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1997 Readers' Choice Awards: Business/Productivity Applications

Word Processor

[Winner] Lotus Word Pro
by Lotus Development Corp.

As the first true "Team Word Processor", Lotus Word Pro 96 claims to revolutionize the way people create, review and edit collaborative documents. Its immense list of features includes, Internet Support; TeamConsolidate (display edits made by each team member); markup tools; TeamMail; SmartMasters; the legendary Lotus InfoBox; support for REXX and more.

If Word Pro for OS/2 Warp 4 (included in the upcoming SmartSuite for Warp 4) lives up to its hype once reaching final release, the other word processors in the market may have a real fight on their hands to keep up.

[Runner-Up] DeScribe
by DeScribe

Despite the fall of its parent company, DeScribe Inc., the DeScribe word processor still holds fascination for OS/2 users, as evidenced by its Runner-Up status this year. Even though the product itself is no longer supported (or sold apparently), its technical aspects still impress users enough that those who have a copy of DeScribe (and there appear to be many who do) see no need to switch to another product.

With extremely powerful frames-based layout features and configurability enough for any level of user, DeScribe is still a world class word processor.

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[Winner] Mesa 2
by Sundial Systems

The Mesa 2 spreadsheet is designed for users who want to combine the power and reliability of OS/2 with the flexibility and ease of use of object technology. Mesa 2 takes full advantage of OS/2's advanced technology; every Mesa 2 file runs in its own thread, and the program supports multithreaded feeds that update data in real time based on changes in the stock market or other sources.

Sundial Systems purchased Mesa 2 from Athena Design a few years ago, intending to add it to Sundial's product line and bring a full office suite to their users. Mesa 2's position in first place of the Reader's Choice "Spreadsheet" section seems to indicate that users approve of what Sundial's done thus far.

[Runner-Up] 1-2-3
by Lotus Development Corp.

Lotus' 1-2-3 spreadsheet is another product climbing the ranks in users' minds, possibly influenced by the first availability in a long time of a native OS/2 version in Lotus' upcoming SmartSuite for Warp 4. As Lotus claims, "1-2-3 works harder so you don't have to..." Create charts easily, track changes to your spreadsheets, you name it. One big plus to users of 1-2-3 no doubt is that it's part of a full suite of applications designed to work together. Take tables created in 1-2-3 and easily publish them to the web, or import them into Word Pro documents, etc.

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[Winner] DB/2
by IBM

For the second year in a row, our readers picked IBM's DB2/2 as their database of choice. Still one of the most powerful pieces of software on any platform, IBM's DB2 family of products runs on OS/2, Windows NT, AIX, HP-UX, SCO, Solaris and more. DB2 Server is a robust, full-function database management system that includes optimized SQL support, tools to manage data, and access to remote database servers. If you want power, DB2's got it.

[Runner-Up] Approach
by Lotus Development Corp.

Power's good, but so is ease of use, and Approach has got them both. Just appearing on the scene in a native OS/2 form, Approach and its fellows in Lotus SmartSuite work together to give you an easier job. Making the creation of reports, forms, mailings and analyses extremely fast and easy, Approach has already had quite an effect on OS/2 users, as evidenced by its Runner-Up finish even though the suite hasn't been "officially" released yet.

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[Winner] Organizer
by Lotus Development Corp.

Organizer, once again, part of Lotus' SmartSuite for Warp 4 (now in beta), has a large range of features and a really slick interface. It allows you to do everything you'd expect with a typical Personal Information Manager such as schedule appointments, keep track of addresses, and set alarms to alert you at prearranged times. Organizer's look and feel, when combined with its features and integration with the other SmartSuite programs, result in a package which readers have found to their liking.

[Runner-Up] IBM Works
by IBM

One of the often overlooked gems of OS/2 Warp is IBM Works and its included personal information manager. This PIM offers integrated to-do lists, calendars, a monthly planner, appointment & phone/address books, and an event monitor for scheduling automatic reminders. With power and flexibility right out of the OS/2 box, many users have found that his suite of tools is all they need.

