The big news with the launch of Maplesoft's Maple 10 is the fact that this is the first time in its 20-year history that the company has introduced a WSYWIG math environment in a project release. The strategy, says Maplesoft President Jim Cooper, was to create a powerful, all-purpose math tool that doesn't require a Ph.D. in mathematics to use and allows users to capture technical knowledge more easily and in a way that they intuitively would expect it to look. "In the past, engineers had to employ different tools to do different things one tool might have strong numerics and no symbolics, another tool would have very strong programming but no capability to do technical documentation, and so on," Cooper explains. "We felt there was no reason that a single tool shouldn't be able to move seamlessly between numeric and symbolic calculations, provide strong programming and documentation capabilities, and accommodate users at all levels of math skill." Clearly, Maplesoft's strategy is paying off. Cooper notes that commercial sales have "gone through the roof" since Maple 10 (actually it's the 17th release but who's counting?) was introduced a year ago. Design engineers, whose last class in linear algebra may have been longer ago than they care to admit, are a target market. And for power users, Cooper says that Maplesoft programmers did not sacrifice any of the functionality they're accustomed to in previous versions of the product. The commercial version of Maple 10 is priced at $2,000. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4917-635.
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