The Win 100 Software Awards

  • The Win 100 Software Awards

    Product of the Year

    Windows 95

    Windows 95 is a giant step forward for Windows users. Without sacrificing compatibility with existing Windows and DOS programs---or performance--Win95 users can enjoy the benefits of Plug and Play, long filenames, 32-bit preemptively multitasking apps and a wildly superior user interface. Though not without its faults, everything about Win95 is dramatically better: working, game playing, multimedia, networking, Internet-working, mobile computing and more. And it's easy to install, configure and use to boot. This year it's no contest: Windows 95 is the hands-down favorite for the WINDOWS Magazine Product of the Year.

    Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Accounting

    Acropolis Accounting 3.0

    This high-end accounting package from Acropolis is lightning-fast and sturdy enough to analyze reams of data, but it doesn't bury you in tedious detail. Its ease of use and flexibility will increase productivity. Also available are Network Manager modules. An Import/Export module helps transfer opening and historical balances, outstanding transactions and other data.

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    Acropolis Accounting 3.0

    $1,000. Acropolis Software, 800-525-8700, 206-820-8700.

    Macola Accounting 7.0

    Ease of use and customizability are the hallmarks of this full-featured, high-end accounting system. The complete package includes the Progression Series (General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Bank Book and Currency Manager) and the WindowsPlus System. WindowsPlus features a link between the General Ledger and a Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 or Quattro Pro spreadsheet.

    $4,995. Macola Software, 800-468-0834, 614-382-5999.

    M.Y.O.B. Small Business Accounting 5.0

    Managing a small business needn't give you nightmares. M.Y.O.B. is self-customized upon installation, based on your Interview six step answers. The program then launches you into the Command Center, an easy-to-navigate center of operations for all your basic accounting needs.

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    M.Y.O.B Small Business Accounting

    $119.95. BestWare, 800-322-MYOB, 201-586-2200 x300.

    QuickBooks Pro

    Small companies can toss their paper scraps and bulging files and move to high-tech accounting with QuickBooks Pro. The Professional version includes QuickBooks' traditional functionality and adds time tracking, estimating, job costing, accounting and payroll functions. Seventy-five reports and six graph types let you put your information into usable forms.

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    QuicKBooks Pro

    $189. Intuit, 800-624-8742, 415-322-0573.

    Application Development

    Borland Delphi

    Borland covers the desktop and client/server environments with Delphi, which combines Turbo Pascal language's best features with a graphical development environment surpassing that of Visual Basic. Delphi uses a native code compiler and an automatic "make" program, resulting in fast compiling and shortening the time from development to test.

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    Borland Delphi

    Borland International, 800-891-2223, 408-431-1000.

    Calendar Widgets 1.0

    Never miss an important date again. Calendar Widgets' 16- and 32-bit OLE controls (OCX versions) and 16-bit VBX controls let you add a pop-up calendar or a custom control for your appointments. Display a year at a time, up to three consecutive months or any weekday. Add a Today's Date button to jump to the current date, and VCR-style controls to flip through months and years.

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    Calendar Widgets 1.0

    $139. Sheridan Software Systems, 516-753-0985, fax 516-753-3661.

    Installigence

    Creating install programs isn't just for professional software developers anymore. Installigence lets you write an install program in about the time it would take to write instructions in English for installing a compressed binary file. Now, if you can write a Word or Excel macro, you can write a slick-looking install program.

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    Installigence

    $295. Instance, 800-494-0550, 206-836-0111.

    Symantec C++ 7.0

    Symantec gets an A+ for its latest version of C++, which was developed for a wide range of platforms, including 16-bit Windows, Win95, NT and Win32s, OS/2 and DOS. The debugging function provides numerous options for checking your work. Edit, compile and test DOS or Windows programs directly inside the Integrated Development and Debugging Environment.

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    Symantec C++ 7.0

    $199. Symantec Corp., 800-441-7234, 503-334-6054.

    Visual Basic 4.0, Enterprise Edition

    The Visual Basic programming language's simplicity has made it a favorite with shareware manufacturers and custom applications developers. Version 4.0 continues the tradition and includes new enhancements like the ability to develop 32-bit apps, long filename support, and nearly-identical code for both 16- and 32-bit apps.

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    Visual Basic 4.0, Enterprise Edition

    $999. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Visual dBASE 5.5

    End users and application pros alike will appreciate the features in this update of the popular database. It's equally easy to point and click your way to a new application or to revel in code. New and improved Experts have you covered for building tables, forms, reports, labels and more.

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    Visual dBASE 5.5

    $350. Borland International, 800-233-2444, 408-461-9000.

    Business

    Business Plan Pro 1.0

    Business Plan Pro offers a combination of word processing, spreadsheet and charting capabilities. It guides you through creating professional business plans, walking you through each step by using a series of suggested topics and standardized tables.

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    Business Plan Pro 1.0

    $149.95. Palo Alto Software, 800-229-7526, 503-683-6162.

