This software provides a comprehensive set of capabilities including frequencies, cross-tabs comparison of means (t-tests and one-way ANOVA); linear regression, logistic regression, reliability (Cronbach's alpha, not failure or Weibull), and re-ordering data, non-parametric tests, factor analysis, cluster analysis, principal components analysis, chi-square analysis and more. Some very advanced statistical tests are as of 2014 not yet implemented.
The PSPP project (originally called "Fiasco") was born at the end of the 1990s as a free software replacement for SPSS, which was a data management and analysis tool, at the time produced by SPSS Inc. The nature of SPSS's proprietary licensing and the presence of digital restrictions management motivated the author to write an alternative which later became functionally identical, but with permission for everyone to copy, modify and share.
In the book "SPSS For Dummies", the author discusses PSPP under the heading of "Ten Useful Things You Can Find on the Internet". In 2006, the South African Statistical Association presented a conference which included an analysis of how PSPP could be used as an alternative to SPSS.