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Microsoft Bails Out Of Corel 166

Motor writes: "Microsoft is selling its shares in Corel." Interesting -- it was inevitable that this would happen, I suppose.
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Microsoft Bails Out Of Corel

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It definitely originated as the intro in the old arcade (or megadrive or PC engine) game Zero Wing. It became famous in a thread on
  • Another point has been overlooked. This DOJ investigation is recent. It must have started during the Bush Administration! Mr. Bill has really worn out his welcome rapidly, hasn't he!

    It is interesting to speculate that Dubya has seen Mr. Bill for the loose cannon that he really is. Any competent politician should be able to see a potential embarrassment coming from a long way off!

    I can't help wondering whether some high functionary has approached Mr. Bill, off the record, and told him, "Knock it off, you big, fat, fool, before you get yourself in real trouble!".

  • It really is amusing to see all of the "MS is running scared" crap being posted. How a company with well over 90% of the desktop market sewn up could ever be considered to be "running scared" is well beyond my train of thought.

    I am a 100% Linux user (well almost - only for the odd game do I reboot :)) but I can see quite clearly that although our beloved Linux is making inroads, it will be a long time before "MICROSOFT IS RUNNING SCARED!".

    What can be said is that Microsoft is a cautious player of the market and will endeavour to snuff any flame out before it has the capacity to compete with their own fscked version of the particular product in question - this is how one ties up 90% of a market for those that didn't know.

    The other thing thats annoying is to see all of the "Microsoft bought Corel, destroyed the threat and dumped it" bullshit. Does anyone have any kind of evidence of this? Or are we just playing the typical pile shit on MS game for the sheer hell of it that we usually see on Slashdot?

    Perhaps they just wanted to opt out of a company that is obviously not doing too well before they lost anymore money on the deal.

    Even a company as gargantuan as MS has to be smart with its money you know :)

  • I am sure that Microsoft planned to do this all along, they didn't just decide to dump Corel this when they were investigated for yet another antitrust violation. The deliberately did this to depress the stock price of a competitor, while all along they were publicly saying they were partners.
    Let me give you a similar example.
    Microsoft made a $150m investment in nonvoting shares of Apple, which was made in exchange for Apple making IE the "browser of choice." Microsoft secretly bought about $80million of AAPL options, selling short. So that way, no matter if Apple stock went up or down, MS was covered.
    At the end of the 3 year agreement, MS exercised its option to convert the $150m into regular AAPL preferred stock shares. Then MS secretly started dumping the stocks at low prices, in an attempt to depress the price of AAPL during a time of 4Q vulnerability. AAPL prices remained depressed until Jan 1 2001 when their stock and options were exhausted. Then, miraculously, the stock prices started rising again. The Red Herring newsletter described the events in detail, and estimated that MS blew $90m just to depress the stock price.

    So, you can see why I think MS did this deliberately. They deliberately intended to gut Corel, then sell it as a distressed property.

    So remember, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. And be careful to keep a close eye on who is just pretending to be your friend.
  • Except it hasn't been established that MS Office is actually a better product. Only Lemmings that wish to save face regarding their past purchases assume so.
  • by sinking money into Corel it didn't kill it is what I meant.
  • how did they kill it? They did nothing but sink money into it. Corel has been on a downhill slide for a long time.

    What killed Corel was the introduction of Microsoft Office. The buying of shares in Corel did nothing but allow them to hold on for longer...

    Corel is a good company with good products. They unfortuantly can't keep up w/the domination that Microsoft creates... Such is life.
  • >> Softimage
    > Belongs to MS

    Where have you been?
    M$ sold Softimage a couple years ago.
  • by pen ( 7191 )
    You don't know me. I'm just curious about something (it's really silly). Please e-mail me. I promise that I won't harrass you. Use your throwaway Hotmail/Yahoo/etc. address if you have one and are paranoid. :-)
  • by pen ( 7191 )
    Hi. :-)

    Please drop me an email; I haven't been able to find yours.

  • ..FreeBSD..

    openbsd (well.. -> theo de raadt anyway) is based in canada. the whole export of encryption thing. sure about the freebsd part?

    not to offend any freebsd hackers. or canadians for that matter.

  • *loose money*? you mean *lose* money.

    Ah, a spelling flame. Sorry, I'm German. English is only my second language.

  • It was for the price.

