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Corel - Inprise/Borland Merger Off 93

hwestiii was the first to e-mail with the word that the oft-troubled merger between Corel and Inprise/Borland has been called off. The press release has made its way onto Yahoo! so far, with the given reason being the decline of Corel's stock price making the deal impossible to close.
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Corel - Inprise/Borland Merger Off

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  • Very true, there was also a lot of heat from the Inprise shareholders, for the most part they wanted nothing to do with Corel. I can't say that I blame them, there is a lot of turmoil with Corel right now... they badly missed their earnings (this caused the stock to drop quite a bit) and Cowpland has his legal troubles with the insider trading lawsuit. This was not a good fit at all IMHO.

    I'm a former Inprise stockholder and I feel bad for the people who didn't jump ship when I did becaue this "merger" has really destroyed the $$ of Inprise. That's not to say that it can't or won't come back, but I'm guessing it will be an uphill battle for them. Anyways.. good luck Inprise/Borland.. I hope you get things straightened out.
  • by dublin ( 31215 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @07:30AM (#1069280) Homepage
    Discalaimer: I own some Corel stock (which I could sell today and still make a decent profit...)

    There's a lot of Corel bashing going on here. Some of it is deserved (the company is no shining beacon of management success), but Corel stacks up well against many of the current darlings of the industry. This is not a cheerleading attempt for CORL, but an attempt to point out how badly values are out of line with fundamentals across the software industry right now.

    (Further, it surprises me that Corel is so villified here on /. - they are the primary commercial proponent of what is arguably the most "pure" Linux flavor - Debian.)

    Let's take a look at Corel (CORL) relative to some of the more favored stocks in the Linux space, say Red Hat (RHAT), VA Linux Systems (LNUX), and Caldera (CALD):

    First, a very important distinction: although Corel has cash problems, the company *is* making money, unlike any of the others above. This means it actually has a P/E ratio (curently 17.44 as I write this), unlike the others. That's beacuse CORL actually has some earnings per share:

    CORL: +0.31
    RHAT: -0.10
    CALD: -0.79
    LNUX: -1.68(!)

    This is called fundamental value, and is the main reason that even if Corel gets strapped for cash ( as is becoming increasingly likely) that someone is likely to step in and buy them out, simply because they are a very good deal.

    Now for a look at market cap:

    CALD: 382M
    CORL: 386M
    LNUX: 2064M
    RHAT: 3099M

    Notice that Caldera has nearly the same market cap as Corel, in spite of the fact that they are losing money like crazy and also unlike Corel, have no established customer base, no established large-scale development organisation, no established large scale technical support organisation, and no distribution channel to speak of. These things matter! They are the things that distinguish a true going concern from one that has merely managed to get a huge IPO pop. The same is true of the others, even though their market caps are much larger. (Exercise for the reader: so which is really worth the most?)

    Finally, whether it's to your tastes or not (I prefer Caldera, but that's beside the point) Corel has done a pretty good Linux distro - one which has achieved the significant accomplishment of taking Debian (which is technicaly excellent but had a well-deserved reputation for being a nightmare to install and configure) and making it quite easily usable by mere mortals. For a 1.0 release, I think the product is quite good - better than comparable first efforts from any of the other major distros.

    Bash Corel if you want, but recognize that in the real world, where the rubber meets the road - Corel has things that the big market cap guys are still dreaming about. Little things, like paying and loyal customers, that some of us contrarians believe could be important over the long haul...
  • It is easy to bash Corel Linux- I believe it is the default shell. That little $ allows so much.
  • Inprise doesn't need them. They have the perfect Windows-killer already. With Star Office being free and already the best tool we have for converting Office documents, Corel doesn't have much to offer the Linux community.

    A really good RAD tool with integrated database tools such as kylix [] would go a long way to make Linux be used more in the corporate world. Its no coincidence that Windows didn't really take off until there was Visual Basic to ease application development.

    With a good RAD tool available, applications for Linux will skyrocket. The more applications there are the more people will switch to Linux. When more companies start using Linux, people will realize they don't necessarily need Windows and Office to do their day to day tasks. This is a Good Thing(tm).

    Hopefully when Inprise and Trolltech release kylix they will do the smart(Windows-killing) thing and release it under the GPL.

  • What it sounds like to me is that Corel is ripe for a takeover. Basically some company can come along ang get Wordperfect. Granted it is losing market share but if someone competant takes control it can still make money, not to mention CorelDRAW.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Frankly when they announced the merger I thought it was a bad deal. Wheras Corel markets to the consumer market, Imprise markets to developers and software integrators. IMHO they both would have dragged each other down. As far as working capital concerns it is a non-issue. As the most noticible software company in Canada they are practically a national icon. Financing will be no problem. The bigger concern is probably a takeover bid. But as their shareprice was as low as $2 last fall, if somone didn't swallow them then, they aren't likely to now. I've heard that there is a poison pill ready for any potential hostile takeovers. You have to be seen in public shaking hands with Cowpland and his wife.
  • The thing that should scare all the Linux-heads here is... it's just more market share for Word!
  • You don't design and build an F16 in your garage.

