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 newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?