Shopping for software for your company? You might want to check out The Corporate Software Guide, published twice a year by Corporate Software Inc., a national sales, distribution, and service company in Canton, Mass. The guide, which sells for $24.95, provides evaluations of more than 600 products, based in part on reports from users. Each evaluation discusses how easy, or how difficult, it is to learn and use the program; what features it has; who might use it; and what you can expect it to do. Corporate Software mainly services big companies, but most of the products listed are available from retailers.

For more definitive and up-to-date evaluations, you might try The Software Digest Ratings Newsletter, published monthly by Software Digest, in affiliate of National Software Testing Laboratories Inc. (NSTL). Each issue focuses on a particular type of software (accounting, say, or office productivity), comparing various brands for ease of learning and use, price, versatility, memory requirement, error handling, and other features. Every product listed is given an overall rating, based on in-house testing by NSTL staff. Subscriptions cost $295 per year, and individual issues are available for $45 each. You can get a list of software categories covered in recent issues by writing to Software Digest, 1 Winding Drive, Philadelphia PA 19131.