    I assume that you are talking about the fact that Linux development is done by volunteers. This is changing a little bit now. IBM has thrown their weight behind it porting their database software and GPLing their JFS from AIX. While IBM has been stating that they will continue to focus AIX at higher end customers I know a few people over there who tell me that they are doing their best to beef up that bad boy to make it a real solution for enterprise business. Don't forget SGI pretty much putting quite a few engineers into kernel development as well as porting a lot of great software from IRIX over. SCO seems to have been assimilated as well but too early to make a statement about them. It is true that the Linux stocks took off way too high at first but now they have come to reasonable levels. I believe that RedHat is here to stay as they have a good business model. I know a lot of people complain about their distro is beginning to go downhill but I think that is a little exaggerated but if there is a real problem another distro can kick their butt and RedHat will have to catch up. This having to catch up never happened with MS. Who says having a million and one distro's are bad? Back to my point. Linux is more then a great learning tool. It now has the both the volunteers and those in the corporate world working on it. People thought Linux would never make it as far as it did and people still are calling it a fad but I believe that it or another OSS will continue to evolve and overcome proprietary systems in all areas. I could be wrong but I remember people saying Linux will never be used in businesses back in 96 but it isn't uncommon to find Linux boxen in ISP's and other businesses now as a quick work around or web server. Ok, I have gone on enough.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • by Mr T ( 21709 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @10:04AM (#1069287) Homepage
    I'm not going to bash Corel by pointing out their stellar mgmt. It's been done. I will say that they could do a lot more if they had some vision and took WP to the next level, they are enjoying the code base and its legacy and not driving it ahead. That will catch up with them, WP ran the world 10-15 years ago but it needs something new if they want to keep kicking it. If nothing else, make it a little more pleasing to the eyes, it is a WYSIWYG type product but the whole thing feels and looks like it did 10 years ago. (yeah, I like gloss. We know WP works, gloss is what it lacks, I have a hard time paying money for an ugly looking program when looking at it is a large portion of its use. Besides gloss, WP is basically the same app it was 10 years ago though)

    What I am going to bash them on is their approach to the community. I really don't see any place for Corel Linux. They did some of the right things with it, I appreciate their support of Debian, but Corel isn't an OS vendor and I'm not sure how it fits in to their business model. It seems like a lot of redundant effort for them to build a dist, market it, and support it unless they are going to provide some value-add and that's the part I don't like. For Corel, or Caldera too for that matter, value-add is something that doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling, it feels like something that is non-standard and it feels like the beginnings of an MS style embrace-extend attack. With Corel, I partially think building their own dist was a way for them to show their committment and create a revenue stream but it just doesn't fit in with the community and it looks a lot more like them getting one of the "need pieces." I see their acquisition of Inprise the same way, it was just another way for them to get the pieces they need to be another MS. MS beats them because they control the platform, so Corel makes their own platform. MS beats them because they control the tools so Corel buys a tool vendor (inprise.) Totally ignoring the fact that MS is thousands of times bigger and has the infrastructure to run that kind of business, and even MS puts out buggy code and misses deadlines and can't really run the business well.

    Corel is putting out good linux apps, mainstream apps, apps that get attention and make Linux a more viable platform to more people. They are making an investment in Linux and they should be applauded for that. But if they really want to support the community and do the "Right Thing" I think they should focus on building better apps, start innovating again (?have they ever?) and sure that up. I see no reason at this point for them to acquire inprise other than to "control" more linux software. They need to give up that notion of control.

    I also think this will be good for Borland. Borland is making a natural transition to Linux. They are slowly understanding it, supporting it and growing to embrace it. That is the correct course for them, I suspect that a Corel merger could result in a Linux mandate. Borland's support will be much better and stronger as they gradually grow to see that they need Linuxand that they have no choice other than to support it. That is far better than ordering them to do Linux. I'm all about compilers too, I'd love to see IBM's, SGI's, and Borland's compilers all running on Linux, I love gcc but I love having alternatives, I just think the results will be better if Borland grows into Linux rather than jumps in head first. (I own a copy of their OS/2 BC++, I know what the results are when they do that.)

  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @10:07AM (#1069288) Journal
    Wasn't it just 2 days ago when everyone cried wolf how the new Unreal Engine is DX8 Based and then the sun was shinning as people stated Wine will/has support for DX subset.

    Did you forget Corel is the biggest supporter of Wine and dedicates developers full time to that project?

    Ever wonder how it is becoming so easy to integrate KDE 2.0 and Windows/NT machines through SMB

    Did you forget Corel is the biggest linux vendor working on linux integration with Windows? They were the first to implement SMB in the gui with a library and they're happily and non hastily following the license and passing along the code to KDE developers.

    Ever wonder how Debian is getting alot of publicity?

    Did you forget Corel linux is based on Debian? The standard for the non standard linux?

    How can you consider Corel to be riding "The Linux Bandwagon" When Corel is one of the FEW, if the ONLY vendor producing a commercially viable and professionally packaged versions of the Linux OS for WORKSTATION and PERSONAL USE.

    Corel doesn't claim to be the server centric sun ball busting software. They do claim ease of use and with that comes the unleashed power of a unix based system.

    A full office package, a great v 1.0 integrated and effecient OS, a full distribution and support and retail channel that reaches from the internet to the local software store. And all you can do is bash them?

    BORLAND oth has been nothing but a dissapointment and i'm glad they didn't mix. Delphi is good, but pascal is the last thing that needs to be mixed in with linux. and i highly doubt Borland would be much of an adopter of the KDE/Gnome interface and interope with the right people to do what linux people think is right.

    Please stop shooting yourself in the foot and crying fowl just because of what the common notion is. I'm so sick of people not thinking for themselves. It seems to be the whole linux bandwagon is an extremest advocate gone afoul. While for some people it is the perfect solution, on the other hand, its only confused the industry that has created it and is the first to cry foul when someone doesn't follow the unwritten rules and justices of the "linux" system.

  • ...Hmmm, worth thinking of. Didn't M$ have a part of Borland? Let the games begin... ;p
  • A while ago I read a story [] and found this press release. <SARCASM>Suprisingly</SARCASM>, the /. editors declined to post it. Not interesting enough, I guess, but /. is kept in the dark.

