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SPSS 17.0 Drops Support for PowerPC Macs

SPSS announced recently to its Mac-based customers that SPSS 17.0 for Mac would not be released for the PowerPC based Mac, effectively discontinuing SPSS development for the PowerPC. PowerPC Mac users presently represent about 3% of all online computer users, down from 4.2% back in 2006 when the Intel based Mac was released. This based on the following letter which was recently e-mailed to SPSS for Mac users:

Dear SPSS for Mac customer:
Your investment in SPSS for Mac demonstrates your commitment to maximizing
the value your organization gains from statistical analysis. SPSS Inc. is
equally committed to developing technologies that help you derive valuable
insights from your data.
The purpose of this e-mail is to inform you that SPSS will not support the
PowerPC chip in our next product, SPSS 17.0 for Mac, which is scheduled for
release in the third quarter of 2008.
This decision, while not an easy one, was based on two key factors:
--Most Apple computers now rely on Intel chips. Since August 2006, Apple
Inc. has released computers that run on Intel chips instead of PowerPC
chips; as a result, PowerPC market share has declined substantially
--The strategic allocation of development resources. Focusing development on
Intel-based hardware enables SPSS to devote more resources to developing
other features and advancements that SPSS customers have requested
We regret any inconvenience this change may cause you. We appreciate your
loyalty to SPSS for Mac, and we hope that you will select SPSS 17.0 for Mac
to meet your statistical analysis challenges.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
Sincerely,
Arik Pelkey
Senior Product Manager
SPSS Inc.

At the time Intel-based macs were released, the MacOS’s overall market share (as reported by NetApplications) was about 4.29% of all computers on the Internet. In February, 2008 it represented 3.07%, while the Intel-based Macs represented 4.39% (grand total of 7.46% — huge increase for Macs overall in 2 years).

It still means that a little over 40% of all Mac users are still using PowerPC based Macs, which means that there are still going to be a lot of people who don’t get to upgrade to SPSS 17.

To be perfectly honest, even though I have SPSS 16.0 I still really only use SPSS 15.0. I’m still having trouble getting used to the new java-based interface. Unless SPSS 17.0 gets some exciting new features, I may continue to stick with 15 anyways.

So…no big loss for the MacOS users?

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