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Microsoft Excel

The name of the base system (platform): Microsoft Office
Developers: Microsoft
Last Release Date: June, 2019
Technology: Office applications


Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Office of Excel also sometimes is called) is the program for work with spreadsheets created by Microsoft corporation for Microsoft Windows Windows NT and Mac OS. It gives opportunities of economical and statistical calculations, graphic tools and, except for Excel 2008 under Mac OS X, language of macroprogramming of VBA (Visual Basic for applications). Microsoft Excel is a part Microsoft Office and today Excel is one of the most popular applications in the world.


2019: In Excel share price and currencies in real time appeared

At the beginning of June, 2019 Microsoft announced the beginning of cooperation with the American exchange Nasdaq and suppliers of financial data of Refinitiv to provide data on actions and currency rates in spreadsheets of Excel in real time.

Now it will be more convenient to users to make tables with financial data: they will be able to insert them into cells of the table at once and it is easy to use them in formulas. In addition, in formulas it is possible to consider such parameters as cost, a 52 weeks minimum and a maximum, a change in value in numerical and percentage, capitalization and other indexes which are updated in real time.

Microsoft added to Excel of the stock quotation and currencies in real time
Microsoft added to Excel of the stock quotation and currencies in real time

Within the Stocks expansion of Excel also provides updating of broader spectrum of data, including a rate bitcoins, bonds, foreign currency, information on activity of the company, mutual investment funds and other indexes. The senior vice president and the head of department of strategic partnership of Nasdaq Oliver Albers considers that simple access to financial information will allow users to react more quickly to changes of the financial portfolio and will simplify an input on the market for the beginning investors.

Any who is interested in financial information needs fast and reliable data to be guided in the modern complex and rapidly changing world markets — the head of global division of Refinitiv Brennan Carly notes.

Function is already available to all users of a cloud service of Office 365 and the local version of Excel. Microsoft claims that "it only the beginning". Users will get data access for last months and to function of automatic update of the prices each several minutes soon. Also the company published the training template and the short instruction for work with the Stocks tool.[1]

2017: Function of joint editing documents in real time is added

The Microsoft corporation added on September 4, 2017 with Excel function of joint editing documents in real time. It means that now at once several users can work with one spreadsheet, and at the same time all changes automatically will be synchronized and added in real time. This function is available to the documents saved in OneDrive, OneDrive for business or on SharePoint.

According to the statement of corporation, it became a big step on the way to that remote work became same convenient and comfortable, as well as work at office shoulder to shoulder with colleagues. Thanks to joint editing in Excel users will be able easily to learn who else works on the document, and at once to react to changes.

In addition to function of joint editing in Excel, Microsoft announced support of autosave in Word, Excel and PowerPoint for subscribers of Office 365 storing documents on OneDrive and SharePoint. Earlier these opportunities were available only to participants of the Office Insider program, but now all users can apply them. Now irrespective of whether one person or a little at the same time works with the document, all last modifications automatically remain in a cloud.

2011: Microsoft taught Excel to process huge data arrays

Microsoft developed the technology allowing to connect Microsoft Excel with massive computing opportunities of Windows Azure. The new project will lead to revolution in the field of processing of data bulks, having made access to such data public, researchers of the company consider. During the action of D.C. TechFair 2011 which will take place on June 15 in Washington Microsoft is going to provide technology of processing of data bulks in Windows Azure cloud directly from the Microsoft Excel interface. The new technology known as Excel DataScope, was created by participants of a command on researches in the field of cloud computing (Cloud Research Engagement team) within the eXtreme Computing Group research group.

From the point of view of the end user, Excel DataScope represents only an additional tape in the Microsoft Excel interface, however this film opens access to functions on resource-intensive data processing which cannot be implemented at the level of the separate personal computer.

"Scientists speak about "Big Data" as about a problem, but in fact it is an ideal opportunity for use of cloud computing, – Roger Barga, the architect of the Cloud Research Engagement command says. – Processing of big data sets in a cloud is one of the major technology shifts which we should observe within the next several years".

Excel DataScope will allow researchers to load data sets into a cloud and to perform such analytical procedures as search of patterns, determination of the hidden associations, detection of similarity and prediction of the temporary sequences. At the same time the technical procedures connected with creation of virtual machines and reservation of computing powers are completely hidden from the user who interacts only with the Microsoft Excel interface. Thus, researchers and analysts will be able to start resource-intensive analytical procedures which require use of tens and even hundreds of processors.