    Me, I'm not suprised one bit that the merger was called off. I did a search on Daily Yahoo and found this article [], too. You'll see that when they negotiated a price, Corel said ``What if it was in stock?'' and Borland said okay, sounds good, but then Corel's stock completely bombed (originally the deal was valued at something like US $1.07 billion and fell down to US $371 million), so Borland (rightly) has doubts. They're getting ripped off and I don't blame them for calling it quits.

    Sorry you had to hear about it until after it was too late, but hey, it's slashdot.
  • Please forgive me if I'm wrong but didn't corel need inprise for the cashflow? isn't corel heading bankrupcy now because the merger is off?
  • Corel had to register here with the FTC a couple of weeks ago, saying that if the deal with Borland/Inprise fails then they'll run out of cash in 3 months (ie about 2 months now). Of course the media in Ottawa here caught on like crazy, but upper management sent emails to all employees saying don't worry, that's only if the deal falls but it won't. Now that the deal fell, they'll loose even more of their hardcore coders, the ones they need the most... I predict the stock will tank again big time, till different parts (Corel Draw, Linux division) get bought. It's too bad, because I knew a lot of people working there. They value their employees, and treat them very nice. A lot of smart people. Dumb upper management though.
  • (Instead of)/(In addition to) just linking to Yahoo's condensed summaries -- how hard can it be for the editors to provide links to the original release from Corel [] or the even more exciting release from Inprise [] regarding the exchange ratio involved in the proposed merger ... ?

    Flamebait or an honest plea -- you decide.

  • Just try it and see.
  • So they announce the merger, their stocks drop, so they have to call off the merger. Now what happens? Their stock goes up. Does this mean the merger is on again?

    This could go on for years!
  • In the matter of fact I am finding both Delphi and VB a triumph of so called "productivity" and marketing efforts over sanity and good engineering practices.

  • Corel Draw has never been that good of a product.

    Even back in the old days, Micrografx Designer was miles ahead of it.
  • According to the press release, both sides agreed that neither had to pay any termination fees. The press release didn't say why, but apparently this must have been something wwhere Corel agreed to waive the 29.5 million termination fee.
  • I hope that we never have to see Supports X;X;X distros - ever hear of fragmentation? Sure fire way to kill Linux. Sorry, offtopic.
  • Whenever the whole "Can you be profitable when you're in the free software business?" debate comes up, I've yet to see the "Yes" side fail to bring up Cygnus. The only problem is, it also seems to be the only company that they ever mention. Is Cygnus really the only profitable Free Software-related company out there? (Not dissing Cygnus, I've always been a big fan.)


  • > even if Corel gets strapped for cash ( as is becoming increasingly likely) that someone is likely to step in and buy them out, simply because they are a very good deal.

    ... and even better: the buyer could fire management, which would solve that pesky Cowpland problem too. Maybe we'll see $40 again someday?

  • I guess you are lucky to have the Linux version with the patches already applied. Here's the patches Corel has released for the Windows version.

    WP O2000 SP3 (including help file) Size: 103 MB
    WP O2000 SP2 Size: 82 MB
    WP O2000 SP1 Size: 46 MB

  • Check out Corel's April 19 10-Q Filing with SEC [].

    "If the proposed merger with Inprise Corporation does not occur, other sources of financing are not secured and/or Corel's operating results do not improve, a cash deficiency may occur within the next three months."

    Unless something has changed, they've got about 2 months left...
  • I thought I made it quite clear that I was not in any way cheerleading CORL stock. I even went the extra step of disclosing that I hold CORL stock (although only a few hundred shares...)

    The company has serious problems - I didn't gloss over those. My point was that even a sick company that is already established in the software industry on a non-trivial scale has some valuable attributes missing in the gigabuck IPO companies we've seen lately. I understand that CALD is all IPO cash - that was my *point*!

    For all its faults, Corel has sevreral decent products - Word Perfect, in particular, in my experience is still much more stable with large documents than Word - this is why WP is still the most common word processor in the legal, medical transcription, and real estate professions. (Note that I personally dislike the way WP works, but it is clearly superior for that sort of work, and customers like that.)

    Corel may or may not make it. My holdings aside, I hope they do make it, if only to ensure commercial alternatives to parts of Microsoft's hegemony.
  • I understand that everything Corel touches turns to sh-- lately. (I've read this many different place. Of course, just cause people say it doesn't mean it's true.)

    There is a clear counterexample though: Linux. Corel has been very supportive of Linux. And the prospects for Linux lie well beyond 2001. Corel may have a future after all. It could be very bright.

    Does anyone know how their seamless Windows apps on Linux [] integration is going?
  • Hey, don't worry about actually reading the story or anything. Ya know, the part where it says, "Neither firm will pay any termination fees." :P

    And actually the $29 million part was only if the Inprise board nixed the deal. If the Inprise shareholders voted the deal down (as has seemed very likely for the last few months -- there's been a pretty strong movement against the merger by a faction of Inprise shareholders), then there'd be no $29 million penalty. I think Corel realized that they wouldn't get the shareholder votes and decided to just end the whole mess before the humiliation of a vote.

    I don't blame Borland folks for not wanting to be consumed by the likes of Corel and Cowpland, but I think the breakdown of this deal hurts both companies. Corel's screwed, but Inprise isn't in great shape, either.


  • This doesn't change the fact that their distro is bad, both on just a pure look at the quality of the actual distro and the ideology of it.

    Chris Hagar
  • Corel is a commercial distro, they take what they do, and release their new additions (not to GPL software) as commercial only available with their distro, no source to be found.

