Tone of Corel coverage was negative

The Corel/Inprise merger was cancelled on May 16th. The tone of the editorial and story was negative, which surprises me as you are a Canadian publication. ( CWC, June 2, pages 1 and 18.)

Also, Corel has recorded $5 million in Linux sales as of the last earnings. I don’t think you should be a cheerleader but as the “Voice of the IT community” you could have put up a more technical analysis. Corel has 64 products covering multiple platforms. Inprise has the middleware and enterprise applications that could have allowed the combined company to offer an end-to-end enterprise solution. The Paradox database engine has just about come to the limits of usability. With Corel, Inprise could have marketed Interbase, added Javabeans to WordPerfect Office apps, and could have taken advantage of Corel’s retail channels and marketing expertise.

Microsoft influence

But that is history. I was surprised that you did not mention the pending Microsoft breakup. Is it conceivable that part of Corel’s problems for the past few years has been that it has been competing with a company that was using illegal, monopolistic practices? Is it possible that Linux offers Corel a market where Microsoft does not dominate?

Bynari,, is bundling WordPerfect Office for Linux and Corel Linux with its TradeServer products. This is a good deal as there is no per-seat fee with TradeServer and Trade exchange can scale to handle a million mail clients. This will be huge as Bynari’s products have the same functionality as Microsoft Exchange/Outlook and are 100 per cent compatible with them. The client is open sourced and Bynari charges a license fee for the server programs but the TCO is way less than Microsoft Exchange.

Now, Corel has an operating system (Corel Linux), applications, mail server and clients, Web server, firewall and just about everything a small- to middle-size business needs to run on. All virus free.

Corel on upswing

Corel has been savaged by the press (unfairly I think) but there is good news. According to, Corel Corp.’s share of the U.S. retail software market more than doubled during a four-month stretch that ended in April, new data shows, following the company’s emphasis on a low-price strategy and its release of new Linux products.

The data, produced by market research firm PC Data Inc. of Reston, Va., says Corel’s share of the market – based on the number of products sold – jumped to 0.69 per cent in April, compared with 0.31 per cent in December. The April mark was the Ottawa company’s highest since November, 1998, when the company won 0.73 per cent of the market.

On a revenue basis, Corel also saw significant gain during the four-month stretch. Its share of the software market jumped to 1.05 per cent, compared with 0.72 per cent in December, PC Data reports. That was its best performance since October, 1999, when it won 1.08 per cent of the market.

So they have reduced costs, revenues are increasing, and Microsoft’s restrictions come into effect very soon. I think things will be getting better for this Canadian company.

Frank Kuschnereit

New Maryland, N.B.