    (Back in 92-93 you could get Office for Windows for less than the price of the DOS WordPerfect wordprocessor by itself. Once you added Lotus 1-2-3 and Harvard Graphics, the cost was well over 3 times what Microsoft was charging for an more accessible product.)
  • Forget MSLinux already. Never gonna happen. IF it were, why would they be spending all their time and resources on Windows XP, when all they really would need to do is make a new skin for KDE or GNOME?

    No, they dumped the shares in Corel because they didn't want to have to answer any more questions to the Justice Department about Corel's activities since they invested in them (dumping Linux, etc). This way, if Corel goes bottom up a year from now they can step back and say "Hey, we bought into them, things weren't working out, we sold out, and look what happened, we were right", rather than having to explain "yes, we bought this company and purposefully drove it into the ground".
  • corel office isnt any real ms office competitor. its simply an alternative. tghe only true competitor to ms's stranglehold is opensource aka openoffice alo0ng with gnomes bonobo.
  • A spokesperson for Microsoft quantified the corporations position today: "It turns out that Corel was worth less than half of what we paid for it. We should have known, the way they backed down on their licensing on Corel Linux last year. No company that will allow its IP to get out of iron-handed control can be good for the software industry or America in general. We thought they had products worth assimilating, but well, at least we threw a wrench into that whole WordPerfect for Linux thing, and if this deflects any inquiries into our monopoly, so much the better. We aren't giving up WaterWorks, though."

  • I don't know who you are. I don't know anyone from the USSR.
  • I think MS is running scared. They have so many antitrust suits against them they had to do something to protect themselves.

    Go Linux!!
  • > This may be a sign that MS care less about Linux than they used to - perhaps they are even abandoning a possible dot net port to Linux given the fact that Linus seems to be tanking at the moment

    Yeah, you're right. After Microsoft's execs announced that Linux was "crummy" and "anti-American", nobody seems to use it anymore.

    Bill can sleep easier at night now, knowing that his people closed down a scam that suckered people into not having to pay for their software.

  • Is it me or does Microsoft seem a lot like either:

    1) The Alien
    2) The alien from Species

    MSLinux? I doubt it. They have their own OS with BILLIONS of dollars invested. It just don't work that way.

    Unless, of course, they bring it out just to test the GPL in the courts.
  • Its not like Microsoft's buy in to Corel was a hostile takeover. Blame Microsoft all you want but Corel went into this partnership knowingly...

    Perhaps if they had stuck to their guns, left MS out in the cold and stayed in the Linux business, nothing would be different today ???

  • Sorry, but you can't do this. I already patented this program. You will receive the appropriate letters from my lawyers soon...
  • How does paying more for something reduce the TCO?
    Right now most businesses can decide for themselves weather to upgrade or not and when to upgrade. Being forced to upgrade weather you like it or not and whenever MS tells you to regardless of your cash flow does not reduce the TCO.
  • "If you do anything that involves a computer you are a competitor of Microsoft)"

    Yes MS is involved in just about every software market. It's also involved in some computer hardware markets.

    Of course it is also involved in media companies and venture capital also.

    I would venture to say that there are very fields in which the ms juggernaut is NOT involved in.
  • I believe that you are indeed mistaken. The announcement of dropping linux came AFTER ms gave them money.
  • Arguably the current state of the art word processor gpl-ed? That would hit hard. :=)
  • I modded you down because you're talking rubbish. You obviously don't understand how free-software works.

    So what if there's a MSLinux with proprietry hooks so that .Net only works on that platform. How the hell is that different to what we've got now with Windows?

    MSLinux CAN'T subvert Linux, BSD, etc. BECAUSE THEY'RE FREE. If you don't like what MS (theoretically) do in the future, roll your own distribution and set up in competition.
  • Don't feel bad, it took me a few moment to see the difference. And English is my first language.
  • Winning the war? Your lame open source socialist ass hasnt even won a battle yet.
  • Not to be a party pooper but I believe that Corel was already in hot water before they received an infusion of cash from Microsoft. Their Corel Linux dsitribution was not receiving rave reviews and CorelOffice for Linux was less than stellar. I'm pretty sure that Corel was screwed before Microsoft got involoved.
  • Well, a guy can dr3am can't he?

    Doctor 3:00 AM?? Who's that?

  • Logically, it makes perfect sense if MS Office is a better product than Corel Office.

    What an underhanded technique, kill your competition by coming out with a better product.

    So the poster could be arguing that Microsoft did not kill Corel, their better product did.

    Of course, people can argue which is better. Just like they argue emacs vs. vi.

  • This was discussed on Slashdot a long time ago.

    Some people brought up that the employees end up paying taxes when they sell the stock they acquired by exercising the options.

