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Why does Excel 2007/2010 remove the format of a date when applying the Normal style when it didn't in previous version?

For example, if I have 1/1/2012 and apply the Normal style, I end up with 40900, which is not expected. Excel 2003 and before, would leave the date formatted correctly.

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The default Normal style includes the General number format. You can right-click on the Normal style on the ribbon and then select Modify... and remove the Number formatting from the style.

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Yes, I understand. The question is why this behavior is different starting with Excel 2007. Changed question to reflect this. –  AMissico Jan 24 '12 at 23:05
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