## MICROSOFT DOES MATH

The best part of the new “Microsoft Math” is what they call their “step by step” solution. You can enter an equation and they solve it and show you how they arrived at the solution.

The new program is available as a download for $20 from Microsoft.com/math. On the other hand, for a few dollars more, as they say in the movie business, you can get Microsoft Student at one of the discount sellers like Amazon.com and it contains most of the same things plus an encyclopedia. We say “most” instead of “all” because the math part of “MS Student” does not cover calculus, which is too bad because it’s fun. In fact, if we may digress for a micro-minute, it reminds Bob of the time Archimedes was working on a problem and came just a smidgen away from inventing the integral calculus before he was distracted and went on to something else. That would have been about 2,000 years before Newton discovered it.

Microsoft Math is aimed at middle school, high school and college students, though we could all benefit. Complex curves and solids are generated on-screen in color and pop-up notes explain new terms. You can save any of these projections as a “tif” file and insert it into reports. There is also a reference section with standard formulas in the “Equation Library.”