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Corel Ousted From Public Life? 214

Posted by simoniker
from the don't-call-me-garbo dept.
gagy writes "Ottawa's Corel Corp. has been showing signs of weakness in the past few years, and looks very likely to be bought out by Vector Corp, at which point it will become a privately held company. A Toronto Star story spells out the details of the deal, and takes a brief look at the history of Corel." We mentioned Corel's deal with Vector last month.
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Corel Ousted From Public Life?

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  • What a fall. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightsweat (604367) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:44PM (#6493867)
    From WordPerect's market dominance to getting bought out by a graphics package maker to this.

    Maybe the law firms will think about converting now?

    • You've never worked with many lawyers or doctors, have you?
    • Re:What a fall. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Trigun (685027) <evilNO@SPAMevilempire.ath.cx> on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:51PM (#6493917)
      Kenneth Cowpland was the ultimate death of that company. They were following the embrace, extend and extinguish philosopy, unfortunately they never realized that it was the competition that they were supposed to extinguish, and not themselves.
      They killed WordPerfect. They let the entire graphics line die. They nearly killed the company when they put a big stake in developing a home computer which ran Java natively. They seemed to always have their heads too far into the future while their products stayed too far in the past.
      In short, it is absolutely amazing they stayed alive this long, depite complete and utter mismanagement. Good riddance to bad garbage.
    • Re:What a fall. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sisukapalli1 (471175) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:51PM (#6493921)
      It is sad to see such a turn of events. The only thing that can make it worse is if some SCO like low lifes buy the company for a few pennies and start suing people at OpenOffice.org or KOffice.org.

      Ofcourse, M$FT and even SUN will pay money to those companies to make sure "they respect IP rights."

      Sorry about the rant. There is so much reason for outrage.

      S
      • Tell me about it (Score:3, Informative)

        by DCMonkey (615)

        It is probably a good thing OpenOffice.org has abandoned that integrated desktop UI that the original StarOffice had. If they felt like improving it they could have run afoul of this patent held by Corel: US Patent No. 20030090519 [uspto.gov]

        This patent might be something those KParts and Bonobo-UI guys would want to look at, in case this Vector company or someone that buys them goes the profit-by-IP-lawsuit route.

        Hint: read the claims and description. The abstract is rather useless.

      • Re:What a fall. (Score:3, Interesting)

        It is sad to see such a turn of events. The only thing that can make it worse is if some SCO like low lifes buy the company for a few pennies and start suing people at OpenOffice.org or KOffice.org. Ofcourse, M$FT and even SUN will pay money to those companies to make sure "they respect IP rights."

        According to another post here [slashdot.org] a group of Corel people claim that Microsoft arranged this whole farce to bury the company so you weren't that far off the target. The only difference is that MS seems to have

    • Re:What a fall. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:53PM (#6493932) Journal
      WordPerfect corporation was bought first by Novell, and then by Corel, by which time WordPerfect was already losing out to Microsoft's products.
    • Maybe the law firms will think about converting now?

      Sure we will think about converting. But to what!? OpenOffice!

    • Nah... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fz00 (466988)
      What's really sad is that WordPerfect is a better product [emilhouse.com] than MicroSoft Office and few people realize it. It's cheaper, it's easier to use and it makes PDFs. But I think things are getting better for WordPerfect recently than worse. At least vendors like Gateway, Compaq and Dell are bundling these in their consumer and lower end models to cut costs for both themselves and their customers. This can at least help them survive. Also, I think in Corel's case it's good that they might go private. That way
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:46PM (#6493881)
    Even back in the days before Linux went mainstream, from Corel Draw onward, Corel was ever a thorn in Microsoft's side. It looks like they went down in the good fight. The name "Corel" may emerge from this yet, but it sure won't be the same rebellious little software firm with a chip on it's shoulder.