    ManagePro 3.0

    The personnel-management tools in Manage Pro can enhance your organizational skills and effectiveness. ManagePro's tools let you set goals, manage staff and track details.

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    ManagePro 3.0

    $199. Avantos Performance Systems, 800-AVANTOS, 510-654-4600.

    Performance Now 2.0

    If employee reviews top your procrastination list, Performance Now 2.0 just might help you get a handle on things. Five predesigned review forms help you get started and keep your thoughts organized--or you can design your own form. Rate the employee on a list of performance criteria, and the program writes the review for you. Specific suggestions are made for improving performance or developing various abilities.

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    Performance Now 2.0

    $129. KnowledgePoint, 800-727-1133, 707-762-0333.

    Quicken ExpensAble

    ExpensAble takes the agony out of expense reports. The program uses an envelope metaphor to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Whenever you spend money, jot it down and drop it into the envelope. You categorize expenses as reimbursable, non-reimbursable or personal. The program knows a company-paid expense is not reimbursable, and it remembers items you've keyed in to speed data entry.

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    Quicken Expensable

    $49.95. Intuit, 800-816-8025, 415-322-0573.

    QuickXpense for Windows 95

    Don't let dread of that expense report ruin your trip. When you get home, use QuickXpense to type in your expenses--in any order--and the program sorts them for you, converting foreign currency, breaking down complex hotel bills, and differentiating among cash, check and credit-card transactions.

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    QuickXpense for Windows 95

    $99.95. Portable Software Corp., 800-478-7411, 206-637-8808.

    Visual HR 2.0

    Busy human resource managers in small to midsize companies will appreciate this package's well-designed interface and timesaving features. It scans resumes, enters new-hire information and analyzes benefits plans. Multilevel system security lets you establish access privileges for records, screens and reports.

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    Visual HR 2.0

    $1,000 to $18,000, depending on number of employees. FLX Corp.,
    800-359-4747, 610-408-3900.

    CAD

    AutoCAD LT Release 2 and AutoCAD Release 13

    Although AutoCAD is billed as a "lite" version, it's outstanding drawing features are virtually identical to those of AutoCAD Release 12. AutoCAD LT's commands for modifying existing entities are also top-notch. For a top-of-the-line CAD tool, AutoCAD Release 13 is a must. Its impressive interface enhancements include a floating command window and a multitude of tool palettes.

    AutoCAD LT Release 2, $495; AutoCAD Release 13, $TK. Autodesk,
    800-228-3601, 415-507-5000.

    Cadkey

    Graphics designers have been using Cadkey since the early 1980s. The first 32-bit Windows version has a comprehensive feature set for 2-D drafting and 3-D modeling. The Cadkey Advanced Design Language (CADL) lets you create scripts with any text editor.

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    Cadkey

    $795. Cadkey, 800-394-2231, 203-298-8888.

    Drafix QuickCAD

    Toss the T square. This low-end, two-dimensional CAD product does everything from drafting to landscape design. Essentially a trimmed version of Drafix CAD Professional, QuickCAD offers a mature interface and a comprehensive toolset. A new scalable toolbar switches between Beginner, Advanced and Expert modes, and an AutoScale feature sets up a standard scale based on your input about your objects' aspects.

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    Drafix QuickCAD

    $99 (street). Softdesk Retail Products, 800-231-8574, 816-891-1040.

    Charting

    allClear III

    AllClear's text-based scripting facility lets you build a flowchart based on an outline, but also lets you use more traditional graphical tools. The program gets you started with three chart templates--for a process tree, a decision tree or organizational chart, or a fishbone diagram. You can also choose a generic template. You can reposition elements while maintaining their links. Multiple objects can be scaled simultaneously.

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    allClear III

    $299.95. Clear Software, 800-338-1759, 617-965-6755.

    ClarisImpact 2.0

    Create sophisticated, high-quality charts, diagrams, tables, timelines and calendars with a few clicks of your mouse. For inspiration, tap into the program's library of 2,000 pieces of clip art, symbols, and chart and diagram styles.

    $129. Claris Corp., 800-544-8554, 408-987-7000.

    DiagramIt

    This is a business-centric, object-oriented drawing package with panache. DiagramIt lets you design everything from flowcharts to forms to family trees, using preformed objects and easy-to-find formatting tools.

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    Diagramit

    $47.48. Softcraft Technologies, 206-643-7929.

    Harvard ChartXL for Windows 95

    Whip up a masterpiece of a chart with this outstanding graphing program. More than 300 chart types--for business, statistical or technical graphics--are available for displaying your numbers in palatable fashion. Choose from bar, pyramid, ribbon, candlestick, boxwhisker, scatter, polar, vector, XY--you get the idea.Harvard ChartXL is feature-packed and easy to use.

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    Harvard ChartXL 2.0 for Windows 95

    $149. Software Publishing Corp., 800-234-2500, 408-986-8000.

    Visio 4.0

    Get two for the price of one. Visio 4.0 ships with both Windows 95 and 3.1 versions. Win95 users will appreciate the slew of new enhancements, from 32-bit performance to support for Microsoft Office 95's Binder. The update also offers better templates, easier data assignment to objects and a summation tool for quick totals of numbers associated with selected objects.

