and marketing have been able to mitigate this. As expected too, some answers show a severe lack of knowledge on the subject but I won't build up on this, as it would likely lead us nowhere. We all know that, don't we ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    20 Feb 2017 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,694
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by bro67 View Post
    Using different Time zones for each user will end up messing up the database that any OS uses to track file changes and house keeping. Really do not see a need if the unit just stays in one place
    It really doesn't. All times are stored UTC in every OS I've ever used. The time displayed is just adjusted from that. Logs, timestamps, everything that uses a time uses UTC. OSX, (most) Linux, IBMi etc.

    Except Windows which treats the CMOS time as local time for some unknown reason. History perhaps.

    NTFS stores time as UTC but FAT doesn't - perhaps that is why. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...(v=vs.85).aspx

    You can (and probably should) set Windows to use UTC especially if you dual boot with a non windows OS.

    Like this:
    Code:
    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation" /v RealTimeIsUniversal /d 1 /t REG_DWORD /f
    You may want a QWORD not a DWORD if you have x64 - see here Time - ArchWiki

    Funny you get a better write up on how Windows works on a Linux forum but there you go. Sometimes you do.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    20 Feb 2017 #9
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,207
    Mac OS Sierra

    Quote Originally Posted by NovHak View Post
    Thanks for all your replies !
    So as I suspected it's likely not implemented, which is not susprising since in my opinion MS has often been late in the technical department, and only billions and marketing have been able to mitigate this. As expected too, some answers show a severe lack of knowledge on the subject but I won't build up on this, as it would likely lead us nowhere. We all know that, don't we ?
    Microsoft is not late to this. Also with Linux, the Kernel for the workstation still goes by the UTC time for the time zone, just the user thinks that they are in a different time zone.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    21 Feb 2017 #10
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Professional x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    Except Windows which treats the CMOS time as local time for some unknown reason. History perhaps.
    History seems the most likely reason. You know, that history when one had to type "sync" twice before shutting down a Unix system !

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    NTFS stores time as UTC but FAT doesn't - perhaps that is why.
    You just confirmed what I was almost sure of myself but didn't bother checking. I suppose xFAT uses UTC too, however it should be possible to migitate the FAT problem with an "assume UTC instead of current timezone" parameter in the FAT driver, which could become the default after some time.

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    You can (and probably should) set Windows to use UTC especially if you dual boot with a non windows OS.

    Like this:
    Code:
    reg add  "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation"  /v RealTimeIsUniversal /d 1 /t REG_DWORD /f
    Very interesting information ! I'm seriously considering switching to this, so that Windows is no more the only OS that doesn't display local time, but I have read about some possible bugs associated with this registry setting : the Windows time service has been known to be incompatible, requiring to disable it for proper operation. Moreover, there's nothing from MS officially documenting this... but that's very tempting indeed, I may end up making the change anyway.

    And btw, I don't think the system being 64-bit changes anything to the registry data type. Most likely it will remain DWORD.

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    Funny you get a better write up on how Windows works on a Linux forum
    Well, I'm going to make a politically correct answer to this : now the answer is on a Windows forum, at last !
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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