    Here's to Corel... may it live on in out hearts and minds in "the happy coding ground."
    • by molarmass192 (608071) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:56PM (#6493975) Homepage Journal
      Corel sold out to Microsoft. The only reason they ever even got a cash offer from MS was because they had a Linux product line that was a drop in replacement for MS OS/Office, notice how quickly afterwards it was withdrawn. I appreciate their work on WINE but other than that, good riddance, you danced with the devil and now you have to pay the price. Let this be a lesson to anybody would thinks MS is their white knight. Does anybody here remember Sybase?
      • by aussersterne (212916) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:10PM (#6494564) Homepage
        Not to mention that they burned a lot of goodwill in the Linux community (one of the few viable non-Microsoft markets) when they abandoned their Linux line.

        When Corel released WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux and Corel Draw/PhotoPaint 9 for Linux, there was an incredible marketing push. I got samples. I also got Tux plush toys, balloons, beach balls, "Corel Linux" stress cubes, posters and other branding-oriented products sent to me.

        I was one of the individuals to decide to pony up $$$ for some trial installations of WordPerfect Office 2000 Deluxe for Linux and Corel Draw 9 for Linux, thinking that these were bigtime apps. The initial release was somewhat (incredibly, you found as time wore on,) buggy, but with service packs already available for the Windows version and assurances that the Linux product line represented a major long-term investment by Corel, I was reasonably confident that the product was viable.

        Well... As the weeks turned into months and still no service packs at all, the Corel Office for Linux newsgroup filled up with more and more dissatisfied people wondering about the crashing, the incompatibilities with LPR, and a million other little bugs that had yet to be addressed.

        Fast-forward to 2003... The products are orphaned. They have been removed from the Corel Web site without a trace. There has never been so much as a peep out of corel about them since the initial product launch and marketing push. To get anyone at Corel on the phone who even admits that such products ever existed is damn near impossible. The open-source linux.corel.com site that contained Corel's WINE tree is gone.

        And no service packs for the Linux versions of these programs ever got released!

        In Red Hat 8, they're still unstable, they still sometimes simply error out when you try to save a file you've been working on (can you say "lost work"?), more obscure parts of the programs still tend to crash them or display broken dialogs, and you still have to run a second font server and hand-massage your /etc/printcap file to get them to print to it. These problems that I was sure would be fixed within weeks of release in a service pack are still here years later.

        In Red Hat 9, the programs don't install at all. There's a fundamental incompatibility with NTPL. If you grab the Red Hat 8 libraries and use them with an LD_LIBRARY_PATH, you can get the apps to install and run, but they don't save or spool print jobs at all no matter what you do, and they have a tendency to simply turn into runaway processes at the slightest irritation.

        And to add final insult to injury, we've recently discovered that about 75% of the files created by the Linux versions of WordPerfect Office 2000 can't be opened by the Windows versions of Corel's products. Old files created with these apps are very orphaned.

        I'll never buy Corel again for any reason! And I've heard from other people using Linux in varied environments that who also spent $$$ on the Corel licenses that feel much the same way. They could have ruled the Linux world if they'd stuck with it. Instead, they screwed many thousands of decision-makers who won't ever want to smell them again.
        • If it makes you feel any better, the Windows version of WordPerfect worked about as well for me as the Linux version did for you. :)
        • aussersterne wrote:

          Fast-forward to 2003... The products are orphaned. They have been removed from the Corel Web site without a trace.

          It's certainly true that they've been orphaned, but WP8 for Linux Download Personal Edition remains available at a large number of sites, listed in my WordPerfect for Linux FAQ [linuxmafia.com]. You can also find PhotoPaint9 (Winelib) tarballs, here and there, if so interested.

          The open-source linux.corel.com site that contained Corel's WINE tree is gone.

          Substantially all of the form

      • I appreciate their work on WINE but other than that, good riddance, you danced with the devil and now you have to pay the price. Let this be a lesson to anybody would thinks MS is their white knight.

        It's funny but the ones actually paying the price of Corel's expedited funeral are the users of Corel's products and especially the shareholders who have been trying to talk some sense into the blindly pro-MS management [corelrescue.com].

        If there's a lesson here it's one where the management of a public company can be threa

    • by bigjocker (113512) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:57PM (#6493981) Homepage
      As I see it Corel lost a huge chance when they sold their whole Linux division to work with Microsoft on .NET.

