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Corel

Corel to Sell Off Linux Division 81

Newsforge (also owned by the sinister Andover keiretsu) is reporting on Corel's latest move in the world of Linux - an advance in the retrograde direction. Corel apparently plans to sell off its Debian-based distro, but retain WordPerfect and CorelDraw. Yahoo and Linux Today also have stories.
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Corel to Sell Off Linux Division

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  • by Grim Metamoderator ( 178266 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @11:35AM (#486900)
    Of course, I'll just get modded down for saying this, but operating systems are just not a viable product, especially open-source operating systems with no killer app. One of the reasons I think the DOJ's arguments about Microsoft are stupid is that if you split MS into two companies (OS and applications), the OS company will die. Microsoft makes its money on apps; controlling the OS is only a way of controlling the app space. No wonder Corel couldn't make money selling Linux.

    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    open source really makes money
  • I had to refresh the page when I saw the top headline...

    I could have sworn I'd seen it [slashdot.org] before... [slashdot.org]
  • It's hard to make money selling a comodity, and there is no harder comodity than a free OS with lots of competitors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @11:38AM (#486904)
    I have $19.47 and a bus pass in my pocket I can be persuaded to part with.
  • So I guess Corel bends down: ("..evangelizing the Macintosh to prove that [Corel does] 'think different,'") -for apple
    and bends over:
    (..WordPerfect to Microsoft's .NET)
    -for Microsoft too.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or could it have been the fact that before Corel entered the Linux realm it was failing.

    after they entered a saturated Liux market they failed to advertize there product to their target audiance.

    and then M$ said "hey Corel, stop making those desktop applications for Linux and I will give you a lot of money."

    hmmm...mabye that is what happened

  • Corel's linux divison? I mean hell, you can just copy their work for free....
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @12:04PM (#486908) Homepage Journal

    Corel was a major [corel.com] contributor [corel.com] to the WINE [winehq.com] project. It was a good business plan when they had applications to port to Linux (WordPerfect, etc.) but now that they're splitting the linux group from the applications, the business case to continue development (and certainly the resource availability) is severely diminished.

    My e-mail app just started running on WINE, and now I see no reason to run Windows at all. I suspect many others are realizing the same thing. What would WordPerfect for Linux do to the demand for Word for Linux? Somebody tell me there's no conspiracy.

  • The "Anonymous Coward" is ever a brave soul. Drop me your IP ... "Brave Soul".
  • I don't get it, why would they sell off their Linux division? Also, didn't Corel make a deal with MS lately...
  • who would have guessed it? how long did that last?
  • After all, the Corel Linux CD is $4.99(us) at BestBuy.

    No, really. It is, I saw it not more than an hour ago. Almost bought it, too - except that Mandrake and Win98 together have conspired to turn my poor little box into heaps of plastic (anyone have spare 72-pin memory chips lying around? i could use an upgrade...)

  • by phoxix ( 161744 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @12:19PM (#486913)
    Don't get me wrong

    But why should we care?

    So what if one company has decided to bail out of the world of Linux?

    Linux is doing fine by itself

    No offense to anyone, but I was a major Corel fan too, but even I knew that it was doomed to failure

    Right now, more than anything, us linux/bsd people need to support and open source Office replacement, like Koffice, or Star office

    Giving us binaries, that require WINE is something that Linux/bsd users should never stoop too. We showed the world that free and open doesn't mean "suck", it means great!

    Power on Linux/bsd users!! and NEVER think about windows binaries again!!

  • by lrichardson ( 220639 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @12:21PM (#486914) Homepage
    In reality, only closed-source business models will EVER turn a profit. It's the business model that has worked for hundreds of years, and it'll be the only one working for the next couple hundred.

    Good thing I'm a history buff, otherwise this blanket bullsh$t statement might convince me. I dunno, but it seems that carriage/cart makers could be considered 'open source', in that their product will work with any 'operating' system out there: horses, donkeys, mules, oxen, people. Worse, in times past, trade secrets just didn't exist ... yes, everybody knew how to make everyone elses products! Heck, even today, an industry as huge as life insurance is based on a few simple tables that everyone has access to.

    I happen to like WordPerfect, especially in preference to Word. Reality is, the reason M$ is so successful has nothing to do with the quality of their product (hugely inferior for most of it's life), but the fact it's been sold as part of a 'package' ... a package which, strangely enough, includes it's own OS. M$ virtually gave it's various OS away, for the sole purpose of making the playing field more biased (on many levels) to their other products, such as Word.

    Looking at just the OS is shortsighted: look at the whole package ... and then figure how much money they made on the combination.

    Face it. Linux is communism, plain and simple

    Of course, one could point out that it's more correctly socialistic,or even anarchistic, than communist, but your drivel seems to indicate you believe anything that isn't CAPITALISM (U.S. Version, T.M.) is communism. . Most of the world lives under a system that combines capitalism and socialism. Pure Capitalism is about as viable as Pure Communism, that is, not at all. Based on architecture alone, I suspect *nix will kick WinWhatever: the minor detail that tens of thousands of socially minded geeks are making a better product than the capitalistic monkeys at M$ can kinda proves that IT DOES WORK.

