Microcomputers have a wide range of prices and capabilities; however, once an agency has defined its requirements and has identified software capable of meeting most needs, the choice will be narrowed considerably. Steps recommended for selecting a small-computer system differ from those for larger systems; large-computer systems should acquire hardware first, while small-computer systems should first select software. Software packages available for microcomputers fall into several categories (statistical, word processing, financial, database, etc.); the text describes each and explains the selection process. Software availability, the system's potential for expansion, the manufacturer's credibility, and maintenance and repair are some factors agencies should consider. Photographs and commentary illustrate microcomputer capabilities and features. Several references and a glossary of microcomputer terms are included.