    Which would you propose:
    1) The company pays tax and the employees get huge gains on stock options tax free.
    2) The employee pays the tax on the huge gain and the company does not (the present situation)
    3) Both the employee and the company pay tax on the options. (good for the government, bad for the company, no difference for the employee)
    4) Stock options are outlawed because no one should be able to profit from their own hard work.

    When the employees own a lot of company stock, the distinction between the employees and the company gets blurred a bit. But "employee owners" can be fired. Other stock holders can't.
  • The true origin was a "competition" by [] to dub the intro to the game Zero Wing.

  • "Microsoft Bails Out Of Corel" "A Million Bucks, Mach 7.6, Straight Down"

    Heh, heh...


  • To recap:

    15 Aug 00 Cowpland resigns as Pres/CEO Burney takes over as interim CEO and hires Dogbert consulting for study

    27 Sep - Q3 announced

    2 Oct - Corel/Microsoft alliance announced

    3 Oct - Burney confirmed President/CEO

    15 Dec - Corel responds to rumours that it has not sold Linux div but considering options

    8 Jan - Corel announces restructuring press conference for 23 Jan

    'early' Jan - Cdn Competition Bureau in Ottawa and US DoJ start probe of Corel/Microsoft deal []

    23 Jan - Press conference shows new logo and not much else

    25 Jan 01 - Cowpland Resigns from BOD

    2 Feb - Q4 earnings

    20 Feb - Microsoft asks for preferred shares to be converted to common shares that can be sold. They are also voting shares so if they do not sell them they have a greater say in Corel's business.

    So it appears that Burney was going to announce the selling of the Linux division on 23 Jan but was stopped by the DoJ investigation. Cowpland sees the writing on the wall and bails out thus reducing his legal liability. Other possibilities were that he was disgusted with the Microsoft deal and the way the company was going or it was part of the deal that to get the financing Cowpland had to go within 6 months.

    At least this explains the non announcement on 23 Feb but did Microsoft really spend $135 million just to get rid of Cowpland?

    As an aside, I am hoping that Burney appoints a relative of Cdn prime Minister Jean Cretien or a high level Liberal crony as the new replacement director so that Corel can get some Canadian Govt contracts.

    It is ironic that while the US Govt has ruled that Microsoft is a monopoly and has used illegal practices to dominate the office suite market, the Canadian Govt only chose to investigate the anti competitive practice of Microsoft investing in Corel.

    Why did they not investigate in 1996 when Corel bought WordPerfect and the Canadian Govt depts started to choose Microsoft over Corel even though WP has been the standard in Canada for 15 years previous? I think it is because Bill Davis, Barbara McDougall and some of the other Directors were all high ranking Conservative party supporters. Even Derek Burney's dad was a former PC party fund-raiser and advisor to Brian Mulroney. Since the Liberals are in power for at least the next 4 years, Corel should bite the bullet and cut their Conservative ties. A good start would be with a new Liberal Director.

  • An embarassing logo that you can see here [].

    Some of the comments I have heard is that it looks like an Alien or a toliet. Considering the stock price, the latter is probally more appropriate.

    If you look at the three D version here [] it looks like a phallus. Maybe that is way Burney has his head in in hands vowing never to higher the Dogbert consulting company again?

  • Is not by anon. It's by JFK.

    Nope. IIRC, it's by Thomas Jefferson. JFK quoted him in his inauguration (sp?) speech.

  • Maybe this is a new MS strategy. Buy a big hunk of your competitor which brings their stability into question. Wait a few weeks while everyone realizes you can buy and sell anyone you want to. Dump the stock and watch the company shrivel and die.
  • You forgot the rinse cycle.

    Move '.sig'
  • From what I've heard, some big companies (Microsoft and Cisco in particular) count the stock options they give their employees against their revenue, and so end up paying little in taxes anyway.

    Can anyone else say wether this is true or not?
  • Corel was screwed before getting into Linux, too. They've been searching forever for some kind of 'silver bullet' that'll change things for them and get them back to gaining more customers rather than just trying to maintain their declining customer base. Corel's problem has never been anything but the quality (or lack thereof) of their products. Corel Wordperfect 6 for Windows, 7 and 8 were horrific programs that rarely worked, and often messed up systems just by installing them. The new Corel CEO seems to be more grounded than Micheal Cowpland was, since he picked up on any technology and wasted far too much money on trying to develop for that, only to drop it shortly after (remember WordPerfect for Java?). Honestly, Corel is doing the right thing -- continuing their core products (for any platform they can support), and dropping the ones that can't win.
  • Slashdot has always wondered if Microsoft would and could try to kill Linux. Could this be it?!
  • Isn't this old news?