  • All this wonderful person do is claim every link is a goatse.cx link...
  • I for one am glad to see them gone. Too many (stupid) journalists have based their impression of GNU/Linux on Corel's AWFUL distribution. Although I will always use Debian or Slackware, I think that Mandrake (or RH) provides a much more media-friendly face for GNU/Linux than Corel. Corel's Linux was pretty shoddy in my opinion. I had the experience of having several friends machines lock up during a Corel install that were fine on other distros.
    My other issue with Corel was that it didn't do anything original that would have Linux users rally to supporting it.
    Myhope is that another Linux company buys it just to put Corel Linux to rest and to pick up a few good developers and busy them doing something useful.
    Oh... and I didn't like them using KDE when it was non-Free. :)
  • Ok normally I don't complain because I could see how the occasional topic could get posted twice. But THREE times?

    That's where I draw the line and say that the editing/posting around here has gone to hell...

    Feel free to mod this down, I'm just in a bitchy mood.
  • Of course, I'll just get modded down for saying this, but operating systems are just not a viable product, especially open-source operating systems with no killer app. One of the reasons I think the DOJ's arguments about Microsoft are stupid is that if you split MS into two companies (OS and applications), the OS company will die.

    Offcourse there's money in selling Operating Systems. Everyone needs an OS. Maybe Microsoft/OS will die, but that will happen because they're not used to compete with other companies. They've forgotten how to create quality software because they don't need to.

  • "In reality, only closed-source business models will EVER turn a profit."

    So you are saying that 'RedHat' doesn't make millions?

    pffffff.

  • Instead of selling, they should just 'open source' the entire division and let anyone come in and use their offices. I'm sure they won't, money grubbing bastards!
  • by Astin ( 177479 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @12:32PM (#486921)

    I read an article back when Corel first introduced their version of Linux. (I actually knew about the release about a year earlier, when I got a tour of the Corel Computers offices, but that's another story...). It stated that Corel's plan, although not publicized in any way, was fairly obvious. By providing a user-friendly, Windows-like Linux distro, they could increase the number of Linux users. Knowing that M$ wouldn't likely port their apps over to Linux, they could then essentially corner the market with the WordPerfect suite. THIS is where the real money would be, not in the OS itself, but in the applications that Corel planned on building up user support for.

    Have to admit, this made sense. One cannot make money on a Free OS, no matter how much you charge for the box, manuals, and support, especially in an age where high speed access is becoming more widespread, slowly making traditional distribution models (ie.- off-the-shelf) obsolete. However, by offering "crippled" versions of their applications for free, they COULD make money, especially to the market they were aiming for. Most people who would use Corel Linux wouldn't go near, say, Debian, because they want user-friendliness, and M$-like configurability. These same people would then get the online version of WP, use it, and realize they want more TrueType fonts, macros, filters, etc., that could only be obtained with the commercial version of the software. So, they would dutifully trudge out to their local store, or visit corel.com, and buy the package. The same would apply to CL versions of CorelDraw, etc..

    However, there was a problem. The Linux market took a nose-dive. Suddenly the Linux buzz started dying off, and Corel dropped from $61/share to $2.50 ($CDN prices folks). Cowpland resigned, and the plan wasn't looking as feasible. So, spin off the OS now, instead of after the expected boom in usage, because the boom isn't going to happen any time soon. This way, the problem isn't theirs. They can continue to provide the apps, and over time, they just might make a profit from them, especially if the spin-off does a decent job of building and supporting CL.

    Mind you, /. readers don't tend to fall into the category Corel was looking for. Not many actually use CL, some might of installed it on a separate partition just to take a look-see, but most returned to their Red-Hat/Debian/Slackware/whatever distros and happily hacked away in their xterms.

    Point being, *IF* Linux had continued to stay at its peak, and *IF* Corel's version grabbed a decent share of the market, then the plan of providing the OS for free and selling the apps *COULD* have made them a mint. Unfortunately, none of the ifs were realized, so Corel is once again struggling to stay afloat.

  • Yes, but you can't copy their workers for free ;-)
  • What will the hundreds of corel linux users do now ? ;)
  • What is up with moderation lately? This trolling got marked up as ''Interesting'', fake goatse.cx alerts getting modded up without even checking the links for a moment. have the trolls taken over the asylum?
  • A couple more posts and you'll bang out Hamlet.
  • Dude, yet another slip and fall loser lawfirm 'announcing' they're trying to organize yet another money grubbing lawsuit is not news, just like the five other loser firms that 'announced' the same the day before.

    I dare say most of them don't actually have any clients, hell 90% of them are still looking for 'lead defendant' (IE, at this point they're announcing they'd like to sue, on behalf of no one.) The most recent loser law firm to troll the waters not only didn't have a client, they didn't even have a company in mind to sue, so they listed the last four IPO's Deutsche Bank handled.