    Chris Hagar
  • In the matter of fact I am finding both Delphi and VB a triumph of so called "productivity" and marketing efforts over sanity and good engineering practices.

    Says someone who's never tried Delphi...
    Oh, well...
  • Well, it seems at work that we have at least five shareholders on Borland/Inprise (INPR) here, and I must say we're ecstatic about this. And, it appears so is the market - puzzlingly so.

    I mean, why did the share price of both Borland (INPR) and Corel (CORL) both go up on the news? Is it the lead weight of Corel being lifted from around Borland's neck? Or the escape from a punishing lawsuit by nasty American lawyers working for Borland against Corel's buyout.

    In the end, I never got to vote on a darned thing - what use are 700 shares if they act like the owners don't exist?

  • This is but the latest chapter in one of the most poorly run software companies ever.

    Lets face it, they've had one good product - CorelDraw, followed by a string of failures and bungled strategies. I consider them a bandwagon-sitter when it comes to linux, so I don't give them any bonus points for the distro they made.

  • The merger had come under increasing criticism because its value -- tied to Corel's stock price on Nasdaq -- has shrunk 73 percent since the deal was announced.

    'nuff said. This is what happens when PHB's don't harness in the venture cap yoyo's and allow them to inflate absolutely everything in the trades despite the fact that the value in the company is nil. Didn't anyone realize the eighties were over. Under current left wing capitalism this sort of economics, like that of Amazon are allowed to go on. Sooner or later it will cascade and pull not only the US economy down to the cellar but also that of most of Europe and China as well. When will the capatalistic inmates be banned from running the words economy.

  • after being unceremoniously dropped [] for the Mac, now this....what will happen to all those government WP users? And what company will be the next contestant on "The WordPerfect Shuffle"?

  • by Matt2000 ( 29624 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @05:31AM (#1069314) Homepage

    As has been mentioned before, Corel has roughly 5 months of operating capital in the bank, and needed the merge most immediately to acquire Borland's cash reserves.

    So here's the situation: Little money left, a ways to go before their Linux investment pays off (even longer without the merger), declining market share in core products like Draw, stagnant sales in Word Perfect office.

    Did I miss anything? Maybe this will destroy the part of Corel's brain that contiually wants to compete with Microsoft in their core areas, and get them to focus on something that might make some money. [] - Funny
  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @05:29AM (#1069315) Homepage
    First: Woo hoo! I really don't think that Borland and Corel were really well suited to each other. Borland has a tradition of excellence. Corel... Well, Corel has just never managed to put out a product that made my jaw drop.

    Second: I think this is a really good thing for the Linux community. Borland (I refuse to call them inprice) has a tradition of producing excellent development tools. I don't see how the merger with Corel could have done anything but drag them down. I think that Linux's great hope lies in a lot of different vendors, each of which are the best at what they do, not one huge Microsoft-esque vendor that provides everything. We don't need it: let's define standard formats and mechanisms for application interoperability, and let all the vendors (open source, closed source, whatever) duke it out for market share. Now THAT's innovation.

    Hopefully, this announcement will not affect Borland's interest in developing for Linux.


  • This is really too bad. Corel and Inprise really could have meshed well, and it certainly would have strengthened both companies. Too bad the stock market had to tank.
  • I have no clue why Inprise would have wanted to merge with Corel. If there is one software company that is going to die out in the next 3 years, it's Corel. They're grasping at straws, trying to be one of the "big boys". If it wasn't for CorelDRAW, they would have been bankrupt long ago.

    You don't even want to hear about my opinion of Mr. Cowpland (Bill Gates wannabe).

  • ...that I'll stop hearing about the most boring, long-drawn-out and irrelevant business deals ever?

    I mean really, what distinguishes the Corel/Inprise thing from any other of the multitude of tech mergers except that Corel produced a briefly popular Linux distro that hasn't been heard from since?

    BTW, I thought /. thought business news (especially stock prices) were "uninteresting".
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • The deal went sour because Corel's stock went in the toilet... since the deal would've seen inprise/borland stock holders getting corel stock, and independant report judged it unfair to iprise stock holders.
  • Why compare Linux to F16. You see it's easy to build a big nasty bomb in your garage.
  • I agree completely with what he said. He is right. Linux is good, very very good, and can do it's job very well, but it is not a 'professional' product. i mean, hey, i have used it, and i liked it, but for every man there is something

    anyway i stop here because i can not express correctly in english. grr
  • >

    Are we living in the same world you and me ?? Windows was popular and widespread long before VB came into play. True, it allowed a large number of "power users" to test their fingers at programming (and I'm far from convinced it's a good thing) and therefore helped increase the number of program available for Windows, but it was the office suite that really changed things...

  • As I can remember, the largest shock for the stock price was when Borland said they would give their compilers for free...

    That's what happens, when commercial companies try to go into GNU/Linux market -

    Sometimes I think they would be better off, if they would increase the prices - to show everybody, that their compilers and tools are far superiour to those of M$ or free stuff and are for serious programmers. Well, a marketing mistake of Inprise, what do you do?

    On the other hand, if everybody, who would buy Linux from Corel would also get a share of Corel Linux subdivision, that would be cool!!!

  • Well, let me start by saying that Borland still has more recognition than Inprise. Change the name back guys! Borland rocks! Go turbo pascal!

    Ahem. From a logical and business point of view, the merger made sense on many levels. The goal was too have a company with an operating system product, a suite of applications, and development tools. $ound familiar? Unfortunately, I think Corel was like some sleazy guy looking at some well endowed lass and telling her how much he likes her brain. Inprise/Borland was sitting on 250 million in cash, which is a lot for a company recently valued at less than 300 million. Corel may have wanted the company for kylix and its other excellent products, but they wanted the cash to go and buy some more linux comanies, and see if any of this stuff stuck together.

