SPSS, the publisher of SPSS statistical software, has announced a return to the Mac platform. The latest version of the software will be available for the Mac before the end of summer 2000.

SPSS version 10.0 will be the first new version of SPSS on the Mac since 1995, when the company released version 6.1. The new release is being developed to run on Mac OS X, as well as Mac OS 8.5 and later.

The decision to return to the Mac platform was prompted by the advent of new Apple technology, and persistent requests from loyal groups of users - such as university computing departments and researchers.

The company is finalizing a partnership with Software MacKiev, a company with extensive experience in Mac conversions, to deliver the new product, and is receiving marketing support from Apple.

Mark Battaglia, executive vice president of marketing for SPSS, commented: "When we stopped developing for the Macintosh platform, it was a difficult decision. On the one hand we have a sizable group of customers who wanted a new release, but on the other hand, we faced enormous technical obstacles and a financial responsibility to our shareholders. Now, with a substantial Apple customer base and Software MacKiev’s support in bringing SPSS 10.0 to the Macintosh, we can responsibly do both."