Microsoft will Add Support for Leap Seconds in Windows 10

Windows 10
Written by Hassan Abbas

With the autumn update, the OS will receive an additional second and will be able to display the most accurate time for the new PTP protocol.

Microsoft has announced support for a number of new features for high-precision time display in Windows 10 and Windows Server operating systems. The Windows Networking team on the TechNet blog described improvements such as the ability to transition to a new Precision Time Protocol, which is more accurate than the currently used Network Time Protocol, and support for leap seconds.

Windows 10

Leap seconds are random one-second corrections to the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) to synchronize the Earth’s time standard with mean solar time or astronomical time. The reason for the appearance of an additional (or “jumping”) second is associated with uneven changes in the Earth’s rotation speed. When the Earth slows down, international atomic time is at odds with the average solar time. The shift is not more than 0.9 seconds and, as a rule, occurs every 18 months. The practice of adding leap seconds has been going on since 1972. It is noteworthy that during this time negative leap seconds have never been entered.

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Computers support the display of seconds in the range from 0 to 59 within 60 seconds. When the jump occurs, an additional second will be added to the last minute of the day, and computers will start to show seconds from 0 to 60 for 61 seconds. Here’s how it looks:
16:59:58 – 16:59:58
16:59:59 – 16:59:59
17:00:00 – 16:59:60
17:00:01 – 17:00:00
17:00:02 – 17:00:01

According to the blog entry, support for Precision Time Protocol and leap seconds will appear in the autumn update of Windows 10 Redstone 5, as well as the release of Windows Server 2019.

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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