    Inprise really screwed up by not putting a collar on the merger agreement, which would have made it easy for them to bail out of the merger agreement if stock prices plummetted like they did in the months following the announencement. Without the collar, the choices were to either pay a 30 million fine or wait until the shareholder vote. Fortunately, it must have been obvious that everyone who owned borland stock was not going to vote to exchange there stock 3 for 4 for a company who's stock price was below there own! That is why IMHO, Corel basically allowed Inprise to back out of the deal with no fine.

    In fact, as soon as as the price of inprise tracked off .76 the price of Corel, it became clear that "the street" was not expecting the merger to take place.

    I believe this puts Inprise back in the personal columns under "looking for mergers" column.

    I should note that I have owned corel stock in the past and currently own Inprise. Not that any of this whould impact the prise of Inprise. Its value will ultimately depend on the quality of its products and its success at generating revenue with them.


  • Linux is good, very very good, and can do it's job very well, but it is not a 'professional' product.

    That depends on what you need to do. For doing something like typesetting books in LaTeX or coding POSIX applications, Linux is (IMHO) the best platform around. OTOH, for serving a hundred million hits on a web site every day, playing 3d games, video editing, or reading/writing Office docs (ick), Linux is less than optimal (compared to various other OSes): though it's getting increasingly better at all of these tasks.
  • A little while ago I found a interesting article at MaximumPC [] that involved the Corel/Interprise. The article explained that Corel faced the real chance of running out of money if the Interprise merger did not happen, interestingly it was considered a done deal that Interprise would agree to the merger (Corel propaganda?). Anyhow, the article said that Corel only had $29 million in cash and $19 million in losses- with the Interprise deal, Corel would of gained $198 million in cash. This could be very bad for Corel- but good or indifferent for Interprise. Here [] is the article.
  • You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

    Linux's strength is that it isn't going to go away. Even if everyone on Wall Street loses interest right now, and Linux is left with 20 developers who continue to develop it for its own sake, there will still be development. If Corel goes South, we'll never see Draw again. (Which would matter to someone, I suppose.)

    It's quite possible Wall Street will grow disenchanted with Linux. If they do, there's still an installed corporate user base that needs support, so it will be around and developed institutionally for a few years while they switch to non-Linux products. After that, it's the hobbyists' OS, and maybe it will stay there for years or decades. But it was a hobbyists' OS before, wasn't it? What stops the same thing from happening again? And again?

    You can't rule out world domination until Linux is definitively killed. And until it has languished, undeveloped and years behind the competition, you can't do that. Even then, there's a remote chance someone will come along and turn it back into a viable candidate. So it's practically unkillable.

    You can't say that about any commercial closed-source software.


  • Well, this is all fine and good, but what exactly does this have to do with Corel (already noted as a poorly run company before they ever delved in Linux) and Borland (a company that is/was slated to release their devel tools for Linux) not merging? That the 'Linux pyramid scheme' is why they aren't merging? Yeah, world domination may be a pipe dream, and a wonderful war chant, but I don't see how you can say this is the reason for them not merging.
  • A while back I wrote a comment on another site about Corel. Interested parties can find it here [].
  • Yes, I'll agree that Corel products are quite good. I use WordPerfect 8.0 for Windows (I'd rather use Linux, but my current machine has too much Windows-only hardware, yadda, yadda...). However, they aren't really jaw-dropping. Borland's products, on the other hand.... I'd used a few other IDEs before I tried theirs, and theirs just blew me away. They haven't done anything much recently, although C++ Builder 3.0 was much better (IMHO) than Visual C++. I'm hoping that they'll start using their IDE experience to work on some killer IDEs for Linux/BSD/BeOS/whatever.

  • I'm glad that WPO2k works for you. It doesn't work for a lot of people (who have been returning it, because it's so bad on their systems).

    On my systems, besides the broken window manager interaction, PDFs usually don't export. Normally crashes WINE entirely, but sometimes will just output a PDF using the wrong fonts. Importing Word files, for some reason, makes the whole thing unstable: sometimes I can't save the file to WP format before it crashes. Many templates weren't shipped with the product, even though they show up in the list.

    Basically, I have come to expect at least a crash an hour when using WP on imported Word documents. (It's much more stable when you create docs yourself.) To cope with bugs in printings and word reexport, I generally delete and recreate various sections (like imported images).

    This isn't really acceptable. It's marginally good enough to do docs on my machine rather than using a Windows box with Word, but for anything not work-related, I use TeX.

    I've come to the conclusion that WPO2k is only stable for certain users doing certain tasks. It's certainly not stable for other users.
  • The point is, I can fix problems in free software. (Been there, done that.) I can trace the source to see if it's a bug in the software or caused by a system configuration.

    How am I supposed to fix problems in WPO2k? Even _if_ I want to go tracing wine calls, not all problems are in Wine. (Again, been there, done that.)
  • Does anyone know how their seamless Windows apps on Linux integration is going?

    Their contribution to WINE development is a great thing, but the idea of using it for selling Windows apps as Linux apps is piss poor.

    Contrast this method (CorelDraw for Linux) to Deneba's (Canvas) method of using WINE just for the APIs, but compiling as a native Linux app.

    I'm beta testing Draw and have also downloaded the Canvas beta. Canvas wins hands down.

