Stat program returns to the Mac

As Apple's resurgence continues, software developers that had dropped their Mac products are scrambling to return to the fold. The most recent is SPSS (800/521-1337, http://www.spss.com), which plans to bring the latest version of its statistical-analysis software, SPSS 10.0, to the Mac before the end of summer. The company hasn't released a Mac version of the program since 1995, forcing Mac users to make do with SPSS 6.1.

Why did SPSS drop the Mac? Technology built into the Windows version proved too difficult to translate into Mac-based software, and SPSS decided it was too costly to build a Mac version from the ground up. Now, five years later, SPSS has found a partner, Software MacKiev, to port Windows applications to the Mac. In addition, the company says improvements in the software's statistical-analysis functions have fueled the demand for an upgraded Mac version.

SPSS promises that Macintosh users will see some definite improvements in version 10.0, including more-advanced data-manipulation and graphing functions and the ability to access data without first converting it from other formats. Although pricing has not been set, an SPSS spokesperson speculated that pricing will mirror that of the Windows version, which costs $999 for a single-user license.

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