      They had a set of great graphics/design tools, a wordprocessor with a decent user base and a decent Linux distribution. With the right management (visionary, willing to further the boundaries) they could have been a great company. But they decided to go conservative, keep selling their boxed products and use a few OEMs, kill their linux development and surrender to the .NET platform.

      Long live Corel, I would have wanted to have heard a lot more from them, but they had their shot and panicked.
      • by panaceaa (205396) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:33PM (#6494271) Homepage Journal
        Corel was constantly chasing the latest "hot" technologies without ever letting their products mature and becoming marketable. Your reference to the change from Linux to .NET is a great example. But ever since Corel Draw became obsolete, Corel spent large amounts of time and money developing hype-driven products.

        The first blunder I remember happened when Java was super hyped-up by Sun. With great fanfare, Corel ported Word Perfect to Java. Corel later cancelled the project, right when it was gaining market traction, seemlingly because the Java hype calming down. Around the same time, Palm sneaked on the scene with their much-hyped PDAs, and Corel announced it would create a PDA running Java (which never made it to market).

        The bubble moved on, and in around 1999, Linux became the hot technology. Corel created a Linux distribution and ported Word Perfect to Linux. Only a few years later, Corel cancelled both projects and announced it's amazing new idea to create products for .NET. I can only imagine their .NET products will share the same fate.

        I have no sympathy for Corel's demise. Ever since Corel Draw became a cash-cow, Corel never attempted to create products people actually wanted (to pay for, anyway). They chased hot technologies instead of customer's needs. I can't believe so many people, especially people on Slashdot, took the hype to heart and actually believed Corel would follow through on their announcements.
    • by Otter (3800) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:05PM (#6494057) Journal
      Corel was ever a thorn in Microsoft's side. It looks like they went down in the good fight. The name "Corel" may emerge from this yet, but it sure won't be the same rebellious little software firm with a chip on it's shoulder.

      If anything, that was the problem with Corel. They were so fixated on avenging themselves on Microsoft, they jumped on every bandwagon that came along -- Java, Linux -- with no regard for whether it would work or if anyone would buy it. Apple, in contrast, survives because Steve Jobs and the corporate culture have an attitude of "What can I make that will be good and that people will pay money for?" not "How can I screw Microsoft?"

      Sun, are you listening?

    • Yes, but Draw was one the the things that legitimized Windows 3.x, along with Aldus PageMaker and a few other "seminal" apps.
  • Corel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MC68040 (462186) <henric@digital-ble[ ]com ['ss.' in gap]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:46PM (#6493884) Homepage
    Well one would hope they will stay alive, even though they've been around for their fair share of trauma a lot of people actually use their products. The last company I worked for used corel office on over 1000 clients while the rest ran MS office...

    Corel's office actually had less support incidents of problems with the actual software, on the other hand, it was a pain because everyone was used to MS office and didden't understand the different GUI hehe.

    http://funstuff.digital-bless.com/ [digital-bless.com] - Funny stuff.
    • Re:Corel (Score:4, Interesting)

      by KillerHamster (645942) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:59PM (#6494007) Homepage
      Their GUI is definitely different than MS's, and though I haven't used it much, I really liked what I saw, especially of the latest version of WordPerfect. If I took the trouble to use it more, I'm sure I would come to like it more than MS Word... but then, I've already decided on OpenOffice. Still, I hope Corel stays alive and gives Microsoft some competition. BTW, Didn't some major OEM recently ship Corel Office pre-installed in place of MS Works?
      • Re:Corel (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nvrrobx (71970) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:27PM (#6494662) Homepage
        With Dell machines, you can choose WordPerfect Office instead of Microsoft Office or Works. I saved some money on my laptop when I did that.

        I prefer WordPerfect anyhow (I was a die-hard WordPerfect for DOS user).

        Is any other word processor ever going to get a Reveal Codes feature? I'm sure I'm not the only person that considers this one of the most powerful features of WordPerfect.

        The amount of control over your document with WordPerfect was absolutely amazing, and something I really miss every time I have to use MS Word.
        • Keeping it alive (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dspeyer (531333)
          I, too, used Wordperfect since version 5.0 for Dos. I followed up through 8.0 for GNU/Linux (which was far better than 9). I left looking partly for more polish, but mostly just for freedom.