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    Visio 4.0

    $149 (street). Visio Corp., 800-24VISIO, 206-521-4500.

    Communications

    CommSuite 95

    Send a fax, peruse the Internet, cruise an online service and connect to a bulletin board with Delrina's all-inclusive communications package. CyberJack, the Internet component, provides access to all key Internet services, while the WinComm PRO module includes terminal features like a scroll back buffer and screen capture to a file.

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    CommSuite 95

    $99. Delrina Corp., 800-268-6082, 408-363-2345.

    HyperAccess 2.0

    Automatic modem settings, easy Internet access, the ability to share modems across a network and support of all the major communications protocols make HyperAccess 2.0 the comm program you'll definitely want to connect with. Its proprietary protocol delivers the goods fast, sending and receiving files at breakneck speed. Bonus accessories, like a connection with the government's atomic clock, give HyperAccess a touch more flair than the average communications program.

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    HyperAccess 2.0

    $149. Hilgraeve, 800-826-2760, 313-243-0576.

    LapLink 6.0b

    LapLink 6.0b cuts file-transfer time dramatically (by both parallel and serial cable) with its SmartSync technology, which sends only the changes in large files. The program's remote control functions let you control a PC from just about anywhere. You no longer have to panic when you and your files are separated by distance.

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    Laplink 6.0b

    $199.95. Traveling Software, 800-343-8080, 206-483-8088.

    QmodemPro 2.0 for Windows 95

    Whether you're a sophisticated cybernaut who loves scripting or a point-and-click cyberspace connector, QmodemPro has something for you. This 32-bit app supports multitasking and multithreading, enabling you to download while other Win95 apps continue their own work. If you're downloading a lot of files, track them with the File List Clipboard.

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    Qmodem Pro 2.0 for Windows 95

    $129. Mustang Software, 800-999-9619, 805-873-2500.

    Content

    Encarta 95

    Getting better and better every year, the first multimedia-only encyclopedia is content-rich, offering 2,000 audio clips and 26,000 articles. The interface is easy on the eyes and while the content is interesting enough to engage a seventh-grader it's still meaty enough to give a business professional the info he needs.

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    Encarta 95

    $99.95. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Writer's Edge

    A sort of conceptual thesaurus, Writer's Edge will help you hurdle even the most mind-numbing cases of writer's block. It dishes out synonyms and offers thousands of linked concepts, phrases and words related to any word you enter.

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    Writer's Edge

    $39.95. IdeaFisher Systems, 800-289-4332, 714-8111.

    Xplora 1: Peter Gabriel's Secret World

    The "experience designer" Peter Gabriel has entered a new medium with this CD-ROM. The disc is filled with warm flashes of Gabriel's childhood, backstage antics at the Grammys, the secrets behind the performer's music videos, and searing images of torture and execution from Amnesty International. It's a new type of experience for fans and techies alike.

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    Xplora 1

    $49.95. Real World Multimedia, 800-969-GAME, 714-553-6678.

    Database

    Approach 96 for Windows 95

    An impressive combination of features marks the Win95 version of this popular database. When creating crosstabs or reports, you can use new grouping features, such as breaking groups of data based on up to the first five letters of the field's value. An Assistant lets you sort data fields by day, month, quarter or year by right-clicking on the field.

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    Approach 96 for Windows 95

    Lotus Development Corp., 800-3435414, 415-335-2200.

    FileMaker Pro 2.1 v.2

    Share your database files with the Mac users in your office--over the network and without conversion. Claris' flat file database combines a strong engine with an amiable user interface. Its ability to operate both as a standalone database and as a front end means it supports most popular file formats and allows you to import many graphic file formats.

    $129 (promotional price). Claris Corp., 800-325-2747, 408-987-7000.

    Paradox 5.0

    Whether you're doing a search or creating a special report, this database is easy to use. The CD version provides a video introduction, an electronic user manual and context-sensitive online help. The program's interactive Coaches will give you an abbreviated tutorial. Paradox's flexible GUI is powerful enough to serve as an SQL database front end.

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    Paradox 5.0

    $349.95 (street). Borland International, 800-233-2444, 408-431-1000.

    Data Query

    Q+E 6.0

    This greatly expanded version of Q+E can maximize the information it gleans from your corporate database. With its compliance to the ODBC standard, Q+E can access more than 30 databases right out of the box. Build charts and reports in a few simple steps, regulate data access on the network and execute tasks such as a data merge automatically.

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    Q+E 6.0

    $499. Intersolv, 800-876-3101, 919-859-2220.

    Desktop Publishing

    FrameMaker 5

    FrameMaker 5 keeps pace with the times, letting you easily publish documents--particularly complex technical publications--on paper or online. Files can be distributed as Windows Help files, Adobe Acrobat 2.0 Portable Documents and HTML documents. FrameReader and FrameViewer utilities assist with electronic distribution. Multiple master pages, autonumbered headings, sophisticated table editors and conditional text are ideal for long DTP documents.

