February 28, 2006 9:01 PM PST

Corel teams up with Lenovo

Corel plans to announce Wednesday that its Small Business Center suite will be bundled into Lenovo 3000 notebooks and desktops, marking another major PC maker to pre-load Corel's software.

Corel, which faced financial turmoil several years ago as competition from Microsoft and Adobe Systems became increasingly fierce, will add Lenovo to its list of partnering PC makers, which includes Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

The deal, however, is nonexclusive. As with Dell and HP, Microsoft's competing Office products may be shipped on the same PCs.

Nonetheless, analysts note the arrangement will bolster Corel's presence internationally.

"Lenovo adds another major PC manufacturer with good reach," said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. "It has a big international presence and it's expanding into the U.S. as well."

Corel Small Business Center will be loaded onto the Lenovo 3000 desktops and notebooks. That suite includes its WordPerfect Office, CorelDRAW, Corel Paint Shop Pro X and Corel Photo Album 6 Starter Edition.

"Corel is targeting the small-business market, which typically has 20 employees or less. This is a market that Microsoft has had trouble reaching because it's fragmented and has diverse business needs," Wilcox said. "Product loyalty is not as great and cost drives a lot of purchase decisions."

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