          Even so, Wordperfect is still the best word processor out there. From reveal codes to draggable margins (7.0+) to such simple things as justify all, Wordperfect does so much no other word processer can. When I have serious desktop publishing needs, I still seek out wordperfect, difficult though it may be to find.

          Bu

    • The GUI for the last version of WP I used was pretty decent actually, but the damn thing crashed so often it was utterly useless ... I had more crashes from that piece of software than any other software package I have ever used, including Netscape 4.x.

      Trying to select half of the menu items resulted in a crash. I could walk away for half an hour, come back, and it would have crashed. I could hit the enter key and it would crash. I could select a new font and it would crash. I would go to print my pap
  • by TheRedHorse (559375) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:47PM (#6493888)
    Word Perfect was an awesome product. I still use it sometimes too. Any hope of open source type port of Word Perfect? I'm guessing probably not. But you can always hope.
    • by Lxy (80823) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:53PM (#6493936) Journal
      Openoffice.org has a small branch (wp.openoffice.org I think) of developers working on it. WP offers a few features (reveal codes of course) that are slowly being added into Openoffice.org.

      One nice thing about WP is that the file format, AFAIK, hasn't changed since version 6.1. Create a document in WP11, open it in 7, and viola, it opens. Word can't even do backward compatibility, try opening a Word 95 doc in Word XP. It'll open, but you'll most likely have to reformat. Because o the file compatibility, the Wordperfect import filter for Openoffice.org is coming along very nicely.
      • and viola, it opens.
        I usually open mine with a cello...
      • One nice thing about WP is that the file format, AFAIK, hasn't changed since version 6.1. Create a document in WP11, open it in 7, and viola, it opens. Word can't even do backward compatibility, try opening a Word 95 doc in Word XP. It'll open, but you'll most likely have to reformat. Because o the file compatibility, the Wordperfect import filter for Openoffice.org is coming along very nicely.

        Of course this is exactly why MS is still selling new versions of Office and why Corel is now out of business. Or
        • To bad it's not really true. The file format (in particular from Word 97 on) is pretty compatible going both ways. Documents created in XP can be opened in 97 and vice versa. 97 simply doesn't access the features added in later versions.

          The structured storage approach is fairly neat. The close and obsfucated format itself is... something else entirely.
      • Openoffice.org has a small branch (wp.openoffice.org I think) of developers working on it. WP offers a few features (reveal codes of course) that are slowly being added into Openoffice.org.

        Finally, a reason for this WordPerfect addict to become interested in OpenOffice!!

    • I'm not sure if you are asking this because you want to run it on Linux or just want it open-sourced, but Corel provides a (free for personal use) binary of WordPerfect for Linux at their website.
      • ??? I see no such thing.

        -uso.
  • I am about to put my Word Perfect CD-Roms next to my WordStar floppies and Ami-Pro disks. Actually who really cares? Corel has not just hurt Word Perfect, but their other graphics tools just aren't good anymore. If they had spent more time working on Word Perfect and less on porting everything to Java, this might not have happened. How can Intuit survive Microsoft and not these other companies?
    • by oni (41625) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:59PM (#6494006) Homepage
      How can Intuit survive Microsoft and not these other companies?

      Is it because Microsoft isn't trying? Just wait until they start putting Microsoft Money into Office - or maybe including it with Windows. Intuit will be gone in no time flat. If people already have MS Money do you think they'll go out and buy Quicken? Even if Quicken is better? I don't think they will. It's sad but it's true. This is how MS competes.

      The only way to beat MS is to give your software away for free or establish a niche market that MS doesn't care about.
      • That was a big part of the old Anti-Trust lawsuits. When they included IE with Windows, Netscape went through the roof. MS just has to bump up the price of their upcoming versions of Windows, and throw in product X. Consumers are thrifty, and will likely not want/need another word processor, graphics editor, tax filing program, etc. The only way for your product to survive is to beat Windows itself, and that won't likely happen for a LONG time.....or just make games instead ^_^
      • Well, MS did make some effort to kill Quicken. MS was giving away MS Money *free* for a time. But unlike IE, they didn't pour resources into developing the product, it never overtook the established leader, and after a while they quit dumping it.

