Microsoft Excel users could see their spreadsheets go haywire when they open their files on Jan. 1 unless they download scanning tools from the company’s Web site, according to a technology management consulting firm.
Boston-based Horizon Information Group found that several Y2K analysis tools failed to detect an Excel year 2000 error that caused drastic math errors.
The problem involves a DATE function that treats all two-digit years as 20th-century dates, regardless of how Excel is configured to handle two-digit dates.
Spreadsheets that use the DATE function, especially those with user-defined names that represent formulas and functions, are particularly vulnerable to Y2K problems.
Microsoft officials say the company has documented the bug on its Y2K Web page and in Excel Help within Excel, and that its Office 95, 97 and 200 are Y2K-compliant based on the company’s three-tier set of compliance definitions.
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