The $34,465 Excel 2007 calculation bug

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Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a serious calculation flaw in Excel 2007 that can cause an incorrect amount to appear in a cell. Gail Perry and John Stokdyk report.

Molham Serry highlighted the problem on Monday afternoon in the microsoft.public.excel group on Google when he suggested Excel 2007 users try entering the multiplication formula =77.1*850.

Excel displays 100000 instead of the correct answer 65535. Other formulae - but not all that produce the same result - have the same effect. Entering =13107*5, for example, produces the correct result of 65535.

Programmers at Microsoft were informed of the problem on Tuesday and are working on a fix. No date for a correcting update has been projected yet, but it will be made available via Microsoft Update.

"Hoor...

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Thin end of the wedge
It does rather beg the question how many more of these 'bugs' will there be? The Microsoft EULA that buyers must agree to before using the software theoretically limits compensation due to faults in the application to the initial outlay on the license, and yet, although nothing has been reported yet, the potential for far greater losses exists.

Richard

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