When does 77.1 * 850 not equal 65,535?

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When you're using Microsoft Excel.

It seems recently, a flaw has been found in Microsoft Office Excel, in which certain calculations don't produce the right answers. Open up Excel and put the value '=77.1*850' into A1, and I'm sure you will be surprised to find Microsoft doesn't seem to think the correct answer is 65535. In Excel, it shows up as 100,000.

The bug seems to occur in not all, but a lot of calculations, mainly multiplication, of numbers around 65,535. While I haven't personally tested other versions of Excel, according to Microsoft, this bug only occurs in Excel 2007.

Ok, so what if Excel can't do math, what's the big problem? Think of all the big corporate companies that use Excel in their financial and tax divisions. Think of all the possible outcomes of a bug like this, in one of the most used and widely spread office applications.

Here is Microsoft's msdn blog on the subject, if you want to read more about it:
http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2007/09/25/calculation-issue-update.aspx

 

 

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