back to article Microsoft's Garage band offers album of experimental Excel jazz

Microsoft is going to let organizations try out experimental Excel projects it's working on. Redmond this week is releasing Excel Labs, an avenue to let spreadsheet users try out ideas the software giant is working on as part of Microsoft's larger Garage scheme, a long-running hackathon project Redmond runs around the world to …

  1. alanturingslefteyebrow

    Make Power Query faster, or at least give it some better performance analysis and profiling. It's often glacial and offers no clues as to where the problems are. Other than that, it's very good and very much an undiscovered gem for many Excel users.

  2. captain veg Silver badge

    the naming of parts

    "the built-in Excel Name Manager lets you name and create complex formulas"

    And still Excel won't let you open two documents that happen to have the same file name despite being in entirely separate directories.


  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Copy and paste is still the same broken mess it's been for nearly forty years...

    And while I'm ranting, can I please have a numerical mode that understands electronics values (R, k, M, u, n, p etc) and a proper engineering powers of three mode?


  4. jmch Silver badge

    They keep tinkering around the edges with new features....

    ... but it still insists on messing around with date formats (or pretty much any formatting really).

    Why does it require an advanced degree to get it to properly interpret certain inputs or to properly display certain values??? I don't want an "intelligent" system to try and predict what I might be doing, I want a system that will do as it's bloody well told!!!

    1. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: They keep tinkering around the edges with new features....

      Excel is noted for its rigid adherence to existing behavior (including bugs), because there really are 30 year old spreadsheets out there running entire businesses.

      1. sgp

        Re: They keep tinkering around the edges with new features....

        But that really is no excuse why when entering 0110 in a column that you have given data type text, it converts it to a number.

        1. MOH

          Re: They keep tinkering around the edges with new features....

          But surely that's a date?

          Which in itself is controversial. Could be January tenrh. Or October the first. Or January 6th for our robotic Julian overlords.

      2. MOH

        Re: They keep tinkering around the edges with new features....

        And none of them work!!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So let's not keep adding new features then

        Let it die of bitrot along with 50 years of other horrors.

        Or put a stake in the ground for legacy processing of legacy crap using legacy code to one of the older .xls formats and let the current version actually calculate it's sums accurately and correctly for once.

        Ongoing use of Excel in scientific computing is an ongoing threat to research data. It is also used by the military and biotech companies, which should give us cold sweats.

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    The Thirty Fifth Column... the Fifth Column for the 21st century.

  6. MOH

    I did my uni work placement in the early 90s, in the country HQ of a huge multinational company.

    I discovered a week after I started that all development/ops had been moved back to the mothership 3 years before

    The entire placement was basically installing Windows and replacing stolen printer cables.

    I primarily reported to the assistant IT manager, most recently and accountant who got the move because he was "a bit of a hacker in Excel"

    5 or 6 or maybe 20-odd years later, that's suddenly a (far more) terrifying concept.

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