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    FrameMaker 5

    $895. Frame Technology Corp., 800-843-7263, 408-975-6000.

    PageMaker 6.0

    Adobe rewrote PageMaker for Windows 95 but retained its frame-free layout process. Enhancements to the desktop publishing software include timesaving features such as toolbars and mouse-activated menus. Welcome additions to the toolbox include a polygon tool for drawing symmetrical polygons and stars, and a freehand magnifying tool.

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    PageMaker 6.0

    $895. Adobe Systems, 800-42-ADOBE, 206-622-5500.

    Publisher CD Deluxe for Windows 95

    This update offers vastly improved output quality. You use Microsoft Word to edit large amounts of text, then reflow it into the document's columns and frames. Publisher supports OLE 2.0, so you can use in-place editing with other apps. The program also has some clever clip-art objects, which you can access by clicking on the Design Galleries button.

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    Publisher CD Deluxe for Windows 95

    $79.95. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Document Management

    Adobe Acrobat Pro 2.1

    Paper may never go the way of papyrus, but Acrobat Pro 2.1 should definitely save a few forests. With improvements in both ease of use and performance, the program lets you create application- and platform-independent electronic documents. Its plug-in options let you link Acrobat documents with multimedia files and Internet Web sites. Ready to turn off that printer now?

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    Adobe Acrobat Pro 2.1

    $595. Adobe Systems, 800-833-6687, 415-961-4400.

    PageKeeper 2.0

    If your scanning needs go beyond conversion, PageKeeper may do the trick. Once documents are scanned, faxed or sent via your VIM or MAPI e-mail system, PageKeeper will run them through OCR if necessary, then index them. When a document is indexed, PageKeeper performs near-instant searches. Documents are arranged and color-coded in a sensible ranking system.

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    PageKeeper 2.0

    $195. Caere Corp., 800-535-SCAN, 408-395-7000.

    PageOffice

    PageOffice won't rid your desk of paper, but it will help you manage the information on that paper. This scanner/software combo includes a useful file-management program suite for both documents and graphics. Its OCR function is highly accurate. Turn type into editable text simply by dragging and dropping it to a word processor button.

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    PageOffice

    $499. UMAX Technologies, 800-562-0311, 510-651-8834.

    E-mail

    FirstClass

    Delivering e-mail is just one of FirstClass' many talents. It also offers groupware features, public and private conferencing, and forms processing. FirstClass uses a client/server architecture, and runs its server side under Windows NT 3.5x.

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    FirstClass

    $495 (server and five clients). SoftArc, 800-SOFTARC, 905-415-7000.

    Financial

    Microsoft Money for Windows 95

    Microsoft has elevated the Win95 version of this previously so-so financial package to 32-bit status. From the well-conceived and eye-pleasing main screen you choose among the major functions of Accounts Register, Payment Calendar or Online Banking, as well as from subtasks like Account Manager, Investment Portfolio, Reports and Charts Gallery, Payees, and Categories and Planning Wizards.

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    Microsoft Money for Windows 95

    $34.95 (street). Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Quicken 5 and Quicken Deluxe 5

    Intuit found a way to make a good thing better. It's now easier to manage your money, bank online and access one-stop investment information with Quicken. The Deluxe version provides personalized advice from two financial experts, Jane Bryant Quinn and Marshall Loeb.

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    Quicken 5

    Quicken 5, $39.99 (street); Quicken Deluxe 5, $59.99 (street). Intuit, 800-816-8025, 415-322-0573.

    Wall Street Analyst 1.0

    Want to follow trends for stock-market investments? Wall Street Analyst helps you track the performance of stocks, commodities and mutual funds, based on user-defined data or information downloaded from subscription services.

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    Wall Street Analyst 1.0

    $99. Omega Research, 800-422-8587, 305-270-1095.

    Forms

    Delrina PerForm 3.0

    PerForm's smartly designed interface makes it simple to get great-looking output on your forms. It's fully integrated with WinFaxPRO, has no limits on the number of fields or objects per form, and contains the Delrina Experts for automatic form creation.

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    Perform 3.0

    $129. Delrina Corp., 800-268-6082, 408-363-2345.

    Graphics

    Autodesk Animator Studio 1.0

    One of the DOS world's last holdouts finally made the jump to Windows, bringing with it increased functionality, a brand-new interface and a new centralized toolset.

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    AutoDesk Animator Studio 1.0

    $795. Autodesk, 800-879-4233, 415-332-2344.

    CorelDRAW 6

    Corel, the proverbial 900-pound gorilla, has just put on a few extra pounds with CorelDRAW 6. The newest version heaps together 32-bit drawing, painting, 3-D modeling and presentation graphics, along with utilities and thousands of fonts, clip-art images, digital photos and multimedia files. Version 6.0 is a suite deal for Windows 95 users.

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    CorelDRAW 6

    $695. Corel Corp., 800-772-6735, 613-728-8200.

