Microsoft Fixes Excel Calculation Bug

Microsoft says it has fixed a much publicized Excel 2007 bug which caused the spreadsheet program to display erroneous calculation results. The Excel team explained the issue this way: of the countless different floating point numbers Excel 2007 can store, there are six floating numbers using binary representation that cause the problem. Apparently for calculations that amount to around 65,535, Excel 2007 would return a value of 100,000 instead of 65,535. Thus, for instance, if you multiplied 850 by 77.1, the program would display 100,000 instead of 65,535, but if you consequently multiplied the result by 2, you would get 131,070, the correct answer. The issue, according to the Excel staff, was introduced when Microsoft's development team made changes to the Excel calculation logic in Office 2007.

However, all of that is now in the past: in an Oct. 9 posting on the Excel section of MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network,] the Excel Team served notice that, "as of today, fixes for this issue in Excel 2007 and Excel Services 2007 are available for download." The team has also added the fix to Microsoft Update, "so that it will get automatically pushed to users running Excel 2007 or Excel Services 2008." The fix will be included in the first service pack of Office 2007 when it's released, though that date has not yet been finalized.

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