MICROSOFT has fixed a bug in new versions of its Excel spreadsheet program that resulted in false values being displayed for numbers around 65,535 and 65,536.
The embarrassing glitch in the program, on which thousands of businesses rely when compiling and reporting their results to investors, first popped up on September 25 when it was reported on the team blog for Microsoft Excel and Excel Services.
As it was explained then, Excel 2007 displays the result of a calculation like 77.1*850 as 100,000 instead of 65,535. Microsoft said this was not a calculation issue in the program but rather a display issue, explaining that if you multiplied the result of the calculation by 2, you’d get the correct answer of 131,070.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a fix is now available for the bug. The company is in the process of adding it to Microsoft Update so that it will be automatically pushed to users running Excel 2007 or Excel Services 2007. The fix will also be in the first service pack of Office 2007 when it is released.