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Fractal:PC: what Windows can do for an encore

Fractal:Edge introduces Fractal:PC, a self-installing freeware product that dramatically increases the speed and ease of navigating and managing Windows

27th November 2001 - Fractal:Edge has released Fractal:PC, a file navigation tool for Windows users that promises a revolution in ease of use and speed.

Designed to replace Windows Explorer, Fractal:PC is available free of charge as a showcase and first application product for the British company’s patent-pending Fractal Map data navigation and visualisation technology.

Fractal:PC allows PC users to navigate the Windows universe and invoke familiar functions with unprecedented ease and speed. The program replaces the tree-structured Windows Explorer with a simpler and more effective visual metaphor – based on fractals – that brings the entire directory structure in view and every file to within a single mouse-click away.

A primitive version of the same concept has been introduced by Microsoft. In the Windows Explorer supplied with XP up to four files per directory can be viewed two levels away. Using Fractal PC, users can view thousands of items several levels away (see comparative table).

Gervase Clifton-Bligh, founder of Fractal:Edge, said: "Microsoft has steadily improved the user interface commercialised by Apple 17 years ago, but we’re talking about incremental change. The reality is that file navigation has moved forward a few inches. By comparison, Fractal:PC improves on the Windows Explorer metaphor by miles. Fractal Maps enable very large amounts of information to be managed very easily and quickly."

The freeware version of Fractal:PC is aimed equally at those who use PCs for business and pleasure. Business users can make demonstrable savings in the time taken to locate critical information. Personal users stand to benefit from a more enjoyable and hassle-free computing experience.

A version of the product for corporate network managers and users is also available for as little as £35 per user. Fractal:PC Corporate Edition extends the principle of a single view of the information universe and applies it to all the devices and users on a corporate network.

The product is also packaged in a developer’s version for creating custom navigation and visualisation applications from popular data sources such as Excel. Fractal Maps Developer Studio costs £995.

Fractal:PC can be downloaded as a 500Kb self-installing executable from the Fractal:Edge website ( Optimised for Windows 2000, it also runs on other major versions including 9x, ME, XP and NT 4.