Excel got its figures right -

AppleInsider caused a titter amongst Apple fanboys when it pointed out that Microsoft appears to have made a calculation error in a billboard advert.

The billboard tout the fact that its Surface tablets ship with the Office productivity set of applications and it showed a picture of Excel making a cock up, AppleInsider claimed.

The billboard includes maths that should add up to $9,500, but is instead calculated to $9,000 by Excel.

AppleInsider more or less proved that Microsoft should surrender its tablet business to the superior Apple technology and its super wonderful Excel equivalent. For did not Steve Jobs see the mighty iPad and lo, did say it was good? Is not Numbers for the Mac much better than Excel?

Needless to say Vole declared a foul on the report Frank Shaw, the company's VP of communications, moaned to Techcrunch that the image was not wrong, but that "Excel recalculates when done editing" and the "ad shows work in progress".  He suggested that those in doubt try it themselves.

Brad Sams showed that it was possible in both Office 2013 and Office Web Apps to get the figures on the Billboard. Although he did note that someone appears to have muddied the waters by cocking up the Photos shoping on the advert and removed a "$500″ in the equation bar, as exist in both of our examples of the Excel spreadsheet working with the same input.

So Excel isn't so internally broken that it can't add. However Apple fanboys should not really be complaining when their shiny toys cough every time the clocks go back and their own version of Excel misses most of the algorithms companies need.