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the Beta File


Welcome back to the Beta File, your source for the latest breaking news in OS/2 beta development. Every month we scour the OS/2 world to bring you interesting news of OS/2 software in development. If you have a product that you're sure is going to be the next killer app, or you want a little free exposure for your beta test drop us a note!

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OS/2 users looking for a new business management and accounting package, take heart. Cybercom is currently working on and taking pre-orders for AccuCount/2, a new OS/2-only, 32 bit, multi-threaded, accounting program that handles invoicing, inventory, purchasing, G/L, P/L and much more. There is also a fully integrated Contact Manager that tracks all transactions, contacts and events in an easy to understand format. A payroll module and multiuser version are planned for release at a later date.

Late last month, Alpha testing was occurring at four major client sites and internally. Now, over 100 beta testers have signed up. Cybercom has just opened the beta test for new applicants and they would like to get as many as possible to fully use and abuse the program, provide feedback and bug reports. Have a look at their web page for more details, including a special Preview/Beta offer.

The final version of the product is due sometime between Q1 and Q2 1997 at a price of around US$125 and it will be distributed as commercial software. For even more information, check the Press Release on IBM's Software Home Page.

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In addition to their ongoing beta test (to be released real soon now) of SmartSuite for OS/2, Lotus has also begun beta testing Lotus Domino for OS/2. Domino provides a powerful engine for communication and collaboration using standard Web browsers. It takes advantage of Lotus Notes technology and Warp Server SMP and is compatible with OS/2 Warp Connect and OS/2 Warp Version 4.

Lotus is conducting an open beta program and is still looking for participants so if you're interested you are welcome to sign up. The Domino 1.5 Beta 1 for OS/2 Warp is available for download from the Domino home page.

This (obviously) commercial product from Lotus is expected before year end, 1996. Final pricing information is not available at this time but expect a single-processor server to cost about US$995, and a multiprocessor US$2995.

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Stardock Systems, having recently wrapped up beta testing of both Process Commander and Trials of Battle (both of which should be shipping by the time you read this), is moving ahead with its beta test of Entrepreneur and is currently shipping Beta 4 to its "early experience" testers. The new beta is available on Stardock's web site (under the "software updates" link).

The economic strategy game will build on Stardock's long tradition of offering strategy games that focus on realistic struggles for dominance. Entrepreneur will be a multi-player, real time game playable over a network, the Internet or modem. Beta 4C introduces new features to the game such as a design screen, research screen, Artificial Intelligence, random world generation, and more. Graphics and sound in Entrepreneur will be provided via DIVE and DART for maximum quality.

While the game was first expected some time this year, it now looks like final ship date will be in the first quarter of '97. The game will sell as a commercial package through Stardock's normal channels. Expected price for non-early experience participants is US$59.95. Complete details and loads of screen shots are available at Stardock's Entrepreneur Page.

Entrepreneur will be available on the OS/2, Windows 95 or WindowsNT platforms. In a conversation with Brad Wardell, president of Stardock Systems, he commented that this is intended to help sales of both the OS/2 and non-OS/2 versions of the game. The reasoning used is that if a game is available only for OS/2, game magazines don't like to give it coverage in reviews. If it is a multiplatform game however, magazines review it and non-OS/2 users see that games are available for OS/2 as well as their platform of choice.

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Norbert Heller Software has recently announced a new version of its Media Player for OS/2, Albatros Media Player 2.0, and is accepting participants for its public beta test.

The purpose of Media Player 2.0 is to have a single player for all multimedia file formats instead of having a player for every file format as supplied in OS/2. Media Player should play the following file formats:

The beta test is public and is still open. The Media Player can be obtained from Walnut Creek and feedback should be directed to Norbert Heller Software. While the software is in beta testing, it is shareware so registrations of US$25 are now being taken. For more information, see the Heller Home Page.

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And, of course, the second beta of Netscape Navigator for OS/2 was finally made available at the end of November. Aside from the default web site linked from the OS/2 Warp 4 Desktop, the file can be downloaded by FTP directly from:

ftp://service2.boulder.ibm.com/software/netscape/nsos2_b2.exe; or
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/netscape/nsos2_b2.exe

This release is the complete package; Netscape Navigator for OS/2 now features:

A word of warning, be sure to remove the first beta of Navigator before installing this second one. Also, be prepared to wait for the download; the archive contains the complete OS/2 Java code so it is over 5 megabytes.

As most OS/2 users now know, Netscape Navigator 2.02 for OS/2 is the joint project of IBM and Netscape Communications. It is free now and will remain free to OS/2 users and will run on Warp 4 or Warp 3. The final version of Navigator 2.02 is expected before the end of '96 but currently, no firm date can be determined.

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