Just-patched Excel makes calculation mistakes

One of the patches issued causes Excel to make incorrect calculations when a Real Time Data source is used

Microsoft last week told Excel users that one of the 12 patches issued causes the spreadsheet to make mistakes in some calculations.

In a warning posted, Bill Sisk, security response communications manager, said that the fixes outlined in the MS08-014 bulletin "causes Microsoft Excel 2003 calculations to return an incorrect result when a Real Time Data source is used."

According to a more detailed addition to MS08-014, Excel 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Excel 2003 SP3 return an incorrect result -- usually "0" -- when a Real Time Data source is used in a Visual Basic for Applications function, or macro.

"If you have applications that leverage Real Time Data sources in Visual Basic for Applications functions, we recommend that you perform additional testing before initiating a wide deployment of the update," advised the new version of the bulletin.

Real Time Data was added to Excel in the 2002 version of the spreadsheet, and allows users to have data automatically pushed into a spreadsheet from a variety of sources, Web sites included.

"Our teams are testing a fix and will release it once it meets our quality bar for broad distribution," Sisk promised.

In the meantime, Microsoft suggested that users run any function containing a Visual Basic macro that refers to a Real Time Data source on each cell individually, rather than on an array of cells.

Last week, Microsoft rolled out four security bulletins that patched a dozen vulnerabilities, all in Office, including seven critical bugs in Excel under the umbrella of MS08-014. Microsoft did not specify which of the seven fixes "broke" Excel 2003's calculations of Real Time Data.

One of the patches deployed fixed an Excel flaw that had been exploited for at least two months in targeted attacks.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?