    FreeHand 5.0

    Macromedia entered the Windows graphics arena with fists flying when it introduced FreeHand 5.0. New features include improved compatibility with third-party plug-ins, as well as drag-and-drop colors and styles, multicolored gradients, extreme magnification modes, better text handling and an enlarged pasteboard. Redesigned tools simplify repetitive production tasks.

    $595; competitive upgrade, $149. Macromedia, 800-288-8108, 415-252-2000.

    KPT Convolver

    Artists who have to make mathematical conversions to apply custom filter effects can put away their calculators. KPT Convolver (for Photoshop 2.5 or later) provides a staggering range of artistic variations. Explore lets you mutate an image as much or as little as you want. Design combines two different effects for results like blur/sharpen and hue rotation. Tweak lets you control effects discretely and preview the results in real time.

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    KPT Convolver

    $199. HSC Software, 805-566-6200, fax 805-566-7385.

    Painter 3.0

    In this version, Painter gets a new interface, layering capabilities, an animation module and a palette replete with artistic effects. The Image Hose lets you spray an image onto a surface, and the concept of floaters--defined selections that act as layers--is carried over from the program's professional upgrade.

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    Painter 3.0

    $499. Fractal Design, 800-297-COOL, 408-688-5300.

    Picture Publisher for Windows 95

    Speed demons will appreciate Picture Publisher's 32-bit version. The image editor provides significantly increased speed and the Image Task Manager keeps track of everything going on in the program.

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    Picture Publisher for Windows 95

    $299.95 (street). Micrografx, 800-676-3110, 214-234-1769.

    trueSpace2

    Digital animators and rendering fans take note: trueSpace2 is hard to beat. With support for KPT and Photoshop plug-ins, the graphics are sublime, and you can skip the wireframe mode and go straight to solid-rendered objects.

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    trueSpace 2

    $795. Caligari Corp., 800-351-7620, 415-390-9600.

    Virtus WalkThrough Pro 2.0

    Would you like to take a static blueprint of a home and walk through it? That's the concept behind Virtus WalkThrough, a program that renders a design's flat concept into a three-dimensional environment.

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    Virtus Walkthrough Pro 2.0

    $495. Virtus Corp., 800-VIRTUS-1, 919-467-9700.

    Help Authoring

    HDK 2.5

    Enhanced table of contents and indexing features push this help authoring tool over the top. To start a new topic or make a jump, just highlight the text and click on a toolbar button. In addition, converting an existing document to a help file is simple.

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    HDK 2.5

    $395. DEK Software International, 609-424-6565, fax 609-424-0785.

    Mapping/GIS

    ArcView 2.0

    ArcView combines sophisticated geographical analysis and easy-to-use mapping tools. It lets you organize statistical information in a coherent and simple form, and import database files from various sources.

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    ArcView 2.0

    $995. Environmental Systems Research Institute, 800-GIS-XPRT, 909-793-2853.

    Microsoft Automap Road Atlas

    This road map of the future remaps your course each time you change plans, and lets you choose among the quickest, shortest, user-preferred and alternate routes. Wizards guide you through planning, helping you set your average speed, specify preferred road types and select areas you don't want to venture near. All you have to do is drive.

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    Microsoft Automap Road Atlas

    $39.95. Microsoft Corp., 800-429-9400, fax 206-936-7329.

    Multimedia

    Authorware 3

    Drag and drop your way to multimedia authoring. Authorware lets you create various apps, including kiosks, CD-ROM publications and computer-based training. Order the objects in your product on the flowline, and store multimedia elements, text and commonly used functions in libraries. Add hyperlinks in a few facile steps. Its high price tag suggests a powerhouse application, but even so, Authorware is easy to learn and use.

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    Authorware 3

    $4,995. Macromedia, 800-326-2128, 415-252-2000.

    OCR

    TextBridge Professional Edition 3.0

    Document scanning's a breeze with this easy-to-use OCR package. Eight control-bar buttons provide access to many TextBridge features, including Start/Continue Processing, Stop Processing and Cancel Current Page. An instant access feature lets you access TextBridge from within about a dozen applications.

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    TextBridge Professional Edition 3.0

    $249 (street). Xerox Desktop Document Systems, 800-248-6550 x3, 508-977-2000.

    WordScan Plus 4.0

    Adaptive Recognition Technology may be a mouthful, but it also raises WordScan Plus above the rest of the pack. The Predictive Optical Word Recognition reads a word at a time, allowing interpretation by context.

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    WordScan Plus 4.0

    $595. Caere Corp., 800-535-SCAN, 408-395-7000.

    Online/Internet

    America Online 2.5

    A friendly interface, a wide range of newsgroups and no-brainer Internet access are among AOL's strong points. You choose 14.4Kbps or 28.8Kbps access to thousands of forums, online chat groups and e-mail features. The newest version incorporates improved Internet features, such as a Web browser and multimedia.

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    America Online 2.5

    $9.95 per month including 5 free hours, $2.95 for each additional hour. America Online, 800-827-6364, 703-448-8700.

