Microsoft Excel calculation engine
Microsoft Excel has undergone one of the most radical changes in half a century. The Microsoft team has revisited the heart of how Excel recalculates spreadsheets. This includes improvements to ensure the Excel spreadsheet experience can be summoned anywhere online via a browser. On a more detailed front, it involves technical changes such as the game-changing Dynamic arrays, which are explored elsewhere in Elements and this Blog.
To dig into these initial changes yourself, check out the Ignite Conference from 2018. This is a Microsoft conference that brings together thousands of business leaders, IT professionals and developers each year. In particular interest for this blog are the Excel sessions. For example session THR3018 runs through the first set of Dynamic arrays introduced to Excel. Do note that Excel innovations introduced in a beta release are only available to beta Excel users who ‘subscribe’ to them. The public release of such features can come as much as 18-24 months later.
As these features became public over 2021 and 2022, the gates have finally opened to their wider application by the millions of Excel users worldwide. Per the Ignite video below, “it’s a kind of different way of thinking about building spreadsheets…you don’t think about building one value or one formula and then copying it… it’s kind of a mindshift.”