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Exporting Grid to Excel - slow and locks up browser

I have a grid with around 1000 rows and 20 columns.

When I export to Excel is takes over 30 seconds and completely locks up the browser making the page completely unresponsive.

I have seen the sample

I improved on the sample by adding a progress bar to my page, handling the export events for each row, using knockout binding to update the progress value, but the bar does not paint until the export is finished. Even tooltips do not work while the grid is exporting!

How can I get the export to work without it making the page appear that is has crashed?