        Why? I don't really know, but since this is slashdot I'll give it a shot :) For a while MS was angling to integrate itself deeply with US economic infrastructure, and make itself part of every transaction. People were speculating you wouldn't be able to buy o

    • by Lxy (80823)
      You're mostly trolling, but you have one valid point: Corel responded to MS pressure with crummy software and bad support.

      When we had trouble with Wordperfect 8, Corel was there by our side, offering every bit of help, giving us beta service packs, and doing everything they could to resolve our problems. We finally traced it to a fux0red MFC DLL (Microsoft issued), and Corel quickly gave us a fix.

      Wordperfect 9 was a solid product, mostly the result of their quickly responding developers. They fixed bugs
  • Vector Capital (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Surak (18578) * <surak@maCOFFEEil ... m minus caffeine> on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:50PM (#6493911) Homepage Journal
    is a vulture capital firm. This should be good for them. They already have a history with Corel, having bought Microsoft's shares at 56 cents a piece, taking a 20% stake in the company.

    CorelDRAW is still the best illustration package available for PCs today, bar none. Illustrator doesn't hold a candle, IMHO. (This from a guy with many years of experience with both packages in a professional setting).
    • Personally I feel that Deneba Canvas is the best. It is not only a Drawing program but also includes as much of a painting program as most professionals need.

      It does, however, fall down on animation, being only good for slide-shows. (That's what they originally designed it for, but the marketing department is billing it as animation.)

  • I can't blame Corel. If I were being punched in the stomach every 7 seconds I'd want a way out too.
  • I've always liked wordperfect as well as Corel Support for Linux. First company to bring a commerical wordprocessor to Linux IIRC. Was good but now times are moving on..

    Good luck corel whatever the future might hold

    Rus
  • Poor Headline (Score:4, Insightful)

    by windowpain (211052) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:54PM (#6493947) Journal
    "Corel Ousted From Public Life" is a poor choice of words. "Ousted" means "To eject from a position or place; force out." Nobody is forcing anything. Vector is simply making a tender offer.

    And when a company goes private it doesn't disappear from "public life." Its ownership merely changes hands.
    • Nobody is forcing anything. Vector is simply making a tender offer.

      And when a company goes private it doesn't disappear from "public life." Its ownership merely changes hands.

      What makes you think that this carefully orchestrated takeover attempt [corelrescue.com] is really voluntary?

      If Netscape sued MS and received $800M over what was essentially a no-revenue market to start with, wonder what a company which held over 50% retail marketshare in the massively profitable Office suites market only couple of year before th

      • If Netscape sued MS and received $800M over what was essentially a no-revenue market to start with, wonder what a company which held over 50% retail marketshare in the massively profitable Office suites market only couple of year before the Netscape suit could sue them for?
        1) Your marginal literacy is truly exceptional.
        2) Lost market share does not a monopoly from a competitor make. They would have to prove in court that microsoft did something "unfair" to push them out of the market, and not just that MS
        • 1) Your marginal literacy is truly exceptional.

          2) Lost market share does not a monopoly from a competitor make. They would have to prove in court that microsoft did something "unfair" to push them out of the market, and not just that MS Office was the more popular product. And, as it turns out, MS Office really is the more popular product, and had been for a long time (since Corel lost it's technical edge) not really due to any foul play.

          1) Thanks for the compliment. English isn't among my native langua

  • Corel was doomed from the moment they went into competition with Microsoft with WordPerfect.

    • Except that WordPerfect existed way before Word....

      So what is your point?
      • They didn't roll over and die when Word (for DOS) came out.

        The seeds of WordPerfect's destruction were actually sown when they didn't adapt to Windows fast enough. That, combined with MS's intrinsic lead in the technology base doomed them.

        Not that any of this doesn't keep the law firm I work for from using Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS to produce our bills well into the 21st century. This will change by year-end.