    One, mabye two of these suits will actually be filed. Mabye one will actually make it to opening arguments. This shit happens all the time in business, or have you been too busy trolling Slashdot with CmdrAnus remarks to notice?
  • Maybe he would like 6 Solaris machines, and 8 SunOS, all Ultra Sparc2's D.o.S_ing his ass?
    Oh. And they are on a OC/48.

  • Does this mean that corel is going to continue to support their apps under Linux? I hope so. But this strikes me as the first step towards dropping linux support altogether. And that scares me.

    No good can come when M$ invests money into a company backing Linux.
  • The news here is that Corel themselves have officially announced they are looking to spin off their Linux division: until now it's just been "industry speculation". Now, whether or not an official announcement deserves it's own posting is debatable, I'll grant you. Personally, I think it is newsworthy, considering how it looked like Corel might be a major Linux player not too terribly long ago.
  • by dkh2 ( 29130 ) <dkh2@@@WhyDoMyTitsItch...com> on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @01:05PM (#486930) Homepage
    There was once a time when Novell (I'll get to the Corel relevance in a moment) owned, in addition to Netware (a perfectly respectable networking thingie in its own right):
    • DR (Digital Research) DOS ("A better DOS than DOS"), and
    • WordPerfect (including the bulk of the WP suite)
    Additionally, they had reasonably good relations with Corel, famous for their Draw product.

    It would have taken only a few KLoC (K Lines of Code) to integrate the lot or, make the pieces talk to each other but, Novell couldn't decide whether to shit or get off the pot. So, they flushed DR DOS down the can seeing that Windows had just made it's first big surge in the market and, sold WordPerfect to Corel for a fraction of original cost. One major opportunity to produce competition for "the collective" lost.

    So now Corel has WordPerfect, a perfectly good non-collective product and ditches their up-and-coming OS, once again terminating (at least part of) another opportunity to compete with "the collective."

    On days like this I am really thankful that Linux does not live or die because of one person or one company.

    Code commentary is like sex.
    If it's good, it's VERY good.

  • The Linux distro area is getting kinda crowded, and (IMHO) I think it would be cool if Corel would concentrate more on porting apps like CorelDraw to Linux.

  • Being a Linux fan, I'll shed half a tear for Corel dumping its distro.

    However, being a fan of Good Products(TM), I'll jump for joy. Corel sucked at making a good Linux distro, and in general, I think it was a bad business decision to use wine to port their products to Linux.

    Performance of software under wine just sucks, horribly. I'm sorry, but my load average goes through the friggin' roof when I use Corel Photopaint for Linux, which uses the wine libraries. No, I'm not talking about when I actually invoke a process on a picture, I'm talking about when I *move my mouse* within the window (gotta love xosview). This is also *after* I fixed the kernel panic with my stock winelib by downloading and installing a decent snapshot.

    I mean...c'mon...it's insane.

    Yes, wine works for some things, and it doesn't work for others. I am one of those people that thinks that the wine project should be halted and discarded to force software houses, such as Corel, that wish to have a Linux Marketshare (TM) to actually port to NATIVE CODE.

    Speaking as a person who actually *bought the boxed version* of Word Perfect, I want a real office suite written FOR Linux, not some half-baked half-port. Maybe with Corel dumping its Linux distro, they'll actually be able to put the effort into writing a native-code port of its office products. I would shell out good money for such a beast, but never again will I do so if it uses wine for its operation in any way.
  • Right. I live in Toronto and schtuff so I get canadian news straight from the proverbial horse's mouth (Corel being a company out of Ottawa Ontario). I was watching TV an hour or two ago and Pulse 24 (kinda like cnn's headline news) reported that Corel was not backing out of linux as previously mentioned.... I could be dead wrong on this. I don't know... Can anyone confirm?
  • Fellow slashdotters,

    I am still somewhat new here; is it harmful to me to reply to obviously braindead trolls? Will he come visit me and gun me down? {/sarcasm}

    For one SuSE is making a profit, for another, Red Hat actually expects to make a profit earlier than predicted. The point is these companies do not make their money selling support to individuals, but to businesses. Because of their Open Source methods, the individual customer can profit from this even without paying.

    In reality, only closed source business models will ever turn a HUGE profit. Open Source businesses just need to turn enough of a profit to pay their staff (mostly Open Source developers).

    Yes, this means that Red Hat will probably never become a billion-dollar business. Guess what, mr. Clueless: THEY DON'T INTEND TO! They do intend however to sell lots of servers and eventually workstations with support contracts to businesses big and small, and if IBM can make 75 % of it's profits on that, then I would say this is a viable business model indeed.

    Now go and start worshipping monopoly lock-in as a viable business model and trouble us no more with your trolling.

    On another note, are the /. servers acting up? /. is horrendously slow all night, and insisted I tried to post this twice, after eating an earlier reply in another discussion.

    Mart
  • by ravrazor ( 69324 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @01:45PM (#486935)
    This has been said many times before, but since we can read the article 3 times, I'll say it again...

