Microsoft has withdrawn this year’s first updates to Office 2010. The company mainly received messages from Japan that the improved code caused Excel to stop working altogether. That probably has to do with changes that have been made to the way the Japanese calendar works.

The updates were released on January 2nd with certain changes made to the Japanese calendar. This will change when the Japanese emperor Tenno Akihito abdicates the throne. He will do so on 30 April 2019, after which the Heisei era will come to an end. From that moment on, a new calendar time begins in Japan.

New calendar

According to Borncity, Microsoft had made certain changes to the Japanese calendar in Excel 2010 and Office 2010. On several Japanese blogs there was suddenly the news that people could not open Excel after installing the update or that the app occasionally crashed.

If a user opened it, Excel would no longer be able to process new additions in cells. Users who reversed the update reported that the problem had also been solved. Now Microsoft reports in a blog that it is reversing the update because of certain problems:

After installing this update, you may experience problems in Microsoft Excel or other apps. To fix this, you can remove the update by following the instructions in the section with more information. Earlier, Microsoft reported that bugs might appear in Office software if a new calendar were to be introduced in Japan.

Japanese Y2K

The company described the moment when the calendar changes as the Japanese Y2K moment. That was the chaos that was expected when computers had to switch from 1999 to 2000. This would be extremely problematic, but in the end companies were able to prevent too much from going wrong. For computer systems that use the Japanese calendar, the extent of this problem can be as large as the Y2K event with the Gregorian calendar, according to Microsoft.

In the case of Y2K, there was worldwide attention for the approaching change. The result was that governments and software makers worked on solutions to that problem, and started to do so several years before 1 January 2000. But even with that preparation, many companies encountered problems because of the turn of the millennium.

In order to prevent that a lot goes wrong when changing calendars in Japan, we have chosen this option. With the necessary problems that entails.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.