: Mathematica 4.2"> Executive Summary: Mathematica 4.2
Mathematica 4.2 continues the trend of past releases by augmenting its computational, symbolic-math and graphical tools with additional facilities useful to enterprise operations and technical publishing professionals. Its elegant, consistent notebook format and palette-enhanced, command-line interface make the product easy to customize and extend but in some ways harder to learn than competing products such as Waterloos Maple 8 or The MathWorks Matlab.
Far more expensive than spreadsheets or many packaged statistical software suites, Mathematica and other high-end tool kits must be justified in terms of the staff hours they can save or the breakthroughs they may enablewith consequences that go straight to the bottom line. Few organizations will deploy it to more than a few high-end strategists, making its price per seat a relatively minor issue. (+) Reduces need to combine Mathematica with other tools for presentation and statistical analysis; makes surprisingly large improvements in core computational functions, while also staying abreast of enterprisewide developments such as growing reliance on XML; offers current version in consistent environments on Windows and Mac OS, unlike competing products. (-) A law unto itself in notation and user interface design: rigorously consistent and generally well-designed but a bottom-up learning task for new users. EVALUATION SHORT LIST
Waterloos Maple 8 The MathWorks Matlab 6.1 www.wolfram.com