    Oh wait...

  • I may be getting it wrong here,but if Corel buys back the stock from Microsoft that's still 60 Milions in their pockets without doing anything. That's pure profit.So why does everybody see this as a bad news?I'd say it's time for party at Corel HQ.Even if they don't buy it back that still leaves them with enough cash in hand to operate for another year or so.
  • hehe your post seems self contradicting. "What killed Corel was the introduction of Microsoft Office" yet Microsoft did not kill Corel??? Hehe silly goose.. think about it


  • Yeah, but who sired who? Did CA sire Microsoft, or did Microsoft sire CA? And why can't they just hang out in the corporate coven together like all the other vampires?
  • Wrong. My college, for one, does. Students are "strongly encouraged" to use only Microsoft Word. This is for compatibility reasons, because all instructors must, by contract, use Microsoft Word. Also, they must use Excel, Powerpoint, Access, and Visual Studio. We've currently got an insane infestation of various Outlook viruses in our all-Windows computer labs. So don't you pull that "no-one's forcing you to use MS stuff" argument. Some of us *are* forced.
  • If you search the News and Observer site or their nando spinoff, you might find an article from a few days ago about "privileged options" and how some people who exercised those options early last year when the stock was selling for, say $50 per share and they had an option to buy for $10 per share, now owe taxes on that $40 paper profit even though they held the stock instead of selling it and it's now worth $6 or $8 on the open market.
  • Actually JFK's was "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" which isn't quite the same as the sig in question.

    As I recall, the JFK quote (which was written for him by Theodore Sorenson or somebody like that) was from his inagural address, although I think I heard something about an earlier (by fifty or a hundred years) speech by someone else with a similar line in it.

  • Sorry, my friend. if you don't know what it is, you have no business using it in a meeting or in any other way, for that matter. for great justice.
  • Ok, let's take a breath and stop setting up conspiracy stories, ok, everyone?

    According to this story [] on the ever useful German Heise News Ticker, Microsoft will loose a lot of money on this. They do this because this stock ownership is under scrutiny by the US Department of Justice.

  • 3.Corel buys DR DOS, sues MS

    Uh... you are getting Corel and Caldera confused. Corel bought WordPerfect from Novel and a bunch of Borland's office products like Quattro Pro. Caldera bought DR-DOS from Novel. Corel is a Canadian company, Caldera is a Utah company.

  • Alias|Wavefront

    Yep, no software in Canada.


    Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Monopolies offer Choice!
  • Corel doesn't have a focused business model.
  • Dear Mr. Gates,

    I've written the next killer app, a 3D Hello World program. Buy me out for half a billion, and I won't release it.

    Eagerly awaiting your cash^w reply.

  • It sounded to me like something that could've originated from Pokey the Penguin ( []), but evidently it isn't.

  • I still don't get your argument. You state that renting office would cost you more in the long run then buying yet you still claim it would lower TCO. Did I read that wrong?

    As for my upgrade when and if you need it point consider this.

    In my office everybody uses office 97. If someone sends us a office 2000 document there is ONE pc with office 2000 on it. That person simply saves it as HTML and forwards it to the person who needs it. It rarely happens mind you because most people are reasonable and will send you the format you need. You don't need to upgrade the entire office just a few desktops to get compatibility. It's also important to be able to manage your upgrade schedule. If you have seasonal downturns or are suffering from a temporary downturn then you should have the choice to wait till better times to upgrade. MS will soon take that choice away from you. You WILL upgrade WHEN they want to not when you can best afford it.
  • Is not by anon. It's by JFK.
    1. Novel DR DOS becomes a threat to MS DOS
    2. Windows 3.1 detects non-MS DOS and errors. Arguably, the result of less - than - ethical coding
    3. Corel buys DR DOS, sues MS
    4. Corel launches Linux initiative(s)
    5. Corel's suit touches off "me-too" suits
    6. Corel's suit settled.
    7. MS invests in Corel.
    8. Corel spins off Linux division
    9. MS sells Corel shares at 50% discount.
  • How is investing in a company and buying non-voting stock "draining it of all it's worth?"