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Financial Application

[Winner] InCharge
by Spitfire Software

InCharge, Spitfire's personal and business financial system, allows a variety of accounting and finance features which make it a good choice; multiple sets of books and accounts, multiple currencies, the ability to print checks, pay bills, management of securities and insurance, and much more. Multithreaded architecture, combined with extras like notes, a calendar and a variety of clock functions all round out the package nicely.

The "Financial Application" category was left out of last year's voting (due to an oversight on our part), but when many readers complained, we made sure not to drop the ball again. Many of those readers also told us that they would have voted for InCharge last year and, true to their word, they've made it this year's Winner.

[Runner-Up] Money Tree
by Mount Baker Software

Money Tree is another financial system that users find to be an excellent package. In addition to all the regular features which allow users to keep track of which finances are where, Money Tree also has the ability to formulate sophisticated analyses and predictions based on information provided. Adding to this Workplace Shell integration, the ability to import files in the popular Quicken format and more, its list of features is extensive.

Relatively new this year, Money Tree's Runner-Up status is a strong showing for a great new app.

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Communications Application

[Winner] InJoy
by F/X Communications

InJoy calls itself a 'dialer apparatus extraordinaire', and it's just that. With more features than any other Internet dialer for OS/2, it's no wonder it claims first place in the "Communications Application" category this year.

With the ability to autolearn scripts for your Internet provider, IP masquerading (multiple computers on your LAN using the same Internet connection), and more ways to tweak your Internet connection for performance than you can shake a stick at, InJoy definitely deserves the tag 'extraordinaire' and our readers' nod as this year's winner.

[Runner-Up] ZOC
by EmTec Innovative Software

ZOC is a powerful communications application, raved about for many years by users of both OS/2 and Windows. It features ISDN support for CAPI V1.1 (OS/2 only); TTY, VT52, VT100, VT102, VT220, AVATAR and ANSI emulations; English and German versions; ASCII, Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem, and CompuServe-B file transfer protocols; GIF/JPG display while downloading; an autodialer with autologin and learn mode; REXX language for scripting (same on all platforms) and more.

While it has slipped out of the top spot it enjoyed last year, ZOC is still popular enough to claim Runner-Up prize with our readers.

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Graphics Application

[Winner] PMView
by Peter Nielsen

Not all image viewers are created equal. PMView not only supports the widest range of image formats we've seen in any program, it also blows the rest away for speed and features -- on any platform. It has drag 'n drop integration with the WPS, an amazing thumbnail browser, slideshow and image processing power and a lot more too.

This is PMView's second year in the finals of the "Graphics Application" category, and this year readers gave it the first-place thumbs-up.

[Runner-Up] Photo>Graphics
by TrueSpectra

Photo>Graphics is an extremely powerful image manipulation tool, allowing the creation and retouching of images, digital effects, text effects such as 3D or floats, and more -- all loadable and saveable in the most common formats. Its list of features makes the package useful for both home and business use, for designing Web content, and loads of other projects. If you need to have people look at something and say "wow", you may want to check out Photo>Graphics.

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Backup Application

[Winner] BackAgain/2
by Computer Data Strategies

BackAgain/2 comes in three editions, Enterprise, Professional and Personal, offering a decent package for everyone's backup needs; as your organization grows, it does as well. Fully multithreaded and integrated with the WPS, it makes backups a snap, even without a tape drive since it allows backups to hard disks, floppy disks and even removable media such as Zip Drives. Including enhanced network support and disaster recovery tools, it's also ideal for network administrators.

Its position this year as our winner in this category proves that our readers feel it excels.

[Runner-Up] BackMaster
by MSR Development

BackMaster is the Runner-Up in this category, but is by no means very far behind. Like BA/2, BackMaster has a GUI interface (and a text-based disaster recovery program), and supports a slew of drives and backup devices. It also includes enhanced data compression for tape drives and multi-drive backups and filtering features to allow for backup of only certain types of files. All these features tie in to give quite a respectable program.

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