Microsoft has identified an odd bug in Excel 2007 that incorrectly displays 100,000 as the multiplication result in a cell when the answer should be 65,535 or 65,536.

Microsoft employee David Gainer wrote in a posting on the Microsoft Excel blog that calculations such as 77.1*850 and 5.1*12,850 produce the wrong result of 100,000 instead of 65,535. That happens with 12 specific calculations. However, the answer is correct with some other computations, such as 65,535*1 and 16,383.75*4.

The problem is related to Excel's handling of floating point numbers between 65,535 and 65,536. However, it is really only the display of the result that is affected. The result of the calculation stored in Excel's memory is correct. If the result is multiplied by another number, the final result will come out right.

Microsoft has already produced a fix for the issue but is still testing it to make sure it doesn't lead to other problems. "We take calculation in Excel very seriously and we do everything we can in order to ensure that calculation is correct for all cases," wrote Gainer. He plans to post the fix on the Excel blog when it's ready. For more information, go to http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/.

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