  • The share price of Corel declined over the past several months for several reasons. First it fell along with all the others in the tech meltdown, it would have fallen anyways due to the dilution of the shares the merger would have involved. Lastly, a bunch of shareholders launched lawsuits to stop the merger. The fol is what a shareholder received with his cheque following the settlement of the Borland suit:

    May 8, 2000

    Re: Borland Securities Litigation Settlement Fund

    Claim Nbr.: BOR- XXXXXX-X

    Check Amount: $38.09

    Dear Class Member:

    Attached is a check for your pro-rata share of the Net Settlement Fund in the Borland Securities Litigation. This distribution has been calculated in accordance with the Court approved Plan of Allocation described in the Second Notice of Proposed Settlement previously sent to you.

    Please be advised that over 19,489 Proof of Claim forms were filed with total Claims exceeding $203,646,030. The Net Settlement Fund available for distribution is $7,110,752.

    In addition, be advised that all applicable taxes have been paid on the interest earned by the fund while it was invested pending distribution. You should consult your tax adviser to determine the tax consequences, if any, of this distribution.

    Very truly yours,





    Some thoughts:

    The Borland settlement regards trades made between March 5, 1991 and December 9, 1992. Seems that the wheels of justice [?] turn very s l o w l y. Let's not hold our collective breath waiting for the recent Corel lawsuits to be settled.

    You will notice that these crackshot attorneys managed to recover a $7M kitty to cover the $203M total claims from shareholders.

    Wonder if their fees were covered proportionally? Anyway, just because a bunch of attorneys has now decided to sue Corel for some outrageous figure does not mean that they will ever collect anywhere near the claimed amount, or anything at all for that matter.

    These first 100 shares of my Borland investment cost $37 1/2 in 1992. They were followed by purchases of 500 shares for $15 in 1995 and 300 shares for 14 7/8 in 1996. Sold them all for 5 3/4 in 1999. Boy, that $38 check sure makes me feel better!

    What's the point here, beyond the obvious lack of investment skill? [Trust me, there ARE many winners too!] Despite what you have read recently, Corel does not have a corner on lawsuits, declining share price, or management issues; nor is Borland [Inprise] immune to them. Take whatever sanctimonious posts you read from INPR investors with a LARGE grain of salt. And if you ever want to hear about about a flamboyant CEO who went off the deep end, just check out Phillipe Kahn, once shown on the front page of the WSJ dressed for one of his famous toga parties.

    Yes, things aren't looking as bright as they were a few months ago. But Corel is just one OEM agreement, one M$-DOJ settlement, one upside surprise quarter from being the hot stock it was last November.

    - Connecticut Yankee -

  • -------------------------------------------

    So is this thing really RAD like Delphi?
    Not yet but it will be.


    WTF is that ??
  • I think the poster you are replying to had a well-thought out message which should be moderated up. You, on the other hand, resorted to badmouthing and namecalling, all the while being an AC. Tsk...


  • > You mean a FREE Delphi RAD tool such as Lazarus? Why do we need Borland?

    Er, because Kylix will be ready this year?

  • I think his point was that the original post claimed the Linux version of WPO2K is stable, but the response complained about WINE and so suggested that the windows version was being used through wine. I dunno if the respondant meant to say "winelib".
  • > Hopefully when Inprise and Trolltech release kylix they will ... release it under the GPL.

    Not going to happen. Period.

    Borland have spent a lot of money on making Kylix and intend to recoup thier investment. and make profit. You might however see some of the VCL (Delphi class library) source under MPL or suchlike, but not the compiler or IDE.

  • Contrast [CorelDraw's] method [to] using WINE just for the APIs, but compiling as a native Linux app.

    Err ... I'm probably being slow here, but isn't that exactly what Corel are doing? That is, recompiling their Windows apps using winelib.

  • Revenue from Linux software [fell]

    But they haven't actually *released* the products which will give them a market yet: namely all the bits of their office suite.
  • Me thinks you are a bit out of date. Borland has made the best Pascal/RAD environments since the the early 90's. The limitations you experienced were probably due to the sixteen bit POS architecture the code had to run on.

    But, from it's initial release, Delphi has allowed developers to produce Windows applications that blew VB apps away (which was its intended goal). Delphi was touted as a RAD tool. RAD, as we know, does not necesarily translate to better code...but rather quicker development cycles. Quicker development cycles results in happier clients.

    Additionally, even the earliest Delphi (D1) produced compiled code that executed significantly faster than VB, offered true object orientation (rather than object based) and delivered on its promise. Why else would Microsoft go out of their way to hire away Borland Delphi team members and their chief architect if they didn't perceive it as threat?

    The only major and recognized failing in Delphi is the Borland Database Engine (BDE). The BDE, was obsolete almost to the day it was introduced. In later versions, Borland abstracted away the BDE and made us all very happy. I now have native access to Oracle and InterBase as well as ADO, ODBC, and DAO access to a boat load of others (SYBASE).

    Middleware tools are also there. Pick COM, CORBA or one of the other technologies (I personally use ASTA) to build database/distributed apps that run over the internet. Or choose between HTML and/or XML. It's all there.

    Regarding no tools for Linux - Borland demonstrated their C++ compiler for Linux last year at their conference in Philadelphia. And, they also released JBuilder for Sun and Linux. Now, Kylix (Delphi (and C++???) and for Linux) and Delphi 6 loom on the horizon. If they are source code compatible (as we are expecting them to be), it will mean cross platform applications for Linux and that other OS.

    I can go on for hours about the merits of Delphi (I used to code C/C++ but gave it up for Delphi). But, when push comes to shove, a Delphi developer will crank out a finished (and polished) windowed application significantly faster than most other tools.

    Oh..and if you still doubt the quality of Borland tools, look at the reviews Delphi received in the past year. So, before you blast Borland tools, get your facts straight and don't base your opinions on something that existing eight years ago when all we had were 486's and an operating system called Windows 3.1.

