Here is a summary of a recent Computing product reviews.
BeyondMail, for PC compatible with 286 or higher processor, 1 megabyte random-access memory, DOS 3.1 or later, and 3.5 megabytes of free hard disk space, for MHS Network or Personal version, and Netware, PC LAN, 3Com, VINES, or LAN Manager network. $995 for 10 users; $395 for Forms Designer. From Beyond Inc., 38 Sidney St., Cambridge, Mass. 02139. (617) 621-0095.
Summary: BeyondMail has its own "rules" language that lets you filter the dozens or hundreds of electronic messages that can cram e-mail "in" boxes. That permits you to deal first with the mail that's most important. These rules can launch other programs to automate and orchestrate the work of groups. With these rules and its Forms Designer, BeyondMail demonstrates the future of e-mail.
On a scale of one to four, with one indicating poor and four indicating excellent, here's how it rates:
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 4 computers
These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible computers. The programs are available from bulletin boards. Users try them, then pay a fee to register if they decide to use them regularly.
For about $200 you can get any of the name-brand commercial word processors. It will be versatile, powerful and accompanied by pounds of instructions.
For a secretary or newsletter publisher, any of these programs will work fine. They can incorporate graphics in text, handle mailing lists and tricky company publications and generally turn its user into an amateur printer.
So the secretary or publisher is wise to choose MS Word, WordPerfect, WordStar or any of the MS Windows word processors. A regular user will find them smooth and capable.