    Many may argue, rightly or wrongly, that it was a terrible mistake for Corel to enter the Linux market. Personally, I think it was a good move at the wrong time. They attempted to enter the market with a product line that was under competition from free products, and predictably got horribly beaten within the Linux community.

    But it was still a good idea. If they had stayed the course and shifted their base market of law firms over to Linux, they would have saved their base the unnecessary costs of Windows, while at the same time preventing Microsoft from pulling the OS API rug out from under them once they become a serious threat to MSOffice again. The shift to Linux was nothing more than self defense for Corel... they never should have attempted to sell a shrink wrapped box set of Linux and Corel Office. They should have sold the system through partners straight to law firms, and provided the technical support to back it up.

    But Corel has been rudderless for far too long. They've attempted a Java office suite which went nowhere. And now, they attempted to enter the Linux market rather than use Linux to shift their own market to their own turf, and now they're back to square one. What a shame, since WordPerfect is still a damn good wordprocessor.
  • I was really surprised when Corel came out with Corel Linux. It seemed to me to be just another Caldera waiting to happen. Corel's value to the Linux community is in providing commercial applications -- especially WordPerfect office.
  • Well I'm not surprised. You just can't make any kind of money off of Linux or Linux apps. Take a look at the stocks of companies that have some sort of Linux product for sale. It just makes good business since for Corel to dump a project that's causing them to go into the hole. Making software for a OS like MS Windows just makes more business since.
  • I'm sure that Microsoft is more than happy to see Corel leaping into dependency on .Net, but it is by no means obvious that Corel ever had a really viable way of making substantial profits from their Linux-related business.

    I would point the "death of the dream" back not to anything particularly recent, but rather to the failure of "Corel Computers," where they had the intent to sell (and help support!) hordes of computers. Selling fairly proprietary StrongARM-based hardware is a natural route to creating massive cash flow streams, what with sales, software, and ongoing servicing.

    My suspicion is that what went wrong was more "behind the scenes" than it was visible; the core strength of WordPerfect and Corel licensing fee streams was with the Canadian government, negotiated years ago.

    The "encroachment" of MS Office on all sides led to trying to come up with a strategy, and selling a "SideWinder" complete with web integration, a need for some proprietary assistance, and Corel Office had, at least theoretically, the ability to hit the mark.

    The "WINE" strategy could have been meaningful in pulling additional applications to the table; that's not going to buy huge licensing contracts, but if it gets some SideWinder Sales, that suffices. There was also a "deal" having to do with other ways of "remote running" of Windows apps via something not unlike VNC; again, that doesn't lead to huge licensing fees, but if it sells computers, that's a win.

    The WINE situation should be paralleled with the Caldera-related enterprise, Willows, that produced a Win16 emulator called TWIN. They eventually GPLed the product because there just wasn't enough market in selling the library to developers.

    Thus, I think Corel was "dead" when the computer experiment fell through. Everything else was the icing that would have attracted people to the "cake" that was to be SideWinder. Today? They're just quibbling over the pieces...

  • Just wonder how long it will take for slashdot to 'ditch' corel ;-)....
  • The official announcement is here. [corel.com] they're dumping their distribution on someone even less likely to make it profitable (remember the Netwinder?). Although they took a great deal of flack from the Linux community, their aim was to broaden Linux into the less technically savvy market. There failure was their inability to partner with a name brand OEM (like Dell, Compaq, Gateway, etc...) who could address the general desktop user's desire for a shrink-wrapped, pre-installed, integrated system, with one-stop technical support. They are keeping control of their apps, worsening the dis-integration. From their announcement... > The company's expanding vision for Linux includes providing customers with a bundled solution that minimizes the total cost of ownership and eliminates integration issues. So, they are trying to create integrated Linux solutions?... > To realize its Linux vision and to increase the value of its Linux equity for both customers and shareholders, Corel is actively pursuing opportunities to allow it to spin off the Linux Distribution element of its Linux division ..integrate by dis-integrating! > while retaining an interest in the new prospective company. Corel will continue to develop brand name applications for the Linux operating system including WordPerfect Office for Linux and CorelDRAW for Linux. I.e.: they didn't want to disclose their applications source to their new "partner"... and so their only remaining market will be techies who need a GUI word-processor or drawing program. Java based Corel Draw, the Netwinder, an integrated desktop Linux distribution for non-techies. Three great ideas, all ahead of their time, all fouled up in the execution. Chris
  • Uh, when did they start to support their apps under Linux? Oh sure, they released versions that ran on Linux (uh, well on WINE on linux), but they certainly didn't support them. There are tons of bugs, including WINE seg faults and lots of reports that upgrading to KDE2 kills WINE, printing something with a black and white bitmap uses exponentially increasing memory (and doesn't print), the just-die-and-loose-unsaved-edits bug that is a tad irritating. And the list goes on.

