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Help us make Excel 2007 faster …

Currently, the Excel development team is spending a lot of time tuning Excel 2007’s calculation performance to make it as fast as possible.  Given the near-infinite variety of things we see people build in Excel, we are always looking for good examples of workbooks that are calculation-intensive to help us compare Excel 2007’s calculation performance with previous versions’ performance on real-world files that matter to customers.  At some point last week it dawned on me that some of the Excel 12 blog readers might be in a position to help (given the number of comments and emails I have had from folks interested in or concerned about calculation and function speed).  So I’d like to appeal to folks to send in calculation-intensive workbooks they would like us to use as part of our performance tuning exercise.

Specifically, we are looking for workbooks that take some time to calculate (say anything over 5 seconds).  Other than that, pretty much anything goes with respect to features used in the product.  (Please note that some features, like linked workbooks, UDFs, database queries, etc. may require more than just the file.)  Of course, anything submitted will be treated as 100% confidential and used only for calculation performance testing.  Folks can either email the files to me (with any explanations necessary) using this link: http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/contact.aspx, or if email will not work, we can sort out other arrangements.  Once we have the workbooks, we baseline their performance in earlier versions of Excel and then run them on set of test machines (different CPU and memory configurations) using Excel 2007 and compare the results.

The Office marketing group has made some prizes available, so the person that submits the longest-calculating model will get an interesting prize, as will the person that submits the model that exercises the widest range of Excel’s calculation features.  Double points for using more than 30 functions in a model or for using array formulas.  Thanks in advance to anyone that sends in workbooks. 

PS Since this post has a limited lifespan, I will probably remove it at some point in the future.

PSS Updated to include email link directly in post