  • i highly doubt Borland would be much of an adopter of the KDE/Gnome interface and interope with the right people to do what linux people think is right.

    It seems that your doubts are unfounded. The Kylix project will use the QT libraries, so it should integrate nicely into both KDE and GNOME. They are quite adamant about being desktop neutral. Also, they do appear to be listening to the Linux community quite closely, especially with regard to licensing issues.

    Don't count Borland out in the Linux market.

  • Yes this is off-topic. I'd reduce my score if I could... However, in my case it wouldn't matter because I'd still probably see it anyway!

    Here are my comment footers for the past five stories posted to slashdot:

    ( Read More... | 2 of 3 comments )
    ( Read More... | 4576 bytes in body | 22 comments )
    ( Read More... | 92 comments )
    ( Read More... | 1394 bytes in body | 44 of 84 comments )
    ( Read More... | 76 of 109 comments )

    Now, I have a threshold set for "1" but what good does it do if (a.) it only works half the time and now (b.) doesn't appear to save it when I make the change? It's never seemed to save it globally on a consistent basis, and now, even when I save it, I reload the main page, only to have the threshold set at -1 for that story once again.

    Now, I've kept out of the about the moderation bitchfest because because reading at 1, I don't usually see too much of the crap posted (although the occasional turd floats to the top). However, it's finally ticked me off enough to consider mentioning it. With Slashdot attracting a troll contigent that apparently hasn't a life otherwise, it makes the basic Slashdot functionality all the more desirable.

    For as long as I've been reading Slashdot, the ACs defaulted to zero. But what good does this do if I can't adjust the threshold in the first place?

    Thanks for listening. Now, "moderate me out of existence (tm)"

  • Corel and Inprise really could have meshed well, and it certainly would have strengthened both companies.

    This is absurd. Corel was only after their on-hand cash. The merger had almost nothing to do with long-term strategy.

  • Corel was loosing money long before they got involved in Linux. And you can make money on Free software, just ask Cygnus, they did it for years.

    The Cure of the ills of Democracy is more Democracy.

  • the post above has got to be one of the stupidest, most self-contradictory, worthless things i've read on /. since, well, my own posts.
  • The adjustment can be set globally in your user preference page, but you can adjust for the page when you are at a story. However, if you are noticing bugs, send bugs to, and he can look at it.
  • The merger had come under increasing criticism because its value -- tied to Corel's stock price on Nasdaq -- has shrunk 73 percent since the deal was announced.

    'nuff said.

    Not really. Even now Corel's stock price is still slightly above what it was a year ago, which was higher than it was the year before.

    Their boom followed the little linux-micro boom. Look at the graph for Red Hat, it looks exactly the same. Artficial boom, followed by correction. Viola.

    Sure, there's problems, but the market does tend correct itself. Admittedly sometimes it takes a little waiting and when it comes, it comes violently. But still.

    Tea, anyone?

  • Most of you were probably as unsurprised as I am about this. I don't have the link, but there was a story post 6 to 8 months ago (not on /.) about how the plan for the merger was going to end with Cowpland (sp?) in charge and how that would be a disaster. Having watched their stock price in the last couple of months, I would be shocked if ANYONE wanted to saddle themselves with this company and its policy of self-destruction.
    -- The Hollow Man
  • Maybe the problem is with WINE. Try running WP on Corel Linux. It works like a charm!

    I have been using Corel OS and Office for almost a year and I will never go back. It handles Word documents better than Word ;)
  • I can't believe I was talking to my colleagues at the office a few hours ago over lunch about Corel and how you can judge a company by its top man.

    We discussed Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Michael Cowpland.

    I was telling them that I thought Corel was a good company, until I read about the always overly optimistic Cowpland, his life style, obsession with stock price no matter what the company does well or not, ...etc.

    A few minutes ago we found another colleague who bought 2000 shares of CORL at 15$. Today it is 5.4$

  • With that I cannot agree:
    Borland has a tradition of excellence.

    Last time I tried to use their tools (early 92), I found them well - not-so-excellent. They actually s**ked big time. Pascal-like Pascals, lousy compilers optimized for speed of compilation mostly.
    Besides, they are yet to release any decent tool for Linux.
    Some bizzare marketing moves recently. For me they are manufacturer of tools for amateurs trying to make it for the major league.
    I wouldn't expect Borland to do anything for me (in terms of Linux development). As about Corel - well, yes, it is possible, they will die. I would be sad to see that, though. I need their apps.
  • Is it too much to ask that if a program says it supports a distribution, that it actually _does_ so?
  • The secret to the PDF export is that, for some reason known only to Corel, it expects windows file semantics. If you give it `d:\whatever' instead of '~/whatever' it works like a champ for me every time. (Agreed that this is a ridiculous bug).

    It has worked fine for me on Redhat and Mandrake. My only complain is that it's a bit slow. It's certainly better than StarOffice.


  • The business part of this deal was both lame and boring, but from a development standpoint there was something (for me) to get excited about.

    As me and all my buddies well know (I'd say "As everyone knows," but I haven't checked with them), the real money has been in services that fulfill a specific business need. This means databases.

    Inprise has Interbase. They also have RAD database development tools that are at or very near the top of their class. They have the AppServer, making it a little easier to deploy and monitor highly scalable n-tier systems.

    Corel has Paradox. This was originally a Borland product, but aimed more at end-users than the rest of Borland's tools. So Corel came along and took over development plus sales and distribution.

    Why is this important? Borland + Paradox covers all of the aspects of database access and programming, doing a much better job than anything else out there. The report writer in Paradox blows Crystal Reports away, the Query By Example is simpler than SQL and more flexible than the MSQuery BS. (religious wars to /dev/null).

