Friday, March 23, 2007

MathCAD drops Maple

I have finally confirmed what a reader pointed out to us a couple of weeks ago. The new MathCAD 14 has dropped the Maple engine which previously powered its symbolic calculations.

I wrote about plans to do this back in Jan 2006, though I predicted the wrong replacement. The MathCAD gig goes to Mupad. PTC's only explanatory comment was this "improves robustness". While anyone who reads comp.soft-sys.math.maple knows that Maple bugginess is a recurrent theme, the truth is probably more likely to be a cost cutting exercise.

Mupad also replaced Maple as the engine in Scientific Workplace a few years earlier and one must speculate that Mupad will now have its sights set on the one remaining Maple OEM deal, the Matlab Symbolic Toolbox. Perhaps this helps to explain Maplesoft's recent re-implementation of the toolbox, to put it under their own control?

Stable income from this deal will be a much needed boost to Mupad, who had seemed in trouble a year ago. Likewise, this must represent a significant loss to Maplesoft. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece called "Maple loses three million users" which was a dig at press release bullshit. But now, it seems, it was partly true. If PTC is to be believed, this will remove Maple technology from between 1.4 and 1.8 million desktops, over the upgrade cycle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mupad does a lot less than Maple, so that makes it a lot easier for them to make it without the bugs that plague Maple.