    Don't get me wrong. I am the guy at work who refuses to switch to Word I love wordperfect the product (when it runs). And if they had given it away, I wouldn't be complaining. But I paid $100 for a product that doesn't work very well at all and Corel has done nothing to fix it.

    Take a look at the newsgroup [corel.ca]


  • How about this: Microsoft invests in Corel, and Microsoft's most valuable asset is Windows. Therefore, Microsoft doesn't like Linux (expecially a "Linux for the desktop"), therefore Microsoft tells Corel to fuck off with Linux, or else no dugh. Corel obliges.

    No, that's too obvious, it couldn't have happened.

  • They still plan to spin off the Linux Distro but it will keep the Corel Linux Brand name and Corel will keep a 20% equity in the aquiring company.

    Someone mentioned that they should just open source the whole thing but in fact they have. You can download the source code from their FTP site. I think the main reason they are getting out is that Debian did not like their changes and did not incorporate many( any?) into the new version. It must be expensive to have to repackage all those boxes every few months when a change happens.

    BTW, Cowpland originaly planned to give CLOS away but it got so much advance hype that they started selling it and made $5 million in the first few months.

  • Good thing I'm a history buff, otherwise this blanket bullsh$t statement might convince me. I dunno, but it seems that carriage/cart makers could be considered 'open source', in that their product will work with any 'operating' system out there: horses, donkeys, mules, oxen, people. Worse, in times past, trade secrets just didn't exist ... yes, everybody knew how to make everyone elses products! Heck, even today, an industry as huge as life insurance is based on a few simple tables that everyone has access to.
    The thing you nice analogy fails to take into account was that in days gone by, your local blacksmith, or wagonbuilder didn't compete with his neighbor in the next town. Today, people are competing with people in other countries, on other continents, with a limited knowledge pool.
  • Yes, this means that Red Hat will probably never become a billion-dollar business. Guess what, mr. Clueless: THEY DON'T INTEND TO!
    Unfortunately, Red Hat is no longer in control of that, their shareholders are. Red Hat now has an obligation to their shareholders to make as much profit as it can, and are legally liable if they do not.
  • Somebody tell me there's no conspiracy

    this isn't the conspiracy you're looking for, move along.

    corel are in the motions of doing all they can to become profitable as soon as possible. the linux division, as much as they might have loved it, wasn't making money, and wasn't positioned well to become a leader in the distributions business for a while yet.

    it looks to me a purely business move - shed the money losers, focus on the areas that are already profitable and with substantial customer bases (draw and wordperfect).

    and i seriously doubt there's any underhand dealings with microsoft involved. linux isn't posing any threat to windows in the desktop world yet, and it doesn't look like it will be for a while. microsoft's fear of linux is in servers and embedded, as far as i can see. which are two areas that corel have nothing to do with.


    matt
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
    I think you could talk 'em down to the bus pass. Don't let them screw you over, now...
  • who could address the general desktop user's desire for a shrink-wrapped, pre-installed, integrated system, with one-stop technical support.

    Wait a minute! That sounds just like the system that I'm currently running! It..it....sounds like Mac OS X!
  • Your analogy of open-source being equivalent to carts and buggies of old is just lame. And the idea that historically trade secrets didn't exist is even lamer. Have you ever heard of Porcelain? How about Silk? Clockmaking? Tulips? Medicine? You are hardly one to complain about blanket BS statements.

  • They've forgotten how to create quality software because they don't need to.

    MMMM, I don't think they ever really knew how to create quality anything in the first place. They have just known how to market it.

  • 6 Corel to Sell Off Linux Division by michael on Tuesday January 23, @03:30PM EST 103
    5 Corel To Sell Linux Arm by Hemos on Thursday December 14, @03:55PM EST 185
    5 Corel Looking To Sell Linux Operations? by Hemos on Friday November 17, @11:37AM EST 230


    We understand. You can stop posting about it. Has anyone else noticed that slashdot redundantly loves their redundant redundancy?

    +===========================+
    |http://mere.2y.net/scoop/ |
    |Tome=SCOOP+COOL_CONTENT; |
  • correct me if i'm wrong, but doesnt Red Hat make a profit? I honestly don't know.
  • Well, the OS was lacking but the apps kicked ass. I remember when WP and 1-2-3 were a near-monopoly and the pains that MS had to go through to get Windows apps on people's desktops. Anybody remember Windows Lite (or whatever it was called) that was shipped with Excel just so people didn't have to run Windows? remember that WP keystrokes (and macros if memory serves) could run in Word? Those were not trivial features and MS did its best to put them in there so that people could switch over. Of course they're guarding their formats now, they know where the alternative leads :-)...

    And as bad as Windows seems at times, it has always been backwardly compatible with MS products. That is also not a trivial feature; and if you take into account the multitude of hardware that MS OSes had to be tested against, maybe you would reconsider the arguments about quality as well.

    I am no MS apologist, but /.ers seem to forget sometimes all the things that MS has done *right* (Excel, Word, Outlook, never mind the VBS virii) and remember all the things they've done wrong: if you underestimate your opponent they are bound to trounce all over you...
  • At 7:49 pm EST I cannot browse or ping www.winehq.com [winehq.com], the WINE project's Corel-hosted webserver.

