In statistics, the confidence interval is the range that a population parameter is likely to fall into, for a given probability.
Eg. For given population and a probability of 95%, the confidence interval is the range, in which a population parameter is 95% likely to fall.
Note that the accuracy of the confidence interval relies on the population having a normal distribution.
The Confidence Interval is discussed further on the Wikipedia Confidence Interval Page
In Excel 2010, the CONFIDENCE function has been renamed CONFIDENCE.NORM.
Although the Confidence function has been replaced, Excel 2010 has kept this function, (stored within the list of compatibility functions), for compatibility with earlier versions of Excel.
The Excel CONFIDENCE function uses a Normal Distribution to calculate a confidence value that can be used to construct the confidence interval for a population mean, for a supplied probablity and sample size. It is assumed that the standard deviation of the population is known.
The format of the function is :
where the arguments are as follows :
alpha   
The significance level (=1confidence level)  eg. a significance level of 0.05 equates to a confidence level of 95% 
standard_dev    The standard deviation of the population 
size    The population sample size 
To calculate the confidence interval for a population mean, the returned CONFIDENCE value must then be added to, and subtracted from, the sample mean. ie. for the sample mean x :
In the spreadsheet below, the Excel Confidence Function is used to calculate the confidence interval, with a significance of 0.05 (ie. a confidence level of 95%), for the mean of a sample of heights of 100 men. The sample mean is 1.8 meters and the standard deviation is 0.07 meters.
A  

1  =CONFIDENCE( 0.05, 0.07, 100 ) 
2 
The above function returns a confidence value of 0.013719748
Therefore the confidence interval is 1.8 ± 0.013719748, which is equal to the range 1.786280252 to 1.813719748
Further information and examples of the Excel Confidence function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.
If you get an error from your Excel Confidence function this is likely to be one of the following :
#NUM!   
Occurs if either:


#VALUE!    Occurs if any of the supplied arguments are nonnumeric 