Corel puts out the Word on Office 2000

Open-source Linux applications, especially suites, have been a little rare, but a new release from Corel Corp. adds to this burgeoning group.

Corel Corp. has launched WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux, offered in both Standard and Deluxe Editions.

Both editions install on major Linux distributions, and are compatible with the Windows version of WordPerfect Office 2000 and Microsoft Office 2000.

The suite delivers applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, and a database and a personal information management.

“It’s the only full-blown product available for the Linux market,” said Amy Wohl, an analyst at Wohl Associates.

Wohl said WordPerfect Office 2000, or WPO, is a new and improved version of an existing product. “It’s a great product. If you’re looking for a slim, easy-to-use product, buy this,” said Wohl. “It’s got all the apparatus of a big full-blown product.”

“We will be launching almost all of our Windows products on to Linux by the end of the year,” said Corel chief technology officer Derek J. Burney.

The compatibility of the product allows WPO users to export and import to and from Word and Excel files.

“Now Linux users can communicate with their counterparts …regardless of what they’re using as their software,” Burney said.

According to Wohl, Linux-based word processors have generally had fewer features than their Windows counterparts.

“They tend to be younger products that haven’t been around for as long to build up a full feature set,” she said.

The Standard Edition of WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux includes WordPerfect 9, Quattro Pro 9, Corel Presentations 9, CorelCENTRAL 9, Netscape Navigator, WordPerfect Office 2000 user guide and clipart manual, Adobe Acrobat Reader, over 100 TrueType and PostScript Type 1 fonts, 1,200 clipart images, more than 20 photos and 30-days free installation support.

The WordPerfect Office 2000 Linux Deluxe Edition also offers Paradox 9, Netscape Communicator, 1,000 TrueType and PostScript Type 1 fonts, over 12,000 clipart images, more than 200 photos, an entertainment pack (Railroad Tycoon II – Gold Edition Limited Version and demo software by Loki Games) and a Linux bean-filled penguin.

Both editions include the download version of Corel Linux OS.

“You have a full-blown spreadsheet that has dynamic charting capabilities, and a database like Paradox there,” Burney said. “All of those are applications that simply don’t exist on Linux.”

IDC Canada analyst Kevin Restivo in Toronto said despite all the enhancements, Corel is still facing an uphill battle. He said Corel made a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and said they were in danger of running out of cash in 90 days.

“Corel is facing decreasing market share numbers vs. Microsoft,” Restivo said. “You can have the greatest technology in the world, but unless you can make people adopt it, unless the sales and marketing efforts are there, it becomes difficult.”

Burney did not agree with Restivo’s assessment.

“Our market share is not decreasing. If you look at a snapshot of any one time, you could find a period where that was the case,” he said. “But if you look at the most recent PC data numbers, we actually went up.”

Regarding the filing with the SEC, Burney stated it was one paragraph in a 100 page report, and for security regulations they are obligated to include the statement if it is remotely possible that something like that could happen.

Pricing for the WordPerfect Office for Linux Standard Edition is $149 and $199 for the Deluxe Edition.