    Coincidence...? Or has Corel just pulled the plug?

  • Microsoft makes its money on apps; controlling the OS is only a way of controlling the app space.

    That's *exactly* the point. If you split up MS that way, the app division will no longer be able to rely on the OS monopoly. They'll have to compete on their own. This will open up the playing field for the competition to come in. Similarly, the OS division will be forced to either make better producs or die.

    No wonder Corel couldn't make money selling Linux.

    Wrong. They couldn't make any money because their distro sucked badly and they had no infrastructure in place to provide support/consulting/etc.

    Linux aside, this is yet another nail in Corel's coffin. They've been dying for at least 3 years. I am really really surprised they survived even this long. As it stands they have no direction, no viable products, no image/reputation -- nothing. Does anyone know where they even get revenue these days?
    ___

  • by RelliK ( 4466 )
    Making software for a OS like MS Windows just makes more business since.

    Tell it to Corel. Back in '95-'96 they decided to drop OS/2 and UNIX ports of WordPerfect and compete with MS head-to-head on MS's own platform. Look where that got them. WordPerfect's market share went from 60% to under 3%. Now what were you saying about business sence?
    ___

  • My wife works there (was at the conference in Ottawa today), and they're supposedly not selling off Corel Linux outright - it's going to be more of a spinoff, or some sort of partnership with another company. Oh yeah, and they also have a new logo now (so you might want to change they one at the top).
  • For me the killer app that made me want Linux was the Gimp. Even though I got the impression (though I can't imagine where from) that it was a bit difficult to use, the idea of a fully featured graphics package for £50 with a free operating system attached was compeling.
  • Linux != Communism

    Let me make this simple for the people who never bothered to think about it.

    Commercial shrinkwrap software is an abberation.

    PRICE is determined by DEMAND / SUPPLY

    When shrinkwrap software came on physical media, this somewhat held up. People could think of the supply as limited. In reality, software (and any digital information) is practically limitless in supply. Anything / INFINITY = 0.

    The software industry developed this tricky little idea called "software licenses" to limit supply and people magically bought the idea. You still go into a store and buy the software like you would buy a shirt. You still pay for the software. However, you no longer own the software. You have a temporary license to use the software that can be revoked at the whim of the software maker.

    That's not a free market. That's an artificially controlled market.

    Open Source making money relies on the free market. If you don't put money or your own effort into the system, the system will die. Software makers can charge anything they want for the software, but once you buy it (or they give it to you), it's yours to do with as you please.

    Communism would be the government explicitly funding and mandating the use of all the software we use.
  • by costas ( 38724 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @05:06PM (#486960) Homepage
    I disagree. Say you're a chief syasdmin, a COO, whatever, and you're using Win2K and Office 2K. Here comes MS selling Office 2002 for $X dollars and some other company (Corel, Ximian, whomever) selling another OS+Office suite package for $X/2. Hell, make it $0.

    Do you think, honestly, that $X is what influences the final decision? No, the deciding factor is $Y, where Y>>X, and Y is equal to the costs associated with the switch: training support staff, training actual users and most importantly lost time and productivity with the new interface. The reason that MS still has a monopoly is that, a) noone has come up with a competitive product that is so much better to overcome $Y+X, and b) noone has gone all the way to eliminate $Y+X. I.e. we need OpenOffice to feel, work and integrate like MS Office and be either cheaper or better. Can Sun or GNU pull it off? I am sorry, but I don't think so --although I hope they do.
  • I am an idiot: %s/Y+X/Y-X/g

  • Thus, I think Corel was "dead" when the computer experiment fell through. Everything else was the icing that would have attracted people to the "cake" that was to be SideWinder. Today? They're just quibbling over the pieces...
    Corel (or perhaps just former CEO Micheal Cowpland) has had a reputation with adopting technologies before they're ready, doing a rather poor job at developing the idea, and then dumping the product when it's revealed that it was unworkable anyway. Corel Wordperfect for Java is a perfect example of this. Java was still shiny and new when this was being worked on, and they even released some betas, however they failed to realize that it was going to end up both unprofitable and unworkable because of the inherent flaws in the java intpreters of the time and the language itself.

    I think their Linux distribution is another example. While an admirable goal, it's still a little too soon for Linux to make any real inroads on the majority of desktops. KDE and Gnome are both very good, but there's serious questions both at the distibution/system library level and at the user-interface integration level that need to be tackled before anyone can really seriously recommend it's use to novices.

    IMO, the new CEO is doing the right thing -- trimming unneeded (unprofitable) parts off the company until such time as they can afford to take such chances. Linux's shot at the end-user's desktop may yet come, but it's clear that it's not the time for that yet...