    Since Corel is going broke and Inprise doesn't really do end-user type software, does that mean maybe they'll open-source Paradox?

    I'm betting that Corel / Inprise have (had?) some sort of a plan to unify database access under Linux. Hopefully *not* the BDE, but it was as good a solution as ODBC, so what the hell...

    Whatever it is, it will be the technology that makes Linux work in the corporate world. Don't believe me? What were the effects of dBase, Clipper and Delphi on the DoS / Windoze world? They made DoS / Windoze usable in the business world, that's what.

  • Well I, for one, am tired of hearing Corel bashing. People constantly complain about the poor quality of their software and business decisions. I don't know anything about Corel's apparently troubled past, but I do know Corel Linux is a very decent product. Furthermore, Word Perfect on Corel Linux is sweet. I can honestly say I do not use MSWord anymore.

    After running Corel Linux 1.1.2 for almost one year, I can testify that it is stable, fast and easy. It has all of the benefits of the Debian release in addition to a very nice graphical installer, an impressive user interface and all of the applications I need.

    I think it is ironic that a company finally puts together a solid Linux product that my mother can (literally) use and the hardcore /. constantly flames it.

    Tough crowd :(
  • Compare Delphi and C++ Builder to VB sometime.

    Are you suggesting that VB is a better environment? If so, my experience is quite a bit different from yours apparently.


  • Since it relates to Borland, it might be of interest to those reading this story.

    I've written a little piece on kuro5hin on Borland's Kylix, which is their upcoming RAD tool for Linux.

    Rather than reporducing it here, go and have a look [].

  • WPO2k/Linux doesn't use Winelib. It uses WINE. The exe's aren't quite the same as the Windows ones (Corel did make some source changes to their apps).
  • WPO2k/Linux doesn't use Winelib. It uses WINE.

    Really? Wow! any idea why they did that? Is it a problem with getting a Linux compiler or something? I can't think of any other reason.

  • Now that Cygnus has been merged into RH, Troll Tech and Aladdin are the only profitable free software businesses I can think of. In the sense that they produce (not just distribute) the software the software they provide support for.

    The other example would be the FSF, (which can't get recognized as a charity as they sell software).
  • by spack ( 43763 )
    Please ignore this test.
  • Hemos, we are sending bug reports to SourceForge [] now. Leave Pater alone. ;-)
  • In Preferences | Customize Comments, it reads:
    Threshold [1: Filter Most ACs]

    So yeah, I'll email pater.
  • Is... Corel ended up holding onto wordperfect, the once mighty dominant word processor. Many forget it used to be all about wordperfect... templates, classes, coming free and bundled with most computers. Now like Wordstar (whose ghost lives on in "joe") we have seen death for 2 of the major 3 word processors that started in the 80s. Guess who is left?
    Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...
  • It's easy for you to say...

    But try to say that to a snobby millionair, who invests in Corel, sees Corel do strange things (magic word FREE) and says: "Hey, you cannot do that! I thought you were going to make money, not lose them!"

    and than sells the shares, plumming the prices into the floor. Why? Because in the non-virtual world the rules are different, the ideology is different.

    And yes, Cygnus where making money as many companies, on support/development/etc., but not direct sales. But this model works only on small scale! Even RedHeat has to charge everyone for it's products.

    But Corel is in the corner - Windows users do not like it anymore (except, perhaps, me), shareholders keep as far away as possible.

    Is there a solution? Then mail it to Corel!

  • I don't think their policy of self-destruction (which certainly exists) had much to do with the latest developments.

    They were a company on the verge of bankruptcy (and still are) that was made to look solvent by mindless and europhic buying lacking any fundamentals. The company was extremely smart to go into a merger while the stock was high - it would have meant merging with a company that actually had cash flow. Luckily for Borland they waited long enough and the truth was revealed.

    Red hat operates the same way - they are buying companies with real products and revenue streams, and paying for it with stock that is hardly worth the paper it is printed on.
  • by toofast ( 20646 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2000 @06:07AM (#1069370)
    But reading all the posts in here, manu people seem upset at Corel, and accusing them of producing low-quality software.

    I've been using WP 2000 on Linux for a while, and it's been a breath of fresh air. Runs smooth, doesn't crash, and allows me to stay in Linux when I need a spreadsheet.

    I'm beta testing DRAW and Photopaint for Linux. I use PhotoPaint a great deal, and again, I no longer need to boot Windows to use PhotoPaint.

    Corel are delivering quality apps _ON TIME_. no shipping delays. No waiting 3 freeking years for a product. No 190 MB service Pack!!!

    I agree that they are following the Linux bandwagon, but what's a company to do? How do you compete with Microsoft??? Everyone who does dies. Linux is Corel's only hope, and as a Linux community, let's praise what Corel are doing. They're giving us good APPS, and at a more-than-reasonable price. I'm sorry, but Gnumeric is just to simple and featureless to consider using.
  • ya a guy who has been using Linux for quite some time...I remember back when StarWriter only had that damn german dictionary..and was real buggy for Linux..WordPerfect moving to Linux was one of the things that really helped give Linux a boost in my mind. Then they announced their plans for a distribution. I believe that initially Corel's support of Linux was one of the driving forces behind the recent growth of Linux. I am not saying it was THE driving force...and I will grant that companies like Netscape definitely were more important...but I will be one who would thank Corel for their support..even if it was because of their anti-MS mindset. Like it or not...they helped the Linux movement..and now they may be sunk.

    DISCLAIMER: My opinions are held as truth in all courts of law in my world.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI