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Grants.gov finally available to Mac users

Online application service was only available to Windows users. New software is 'early release,' crash-prone but it's better than the previous options.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on
Just about a full year after The Washington Post revealed that Grants.gov, the online grants application service the federal government unveiled with great fanfare, was only available to Windows users, IBM has come up with Mac software that allows the service to work on both platforms, Macworld reports.

Grants.gov was developed by Northrop Grumman as part of a $22 billion contract. The Grants.gov system was built on PureEdge software; IBM bought the developer in 2005. Now the company has released PureEdge Viewer for Macintosh, allowing the many government and academic researchers who regularly apply for federal grants to use the government' preferred application method.

Up to now, Grants.gov’s official take on the issue was to make Mac users rely on PC emulation products, or, more recently, virtualization software or Boot Camp and Windows running on Intel Macs. But some Mac users have been reluctant to do that, since it exposes their systems to Windows security risks or just seems to be a lot of hoops to jump through to electronically access a federal computer system.

IBM — which bought the developer of PureEdge in 2005 — has provided a “Special Edition Mac Viewer” for PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, according to information on the Grants.gov Web site, which describes the Mac application as “early release” software. Several caveats are provided, including the application’s penchant for occasional crashes and subsequent loss of unsaved data; incompatibility with systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4.6, no current support for screen readers used by visually impaired users; and a lack of tolerance for being moved elsewhere than your home directory.

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