  • Yes, but you can't copy their workers for free ;-)

    Cloning is getting cheaper, though... (j/k :)
  • Back in '95-'96 they decided to drop OS/2 and UNIX ports of WordPerfect and compete with MS head-to-head on MS's own platform

    Actually, the problem was they completely failed to compete with Microsoft on their own platform. WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows was late and buggy. WordPerfect 6 for Windows was way too buggy. WordPerfect for Win32 didn't ship until mid 1996 (Microsoft shipped their first Win32 version in 1994). After all these late, buggy blunders, it's no wonder all most all of their 80% marketshare had disappeared.

    Sticking with the miniscule and shrinking UNIX and OS/2 desktop markets wouldn't have helped either WordPerfect or UNIX&OS/2. (Just as the existance of WordPerfect for Linux won't particularly help Linux either.)
    --
  • You know I really like Corel Draw, it's a very good product. I remember reading something that the artist who designed the euro coin used corel draw.

    For the past 3 years it looks like corel is just trying to get big and rich fast without even working hard for it. I would blame their failure to poor leadership. That Cowpland guy was a real aragant idiot.

    I still believe corel still has some life left. All they have to do is stop what they are doing and focus on bettering their products.
  • Hey that's not the big news....the big news is that they finally ditched their old cheesy logo. Check out the new logo here [corel.com]. Time to update the /. topic graphic...
  • Closed source + Closed hardware = Mac & Sun

    Closed Source + Open Hardware = Microsoft

    Open Source + Open Hardware = Linux

    Just because they could have been selling a shrink-wrapped soup-to-nuts solution like Sun and Apple, there's still a difference... with Linux, anybody could do the same. That's competition. That's the open source revolution. What Compaq's reverse-engineering of the IBM bios did for the PC revolution (creating open hardare), Linux does for the next revolution.

    Corel, who specializes in applications, could have been playing the same game as Apple, Sun, or Microsoft -- and control the distribution around their applications, rather than chasing the OS maker's tail, and living/dying at the whim of the OS maker.

    They could have done Microsoft one better, as Apple and Sun do, by controlling the hardware underneath their distribution and providing a a single source for service -- just like Apple & Sun.

    They can have their cake (a soup-to-nuts solution) and eat it to (open hardware and software).

    When you understand this, you'll leave your Mac behind!

    Chris
    • "Hi,

      I'm new here at Slashdot. I didnt know we had a search engine that will search all of our previous stories. If I did I would have known that if I searched "corel sell linux" that I would have noticed that this story has been posted three times before."

    Corel To Sell of Linux Division [slashdot.org]

    Corel To Sell Linux Arm [slashdot.org]

    Corel Looking To Sell Linux Operations? [slashdot.org]

    Come on guys. Really, how hard is it to search and read your own site?

    Pete
  • No kidding, when Corel Linux 1.0 came out it wasn't even based on a STABLE version of Debian. It was also very full of security holes. The only things that I did like about it was the low memory consumption of their KDE desktop (at the time default installs of OpenLinux and Mandrake would swap like mad under with less than 32MB of RAM). I also liked the really simple interface (ie. I could give my parents Corel Linux, and they could actually configure it). Of course, this was back when it first came out...
  • Three e-business publications have had the sale of Corel-linux on their radar screens. Reporting that Corel has been shopping around for a buyer for a few months now. They had the makings of a decent distro, but with all the financial woes they've encountered it has been laying fallow. I started with their distro, and it had some problems. They offered an upgrade to version 2.0 on thier web-site for about $5.00 plus shipping. I went for it. 3 months after the debit to my account I got a notice that it had been processed. 2 months after that it arrived, in German and it was version 1.0. I quickly moved to an RH based distro and am much happier.
  • after they entered a saturated Liux market they failed to advertize there product to their target audiance.

    No, there was no target audience, that was the problem. Corel never properly defined who they were targeting with their Corel Linux product... the closest that they could offer as a target market was a newbie Linux user, but it turns out that they (obviously) would rather use an open source product, or at the very least a free (beer), that's why they were drawn to Linux. No customers, no future.

    and then M$ said "hey Corel, stop making those desktop applications for Linux and I will give you a lot of money."

    Again, you are wrong (sorry). Corel is still going to make Linux apps, and MS doesn't really care about that (at least not in the short term, while Corel's apps suck). The reason that MS made the investment was for two (possibly three)reasons: keep the competition afloat for antitrust reasons (ala apple), 3rd party support for their .NET framework (which they are gaga over), and possibly because they thought it would be a good investment.

    -rt-
  • Nope. Actually, it's determined by
    $Z:

    echo $Z
    "All our business partners are using M$.
    All our customers are using M$.
    Therefore, we will use M$ to stay 100% compatible".

  • $30. Skyrocketed to $200. Back to $8. All in a year. No wonder Corel is bailing.
  • After the agreement with M$, this HAD to happen ! Why do you think that M$ has bought Corel shares ?


  • I think their Linux distribution is another example. While an admirable goal, it's still a little too soon for Linux to make any real inroads on the majority of desktops. KDE and Gnome are both very good, but there's serious questions both at the distibution/system library level and at the user-interface integration level that need to be tackled before anyone can really seriously recommend it's use to novices.