1993: Integration into Microsoft Office

Being for the first time united in Microsoft Office in 1993, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint received the new graphical interface for compliance of Excel, the main incentive of upgrade of the PC at that time.

Since 1993, is a part of Excel Visual Basic for applications (VBA), the programming language based on Visual Basic, allowing to automate Excel tasks. VBA is the powerful addition to the application and in later versions of Excel full-function integrated development environment is available. It is possible to create the VBA code repeating actions of the user and thus to automate simple tasks. VBA allows to create forms for communication with the user. Language supports use (but not creation) by DLL from ActiveX; later versions allow to use object-oriented programming elements.

The functionality of VBA did Excel by an easy target for macro viruses. And it was a serious problem until anti-virus products did not learn to detect them. Microsoft company, with delay having taken measures for reduction of risk, added a feature for the choice of the mode of security:

  • to completely disconnect macroes
  • include macroes when opening the document
  • trust all macroes signed with use of reliable certificates.

Versions of Excel from 5.0 to 9.0 contain different "Easter eggs" though, starting with version 10 Microsoft began to take measures for their liquidation.

The 1980th: Release

In 1982 Microsoft started the first electronic tabular Multiplan processor which was very popular on CP/M systems on the market, but on MS-DOS systems it conceded to Lotus 1-2-3. The first version of Excel intended for Mac and was released in 1985, and the first version for Windows was released in November, 1987. Did not hurry to release Lotus 1-2-3 under Windows, and began to bypass Excel since 1988 on sales 1-2-3 that finally helped Microsoft to reach positions of the leading software developer. Microsoft strengthened the advantage with release of each new version that took place approximately each two years.

At the beginning of the way Excel became the reason of the claim for the trademark from other company which was already selling the software package under the name "Excel". As a result of a dispute Microsoft was obliged to use the name "Microsoft Excel" in all the official press releases and legal documents. However over time this practice was forgotten, and Microsoft finally fixed a problem, having purchased the trademark of other program. Microsoft also decided to use letters XL as the reduced name of the program: the icon of the Windows program consists of the stylized image of these two letters, and expansion of files by default in Excel —.xls. In comparison with the first tabular Excel processors represents a set of new features of the user interface, but the essence remains the same: as well as in the program ancestor, VisiCalc, cells are placed at lines and columns and may contain data or formulas with relative or absolute references to other cages.

Excel was the first tabular processor allowing the user to change appearance of the table (fonts, characters and appearance of cells). It also provided the first a method of smart recalculation of cells when only those cells which depend on the changed cells (tabular processors earlier are updated or constantly recalculated all cells or waited for a team of the user).


Valuable opportunity of Excel is an opportunity to write the code on the basis of Visual Basic for applications (VBA). This code is written using the editor, certain of tables. Control of the spreadsheet is exercised by means of object-oriented model of the code and data. Using this code data of input tables will be instantly processed and displayed in tables and charts (diagrams). The table becomes the interface of the code, allowing it is easy to work to change it and to manage calculations.


Because Excel works at a basis of calculations with a floating comma, the statistical accuracy of Excel is exposed to criticism. Supporters of Excel say in reply, these errors are shown only in special conditions of specially picked up initial data which mention rather small number of users, and with low probability can will meet in practice. For versions 97, 2000, 2002 errors at accomplishment of the MOD function (division with remainder) at certain arguments where function instead of result returns the error#NUM are recorded!.


On September 22, 2007 it was reported what in certain situations of Excel 2007 will show the wrong results. In particular, for those couples of numbers whose work is equal 65535 (for example, 850 and 77.1), Excel will display as a result 100000. It occurs from about 14.5 % of such paragraphs [14] Besides, if to add unit to result, Excel will display a result 100001. However, if to subtract unit from a result, on the display the correct result 65534 will be displayed. (Also if a result to increase or separate into 2, will be displayed 131070 and 32767.5 respectively.)

Microsoft reported in the blog Microsoft Excel that the problem exists in display of six specific values from a floating comma between 65534.99999999995 and 65535 and six values between 65535.99999999995 and 65536 (not including borders). Any calculations which result is equal to one of twelve values will be incorrectly displayed. The actual data which are stored and transferred to other cells are right, only display of value is incorrect. The error appeared in Excel 2007 and does not exist in the previous versions. On October 9, 2007 Microsoft released the patch correcting a problem. It was also a part of corrections of Service Pack 1.


Official site of Microsoft Office