        • And yet it took them over ten years to die from the date they "didn't roll over and die when Word (for DOS) came out". Think about that. They continued to exist for one half of the entire PC era after you say they took the fatal wound.

          Methinks you're placing way too much blame on Microsoft, and not nearly enough on Corel.
          • No, their decline was slow because Word Perfect was the mighty, nearly undisputed leader in their market. The inflection point was truly the transition to the GUI.

            There's nothing Word Perfect could have done to remain viable in the long run. For obvious reasons MS had access to the GUI months if not years before its competitors, and a guaranteed income stream (from DOS/Windows) to fund further development of Word.

  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:55PM (#6493958) Homepage Journal
    Two interesting firsts, from the article:

    "... [Corel] became the first software company to bundle more than one program into a package. It also became the first to discount older versions, making them accessible for the more thrift-conscious consumer market."

  • Good to see that they lost their shirts on their Corel stock. Maybe that's why they never handed out dividends. Pricks.
    • Good to see that they lost their shirts on their Corel stock. Maybe that's why they never handed out dividends. Pricks.

      MS lost, what, $120M when they dumped their Corel stock, but by dumping it to their venture capital friends [corelrescue.com] they're making sure that Corel will never again erode the profitability or marketshare of another MS product, ever. They also stopped all the Linux projects at Corel to their tracks and so forth so this little interlude probably earned them BILLIONS instead. But why worry, thi

  • RIP Corel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:56PM (#6493971) Journal
    For those that don't know, Corel used WineLib to recompile thwir Windows Wares under linux. They also contributed a fair amount of code and bug fixes to Wine.


    However, if htey become private (closed), it's likely to put a stop to their linux activities.


    Closed companies have generally been less receptive to Open Source (VA Linux, IBM, and Red Hat are all public companies). The threat of shareholder lawsuits is usually enough to make sure public companies use Linux to save money, and adopt Open Source ideals. Private companies, sadly, often end up being microsoft-only shops.

    • Re:RIP Corel (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arandir (19206)
      Two examples that prove you wrong. Public company that doesn't support Linux: Microsoft; Private company that does: SuSE.
    • Re:RIP Corel (Score:3, Insightful)

      by justsomebody (525308)
      ,b.heh, in which century do you live in???

      they dropped linux support year, two or three ago COMPLETELY
    • Corel once contributed a lot to Wine, but have they done anything in the last two years? My impression was that when MS bought them out, they stopped contributing then and there. Suddenly enough that I wondered if it was a part of the deal.
  • Aw, crap. (v1.1) (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Qweezle (681365)
    I don't seem to understand why a company which makes such an excellent product as Painter would let themselves be bought out, by anyone.

    If things continue on this exponential curve of stupidity, then Adobe should be bought out by Phillip Morris sometime in October.

    Hey, why NOT have a Photoshopped image of Liza Minelli smoking her life away on the box?

  • Why not MS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:58PM (#6493996) Homepage
    I always wonder why they were not bought by MS because CorelDraw is a nice vector drawing program that is used by a lot of people to make pictures with that are then incorporated in a Word document. MS could have had WP and Draw in one nice package.!
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:04PM (#6494055) Homepage Journal
    The Corel name, and product line, still have reputation enough to make the company a huge asset IF the right buyer comes along and makes good management decisions. Despite the popularity of OpenOffice among private users, most companies aren't going to adopt it, and Sun is having little success in marketing the professional sibling, StarOffice. WordPerfect, Corel Draw, Quattro Pro, and other apps still have good commercial name recognition and respect, and were a company like HP to come along and buy and distribute it, the Corel line could have a fighting chance. HP is already distributing Corel software with it's home-market PCs. If they were to do a true port to Linux of all the Corel line, it could really kick-start the Linux business desktop. And I mean a REAL port, not the Wine-dependant crap Corel was distributing years ago. And if someone like HP were to buy them, the Corel Linux distro wouldn't be a bad idea for a return either. Corel Linux had some nice features, and was Debian based. Much better package management that way. IBM wouldn't be in the market. They've already got one office suite, and are developing another Java-based suite. Sun has StarOffice. But with Corel going REALLY cheap, maybe they could be presuaded to buy anyway. Dare I hope that Apple might even have an interest? Probably not. Outside of the venture capital crowd gunning for it, a company like HP would be Corel's best hope of making a big return. The competition would certainly nice.
  • I think there's always been a better option to Corel's programs. They were always some kind of second choice. Perhaps it's just me?
  • by asv108 (141455) <alex@[ ]taudio.org ['pha' in gap]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:08PM (#6494079) Homepage Journal
    Well good riddens as far as I'm concerned. I started using Corel Draw! at version 3, it was revolutionary program for its time especially since for awhile it was the only decent package that ran on a PC. If you think MS has a lousy upgrade path, Corel use to extort its Draw! customers with unnecessary upgrades and buggy released. Coreldraw 6 was probably the last good draw release, while release 7 was the best for photo paint. Photo paint 7 was given a higher rating that photoshop 4/5 at the time by most magazines, but most photo shop regulars were wise not to switch or ran macs anyway.