    Unlike in '99 when Corel released their consumer distro, now the Gnome and KDE have gotten their proverbial shit together and the end-user friendliness is starting to show. Unlike the business/server oriented distro companies, the consumer-oriented Mandrake and to lesser extent SuSE have easier time to build user-friendly Linux editions. The upcoming seamless (and intelligent) update utilities and infrastructures look very impressive, promising to make Linux the easiest-to-maintain platform to date.

    Even as a mere Linux app vendor, Corel can still provide occasional touches and polish to strategically important projects if they so desire. But their own Corel-branded distro has become unnecessary and frankly I'd rather not see all the thousands upon thousands of app vendors planning to build their own distros, even if LSB will some day make them more or less interoperable.

    IMO, the new CEO is doing the right thing -- trimming unneeded (unprofitable) parts off the company until such time as they can afford to take such chances. Linux's shot at the end-user's desktop may yet come, but it's clear that it's not the time for that yet...


    Actually, I believe the Corel distro operation was slightly profitable, at least until all the FUD about Corel quitting all things Linux started flying around. But the downside was that all the other distro vendors saw Corel as a competitor and not as a partner selling cross-platform productivity solutions to MS-infested businesses. Red Hat et al could certainly use additional weapons to help them win more business accounts.

    If Corel's next Linux versions of WPO (2002) and Draw 10 can be ported into native executables using Winelib (which I believe to be their plan) instead of the current WINE runtime approach, I might finally take the bait. I'm quite suspicious of Sun's motives behind their "office politics", and even more so of Microsoft's own-it-all monopoly abuse. A native WPO for Linux would fit the bill nicely.




    --

    A. Bullard

  • flamebait? What's inflammatory about pointing out that people will not generally buy something which they can get for free?

    And don't open source people always say that the support you can get for free, via USEnet, IRC etc. is often more helpful and responsive than commercial support? That's all this poster has said, but he gets moderated down for daring to suggest there might be a benefit to having a closed source product.
  • You must be one of those bend-over-mr-gates trolls.

  • Ahh Corel. As much as I'd have fun making lude remarks about the ex-CEOs ugly fuggin' wife and the fact he stole money from the company, the selling of the Corel/Linux part of the business so soon is a clear sign of RECESSION preparation.
    That's what I said. Recession.
    I have a theory that, for years, there has been someone technically savvy calling the shots at Corel, but this persons vision has always been shit upon by Copeland and the rest of the "suits". Whoever they may be. Considering the flamboyancy of the Corel CEO I can only imagine meetings where drunk managers playing clown music juggle the careers of their employees without a care.
    After all, they were the IT elite, though mostly thanks to the CorelDraw programs success and the hard work of many Corel workers who believed the company "team" propaganda. Canadians are dumb that way.
    Well, didn't take long for that bubble to burst and for Corel to settle back down into another visionless, boring, CANADIAN company.
    They say if America coughs, Canada catches a cold. Well, actually, Canadians just do what the Yanks tell them. It's the Americans who control the world market after all.
  • Linux is communism, plain and simple

    Hey buddy, I wish you would spend half of your life in communism, as I did. You would understand that Windows is closer to communism than anything else. Communism means monopoly of a few people who will sell you whatever they want, even bread with nails in the same package. If they cannot sell the nails, you want bread, you'll have to buy both. And the quality of most PC commercial software resmbles perfectly the quality of products in the old communist countries. When you complain about quality, the Microsoft marketer talk about their software as "consumer product" then they laugh, explain you that W9x is for stupid people who are not able to appreciate good software anyways, and try to convince you to upgrade to NT which is "professional". I heard this things before when you were invited to be member of the communist party.

    On the other side, Open Source is about freedom to get whatever you want, if you are able to understand what you want. If not, communism is for you and you'll never feel it.

    Well, I suppose I let myself a little bit carried away. This was not intended to be flamebait.

  • ...but operating systems are just not a viable product, especially open-source operating systems with no killer app.

    I went to one of the product launch seminars for Corel Linux where they demoed the product. This distro actually has alot of appeal, but just to a different market. Its geared to those who don't know alot about Linux, who are just coming off of Windows. Problem is that its to early for people to start switching.
    Linux is still, very much, an operating system for expert computer users. And the lack of ports for the most popular apps and games aren't helping much either.
    The initial setup of this distro of Linux is done in less than 2-3 steps, not even requiring a root password. The applications have been redesigned for more userfriendlyness and the console portion of the distro has almost been completely removed.
    This is not nessecarily a bad thing, though I would assume that most Linux users would disagree. But you have to admit that not everyone can use Linux in its true form, those of us working in tech support would have to agree on that.
    In my opinion, Corel Linux is ahead of its time. It was, and is, a nice idea, but the world isn't ready for it. Perhaps one day it will be looked on as a starting point that gives Linux an edge in the market, or perhaps it will become the punch line to some cruel jokes.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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