April 1, 2004 4:40 PM PST

Corel to test WordPerfect for Linux

Corel plans to test the waters later this month for a Linux version of its WordPerfect productivity software.

A Corel representative said the company's online store will begin selling a "proof-of-concept" Linux-native version of WordPerfect on April 15. "This pilot project is designed to determine the feasibility of developing future Linux versions of WordPerfect or WordPerfect Office," the representative said.

Corel previously produced a Linux-native version of WordPerfect 8, released in 1998, and offered a Linux-translated version of WordPerfect 9 in 2000, when Linux was still a cornerstone of the company's broader strategy.

Corel has since backed off Linux and chewed through a $135 million bailout from Microsoft. It went private last year, in a $98 million buyout by a San Francisco venture capital firm.

The company has also shed several business units and laid off employees to focus on what the new owners consider its two key business segments: graphics software and WordPerfect.

WordPerfect made some notable market gains a few years ago, when major PC makers began preloading it on their low-end models, but the deals didn't create much profit. The company plans to begin selling version 12 of WordPerfect later this month, promoting tools and interface enhancements that make it similar to Microsoft's market-dominating Office.

On the Linux side, WordPerfect will primarily compete with Sun Microsystems' StarOffice and its open-source offshoot, OpenOffice.org, which has made widely publicized gains lately with government customers.

3 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Right strategy, wrong product.
A few years back, the only thing that kept me
having one of my computers with the "M-word"
company's graphical interface on top of some sort
of CPM-clone operating system was Corel Draw. I
eventually learned to live without it. When
there was hype about a Linux Corel Draw I tried
to get one - but failed when Corel turned to the
dark side.

I guess Corel have learnt their lesson.

But the world has changed, guys. The way forward
is not with proprietary format word processors -
you don't stand a chance against Open Office;
you'll only sell WP to nostalgists.

You could make a go with Draw still, though; but
only if you give it an open, non-proprietary,
data format. (I'd even write it for you.)

Remember who told you.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree, mostly
I just bought Paint Shop Pro last week because I
needed a feature not in GIMP. I'd have bought
Corel Draw (at a similar price point, including
a small premium) if it had been available for
Linux.

I don't use Open Office because I don't need the
complexity. AbiWord works just fine. If Word
Perfect (or WordStar or AmiPro) were ported to
Linux to run natively, I'd definitely give them
some close scrutiny and, if they were a good fit
for my purposes, buy them. I've always preferred
"best of breed" applications over "kitchen sink
included" suites.

I spent TONS of money buying software when I
used Windows exclusively. I'm still willing to
turn loose of a few bucks for superior
programming when I see it.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Been there Done That.
Corel is currently offering WordPerfect for Linux Version 8.0

For those of us that already have that version, this is just a re-release of an existing product. The proof of concept WAS proven back in 1998.

If corel want to win back customers, they should offer support for those customers who have WordPerfect 8 (and Office 2000 for linux - a wine version that caused more problems than it solved) to allow us to install it on current releases of Linux.

"Once bitten, Twice shy" Corel has a lot of work to regain confidence in the Linux world.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.