    CompuServe/WinCIM 1.4

    CompuServe provides impeccable e-mail and extensive Internet and newsgroup offerings. The superior information-archiving system lets you save mail and other information in the Filing Cabinet, or you can create folders to organize e-mail or forum messages.

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    CompuServe

    $9.95 per month for unlimited access to basic services and 3 hours of Internet access,$2.50 for each additional hour. CompuServe, 800-848-8199, 614-457-8600.

    Netscape 2.0

    Netscape's 80 percent market share indicates that Netscape Communications is doing something right. In this case, it's a combination of leading-edge features, aggressive distribution and an obvious commitment to staying top dog. While Microsoft's free (and excellent) Internet Explorer may eventually provide some serious competition, for now, Netscape--in its 16- and 32-bit incarnations--is the must-have browser for serious cybersurfers.

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    Netscape Communications, 415-254-1900, xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    Spry Internet in a Box

    This package's simple interface and versatility make it a good all-around choice for Internet connectivity. The intuitive button bars and logical menu structures facilitate Internet access.

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    Spry Internet in a Box

    $99. Spry, 800-557-9614 x26, 206-447-0300.

    WebAuthor

    An HTML tool that sits right on top of Word 6.0, WebAuthor is a souped-up collection of macros that help you design Web documents. It can even spot parsing errors, important in pages with many links and codes.

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    $149.95. Quarterdeck Corp., 800-354-3222, 310-392-9851.

    WebSite

    No more excuses: It's time to get on the Web. Do it in Win95 or NT with WebSite, a comprehensive package that has just about everything you need to set up a site, including tools for building your site's content. Create "clickable" graphics that link other sites, set up automatic directory indexing and more.

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    $499. O'Reilly & Associates, 800-998-9938, 707-829-0515.

    PIM/Contact Manager

    ECCO PRO 3.0

    Version 3.0 of ECCO PRO is a powerful and usable PIM that aims at a wider audience, while extending its versatility for workgoups through group scheduling and file synchronization. The program's power hides behind a simplified interface that both novice and expert will feel comfortable using.

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    Ecco Pro 3.0

    $175. NetManage, 408-973-7171, fax 408-257-6405.

    Janna Contact 95

    More than a contact manager, this program can store letters, spreadsheets and even voice notes. The scheduler is way ahead of the pack when it comes to checking for conflicts or combining appointment requests with documents. Additional new let you purge records you haven't accessed in a specified amount of time.

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    $99 (street). Janna Systems, 800-268-6107, 416-483-7711.

    Organizer 2.0

    List multiple addresses for an individual, track past and future phone activities, and categorize your entries, all in Organizer's familiar tabbed interface. This edition of the PIM eliminates many of the original's shortcomings. Organizer 2.0 is also network-aware with new integration facilities for cc: Mail and Notes.

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    Lotus Organizer 2.0

    $99 (street). Lotus Development Corp., 800-343-5414, 617-577-8500.

    Sidekick 95

    This popular PIM has leaped deftly into Windows 95. Its cover page has been replaced by the Reminder view, a screen that lists all your daily agenda tasks, including to-dos, phone calls and meetings. Two new views include EarthTime, a world map with local times for cities worldwide, and Expense view, into which you enter expense items that you sort by amount, date and type.

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    $49.95. Starfish Software, 800-765-7839, 408-461-5800.

    Time & Chaos 4.07

    Four databases--a calendar, appointment list, to-do list and telephone book--make this one sensible PIM. Time & Chaos can be searched and shared over a network, phone book records can be linked with appointments, and phone book information can be used to generate profiles, letters (including merges) and envelopes.

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    $29.95. iSBiSTER International, 214-495-6724, fax 214-530-6566.

    WinSales 3.0

    Avoid losing a good customer because of a bad contact manager. The sales-centric WinSales is based on relationship marketing--the idea that you must make several connections with prospects before they are ready to buy. WinSales' dramatically improved interface uses tabbed dialogs and simplifies adding fields to any contact screen. Event triggers automate your tasks, and Action Plans check events in your database and take appropriate action.

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    $495. WinSales, 206-747-2464, fax 206-747-2955.

    Presentations

    ASAP

    The artistically impaired can produce snooze-proof slide shows with this simple presentation package. The clean interface's work area offers three tabs--one for a presentation outline, a second to assemble and view slides, and the last to run your slide show.

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    ASAP

    $99 (street). Software Publishing Corp., 800-234-2500, 408-988-7558.

    Freelance Graphics for Windows 95

    Freelance Graphics for Windows 95 lets you make sleek and sophisticated presentations. Exceptional power teamed with help, tips, templates and advice make the software easy to use. When working with others, you use sticky notes to attach comments, distribute your work to selected coworkers by e-mail or a Notes database, and write on the presentation using markers.

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    Freelance Graphics for Windows 95

    Lotus Development Corp., 800-343-5414, 617-577-8500.

