Recent advances in mathematical and statistical software have little to do with math or stat and a lot to do with Microsoft's Windows user interface. Ease of use is what people have always wanted from these packages, and ease of use is what they are finally getting, thanks to the nearly wholesale adoption of Windows by software developers.

"We are trying to make a statistics program that everyone can use, and Windows, in particular, is helping us do that," says Paul Portrey, assistant manager of technical support at Stat-Soft Inc. in Tulsa, Okla. "If developers take advantage of the features of Windows, they can make a package that's very easy to work with." Windows is not an operating system but an add-on to the DOS operating system that drives IBM and compatible PCs. With Windows, these computers take on a more graphical look, similar to that of the Apple Macintosh...

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