Microsoft fixes Excel calculation bug

Microsoft says it has fixed an Excel bug, which caused the spreadsheet to display erroneous calculation results, even though it performed the calculation correctly and stored it in Excel's memory.

The issue, according to the Excel staff, was introduced when Microsoft's development team made changes to the Excel calculation logic in Office 2007.

The errors are not in the calculations themselves; the result of the calculations stored in Excel's memory are correct. But the result that appeared in the Excel spreadsheet is incorrect.

Click here to read more about the Excel calculation issue.

"Said another way, =850*77.1 will display an incorrect value, but if you then multiply the result by 2, you will get the correct answer," Microsoft team blogger David Gainer wrote in a September posting.

According to the post, the Excel Team is in the process of adding the fix to Microsoft Update, "so that it will get automatically pushed to users running Excel 2007 or Excel Services 2008," wrote Gainer. The fix will also be included in the first service pack of Office 2007 when it's released. That release date has not yet been finalized.

In responding to a user question regarding the Excel snafu, Gainer said his team is not planning to share details of what actually went wrong with the Excel calculations beyond what it has already communicated: "that the issue occurred in formatting of floating point numbers near 65,565 and 65,536. It was code that we introduced as part of the calculation overhaul that we did for Excel 2007 however."

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