    Project Management

    Microsoft Project for Windows 95

    Your workgroup isn't worth much if there's a communications breakdown among team members. Not to worry. This project manager's greatly improved communications features provide a new way to share deadline, task-assignment and project-status information. Highly customizable Gantt charts ensure that all facets of your project are clear to your teammates.

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    Microsoft Project for Windows 95

    $469. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Milestones Etc. 4.5 and Milestones Simplicity 1.0

    Whether your scheduling needs are demanding (variable-sized columns and rows, the versatility of a spreadsheet, and large toll libraries) or simple (a low-cost solution with only the features you need), there's probably a Milestones that's right for you.

    Milestones, $189.95; Simplicity, $89.95. Kidasa Software, 800-765-0167, 512-328-0167.

    Remote Control

    Carbon Copy 3.0

    Stay in touch with your office PC via remote control. In addition to Windows 95 compatibility, this version offers some nice new features. Remote Clipboard lets you copy text or graphics to Clipboard on one machine and then paste the copied material into a document on a remote PC. With Remote Printing you can remotely access and use a printer connected to the host PC, so you can send files from the guest PC and have them print at the office.

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    Carbon Copy 3.0

    $129 (street). Microcom, 800-822-8224, 617-551-1000.

    Suite

    ABC Graphics Suite for Windows 95

    With its extensive integration with Microsoft Office 95, this suite may provide all the graphics tools you'll ever need. There's something for everyone, from diagramming and illustration to managing your clip art. It includes full version upgrades of Micrografx Designer 6.0, ABC FlowCharter 6.0, Picture Publisher 6.0 and ABC Media Manager.

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    ABC Graphics Suite

    $299 (street). Micrografx, 800-676-3110, 214-234-1769.

    Claris Works 3.0

    Save time, money and lots of hard disk space with Claris' powerful, but slim, suite. Much improved over its last version, Claris Works 3.0 includes a word processor, database and spreadsheet in a well-integrated environment. The three apps are loaded with all the expected features--and then some.

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    ClarisWorks 3.0

    $99. Claris Corp., 800-3CLARIS, 408-727-8227.

    Maximizer Sales Suite

    Take a core contact-management tool set and add mapping, report-writing and faxing programs. What you get is a comprehensive product suite geared toward the sales professional. The Maximizer's database features powerful search capabilities that use Novell's Btrieve engine.

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    Maximizer Sales Suite

    $379. Modatech Systems, 800-804-6299, 214-929-7111.

    Microsoft Back Office 1.0

    Microsoft sets a new standard on the server side with its Back Office suite. Using Windows NT Server 3.5 as its platform, Back Office includes network database SQL Server 4.21, Systems Management Server 1.0 for tracking and inventorying, and SNA Server 2.1 as a gateway between LAN-based PCs and IBM-compatible mainframes.

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    Microsoft Back Office 1.0

    Server, $409 to $999; complete package, $2,199; per client, $39.95 to $149; complete package, single user, $239 (all street prices). Microsoft Corp., 800-42609400, 206-882-8080.

    Microsoft Office for Windows 95

    Office 95 ties into Win95's best features, including OLE 2.0, tool tips, right mouse-button commands and long filenames. The Binder option lets you combine files created in any Office app into a single workbook so that they can be opened and saved together. Word gets special kudos for its goof-proof AutoCorrect and spell-checking features.

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    Microsoft Office for Windows 95

    $499; Professional (includes Access), $599. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Microsoft Works for Windows 95

    The first integrated package available for Windows 95, Microsoft Workshas been reworked and improved. The Task Launcher lets you work in Correspondence, Business, Management, Household Management, Employment or Common Tasks. Quick tours and getting started guides lead you through common tasks.

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    Microsoft Works for Windows 95

    $54.95 (street); with Bookshelf, $79.95; $10 in-box rebate for upgrades. Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    WinHelp Office 1.5

    Help has arrived. This suite's battery of tools centers on RoboHELP, a simple-to-use help-authoring system that works within Microsoft Word. You can integrate video and sound into your help application, perform full-text searches, and even capture a screen activity and turn it into a video file.

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    WinHelp Office 1.5

    $599. Blue Sky Software Corp., 800-459-2356, 619-459-6365.

    Utilities

    CleanSweep 95

    Although Windows 95 has its own uninstaller, sometimes you need to bring out the big guns … especially if you're installing and uninstalling a lot of products. This 32-bit utility rids you of megabytes of unneeded files, including archives, backup files, .INI files and more. As you add new software, the monitoring system tracks changes so later removal is complete and efficient.

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    CleanSweep 95

    Quarterdeck Corp., 310-309-3700, fax 310-309-4219.

    Conversions Plus 3.0

    Put your PC and your Mac on speaking terms with Conversions Plus 3.0. The program lets you trade text and graphics files between the two platforms quickly and easily. Look at your file before you decide to convert it with File Preview.

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    Conversions Plus 3.0

    $149. DataViz, 800-733-0030, 203-268-0030.