    Corel has a strategy of buying successful products and turning them in to obscure POS's. Here is just a short list off the top of my head of products they still offer:

    • Fractal Design Painter (Amazing Program)
    • Kai's Power Tools
    • Wordperfect
    • Bryce
    I believe there are also a bunch of excellent products that were acquired and abandoned. If I remember correctly Kai's Goo (easy to use image editor) was extremely popular before digital cameras were common and another product called photo soap was pretty decent too. The "Kai" line of basic image editors and easy effects for the masses could have been insanely successful if Corel didn't touch it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, Corel didn't kill all of them; it was quite the opposite. MetaCreations was responsible for Bryce and a few others (Most notably Poser, which Corel didn't buy) but they forced to sell out and move out. Corel saved the Bryce product line, and version 5 was a leapfrog over version 4.
    • The last release of Paradox (v10) actually *removed* features that were in Paradox 9. Rather than fix the problems in them, they just killed the functionality outright. That's just a joke. People still use that database for their work. I don't know who I feel sorry for more, Corel or those stupid enough to still invest money and time in their products.

      Corel's been a walking corpse for some time. I'm just glad someone's going to finally get Corel to realize that it's time to crawl in it's grave and cal
    • . The "Kai" line of basic image editors and easy effects for the masses could have been insanely successful if Corel didn't touch it.


      And if they had had a decent interface instead of the crappy bloatware interface that just added 50% of requirements to the program.
  • ...few in notoriously conservative Ottawa will likely fret witnessing the company's slow retreat...

    Hmm, I hope Ottawa isn't that notorious... I mean, sure, we're a government town. But if you look at the sheer number of festivals and celebrations that go on over a year in the Ottawa region, you'd think those politicians never get any work done (well, maybe you think that anyway).

    We have the Jazz Festival, the Blues Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Chamber Music Festival, Winterlude, the Tulip Festiv

  • Corel, via WordPerfect office, has been pretty instrumental in the emergence of low-cost PCs. The OEM price of this package is insanely low (around $10 +/-) which lets the PC manufacturers sell at a lower price point than they could if they equipped the system with Microsoft products.

    Dell, HP/Compaq and Sony all ship Corel/WP Office with their low-end consumer systems due to the cost advantage.

    I suspect that this might be a motivation for someone in the VC community to consider buying them. Low-cost PCs a
  • by iantri (687643) <iantri@NoSPaM.gmx.net> on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:39PM (#6495466) Homepage
    I'd just like to mention something that most people seem to have forgotten: Corel really didn't do all that much when it comes to WordPerfect. Yes, the Linux port is theirs, but the core program, up to WP6 for Windows was written by Satellite Software International (at the very start) who changed their name to WordPerfect Corp. after a version or two. Around WP6.1-6.2 for Windows it was bought by Novell (1994) and then before or right after the release of WP7 was bought by Corel (1996).

    I'd say that pretty much all the real functionality was in it by version 6 (I'm hard pressed to find anything important missing from WP6 that is in the latest verison, save automatic underlining on misspelled words) and that Corel merely added a few features to give them an excuse to release new versions.

    Anyway, the writing has been on the wall for years now..

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