    Dashboard 95

    The Win95 taskbar is history (already!). Dashboard 95 replaces it with nifty features like Quick Launch and a Tools Panel. A calendar with alarms triggers system tasks like backups, and a memory monitor watches CPU activity and threads. Multiple virtual screens, printer control and a shortcut to DOS round out the program, which maintains its svelte "slimware" reputation despite its myriad features.

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    DashBoard 95

    $49.95. Starfish Software, 800-765-7839, 408-439-0942.

    HiJaak 95

    Although HiJaak supports 75 different graphics formats (and the variations within each), the program is more than just a file converter. With the Windows 95 version, Explorer replaces file icons with thumbnails of the images they represent. You can locate images by user-defined keywords or file size and date, enhance images with contrast and brightness controls, and convert images to gray or black and white.

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    HiJaak 95

    $49. Inset Systems, 800-374-6738, 203-740-2400.

    Lotus ScreenCam 2.0

    ScreenCam is one of the most useful apps available for Windows application training. You can capture animated action sequences from your screen and show how to perform an action, including sound voice-overs.

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    Lotus ScreenCam 2.0

    Lotus Development Corp., 800-343-5414, 617-577-8500.

    Microsoft Plus

    Add some bells and whistles to Windows 95 with the Microsoft Plus package. In addition to desktop themes, you get the System Agent to perform maintenance tasks like low disk space monitoring and DriveSpace 3, a disk compression utility. Other tools include Internet utilities and Dial-Up Networking.

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    Microsoft Plus

    $54.95 (street). Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080.

    Norton Utilities for Windows 95

    Utility integration is key to Norton Utilities for Windows 95. If the Speed Disk component finds a file error while it's defragging your hard disk, for example, Disk Doctor is automatically launched to fix it. System Doctor constantly monitors system resources and data integrity, immediately alerting you to any problems. And if you haven't loaded Win95 yet, Norton includes a handy preinstallation tune-up feature set.

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    Norton Utilites for Windows 95

    $119. Symantec Corp., 800-441-7234, 503-334-6054.

    TurboCommander PRO 1.0

    Communications commandos can handle up to nine ports and run several communications programs simultaneously with TurboCommander PRO 1.0. A status window shows the latest info on data-transfer rate, current baud rate and other settings. A sophisticated debugging utility set helps solve comm port problems. You can configure ports and drivers from within the program.

    $99.95. Pacific CommWare, 800-856-3818, 503-482-2744.

    WIN'95 Advisor

    If you haven't plunged into Windows 95 because you don't know if your current hardware can handle it, hire WIN'95 Advisor. The program analyzes all your system components (including the processor, BIOS, total memory and hard drive) to give it an overall suitability rating as an upgrade candidate.

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    Win'95 Advisor

    $39.95 (street). TouchStone Software Corp., 800-531-0450, 714-969-7746.

    WinZip 6.0

    A traditional favorite of Win 3.x users doing much file compression and decompression, the newest WinZip will also get applause from Win 95 users. The program integrates fully into Explorer and the Win95desktop so that working with files is as easy as dragging them to the WinZip icon.

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    WinZip 6.0

    $29. Nico Mak Computing, 800-242-4775, 713-524-6394 (order from Public Software Library).

    Windows NT

    Windows NT Resource Kit, 2nd Edition

    If you didn't find it in Windows NT 3.5, there's a good chance you'll find it here. Four books, a CD and several diskettes hold a wealth of Windows NT information and utilities, including TCP/IP networking features and the NT Performance Monitor.

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    Windows NT Resource Kit

    $149.95. Microsoft Press, 800-MS-PRESS, 615-793-5090.

    Word Processing

    WordPerfect 6.1

    WordPerfect is no longer a gawky teenager in the world of Windows word processors. Version 6.1 features superior file-handling, an improved interface and an enhanced feature set.

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    WordPerfect 6.1

    $395. Novell, 800-451-5151, 801-225-5000.

    Word Pro

    For those who loved the innovative Ami Pro 3.0, Word Pro is a well-chosen successor. Rebuilt from the ground up, Word Pro features Team Computing design, which makes it easier to manage collaborative work on a single document. The interface's slick redesign is easy on the eyes *and* efficient.

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    WordPro

    $105. Lotus Development Corp., 800-343-5414, 617-577-8500

    X Windows

    eXceed 4.0

    X Windows administrators will get excellent transport support and good X performance with Hummingbird's eXceed X server. EXceed ships with the SuperTCP/IP protocol stack from frontier, but it supports nearly 30 connectivity products, including the WinSock API. Unique program additions include a compiled script language and peer-level access to the local drive of a machine running the product.

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    eXceed 4.0

    $545. Hummingbird Communications, 415-917-7300, Canada 905-470-1203.

    Reflection X Connectivity Suite

    This suite deal bundles three products. TCP Connection lets you hook to TCP/IP and DECnet systems, while Reflection 2 is a Windows VT terminal emulator. Reflection X is the X Server interface.

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    Reflection X Connectivity Suite

    $599. Walker Richer & Quinn, 800-872-2829, 206-217-7100.