    Microsoft invested in Corel which gave them some much needed cash. Corel's stock price fell since then, not because of, but inspite of this investment. My understanding of why Microsoft is moving to sell (note they haven't actually sold, just applied for conversion which they have to do before they can sell) is to avoid a DoJ investigation into what seems like a conflict of interest to invest in a competitor. (If you do anything that involves a computer you are a competitor of Microsoft)

  • It seems to me that if Microsoft was trying to dodge a bullet from the DOJ, then they should have removed the strings they attached to the $130M investment.

    Remember the big .net agreement Corel signed to get the money? The DOJ would be more worried about that agreement than the money.

    Is Microsoft going to end the agreement? The article didn't say.

    So, I think Microsoft is doing what I did: getting out of Corel stock before they loose any more money.

    It must have been appearant to Microsoft that once Corel had announced their "Integrate by Disintegrating" approach to Linux, that they would no longer be potential competition for Microsoft, and, instead, would continue chasing Microsoft's tail like all app vendors that make apps for WinDoh's.

  • I think this had something to do with something besides just the antitrust lawsuits which are pending. I believe that this was also somebody's PR move. If you're a multibillion dollar company, you don't exactly want to have your name come up when talking about a financially slipping company in which you have a large section of stock.
  • What are you talking about that Linux isn't the best Unix, it's more stable than Windows 98! :)

    Yeah, it's a shame how much respect Linux gets compared to the actual Unixes. Linux makes Unix available to the masses, in a way the BSDs don't. If I hadn't been running a few Linux boxes for a few years, OpenBSD would have been impossible to pick up.

    Besides, NT already has a POSIX layer, it's just incomplete. As we saw with Interix, getting a complete POSIX layer on NT isn't that tough, if they want to go down that route.

    I mean, comparing Windows to Linux is silly. Windows is a desktop operating system where stability is traded for features. The comparison of NT to Linux is closer, but still silly. NT aims for a reasonable degree of stability but trades some for features. The software for NT massively beats out the "Linux" software.

    The fair comparison of Linux is other Unixes, where Linux doesn't compare all that much. I mean, Redhat is a competitor of MS in the CE market for Kiosks, etc., but not on the desktop. MS really lacks a desktop competitor outside of Apple, which isn't significant unless OS X gets Apple really back in the game.

    Server side, the only NT vs. Linux comparison is IIS on NT vs. Apache on Linux, the rest of the software is SO vastly different.
  • Microsoft: You're ours now.
    Corel: Can we still make Linux?
    Microsoft: No. Now, we want you to make-
    Corel: Linux?
    Microsoft: No, coreldraw for-
    Corel: Linux?
    MIcrosoft: Go away.
  • Since that they owned such a big chunk of Corel, they were probably able got a good look at all the source code to the Linux OS! No wonder they are selling it off. They got what they wanted! Are they ever sneaky!!!
  • They bought it and sold it, which killed it.
  • Any old farts out there? Remember when compilers, linkers, assemblers were like 1-2 thousand dollars? Everyone had a copy (and I do mean copy :-))

    Borland broke the mold with Turbo Pascal...innovative, and only $49.00

    I hope that ex-rock star running Corel would take a hint and put out really cheap cd's with a paint program, office suite, linux distro...maybe debian with nautilus and ximian gnome for something like $49.00

    Economy of scale is the key here...I seriously doubt many people will pay $1500 for Borlands' Kylix.

    I'd really like to see Corel recover. Weaning SOHOs and businesses off MS products, for something like $49 a workstation (w/ 30 days support or some such) would be a wise strategy.

  • well, they were losing money pretty well before microsoft bought into them, so they probably didn't end up changing all that much actually.

    Too bad, Corel was one of the first / most noticeable companies to embrace linux, and the fact that they are tanking now can be interpreted many ways, most of them bad, whether you take M$ into account or not.


  • M$ is just so used to buying companies that they didn't know how to sell Corel and ended up selling it at half the price.
  • Damn It was the biggest software company we Canadians had. I guess no one around feels like opening up a company in Canada and giving more than half of their profits to the government? :)

    Console yourself with the fact that you still have ATI...
  • What killed Corel was an ill advised purchase of WordPerfect from Novell. Add to that the hundreds of millions of dollars Corel wasted on R&D for their network computer that never saw the light of day, the bungled Linux launch that never got off the ground, and what has got to be one ofthe most expensive support staffs on the planet to deal with the ridiculous number of bugs (they put MS to shame in the show stopping bugs that make it to release dept.) and the downfall of Corel was all but written on the wall. Corel needs to distance themselves from the poor decisions of Michael Cowpland and reconcentrate on what they got famous for, Corel Draw and the core suite of graphics applications.
  • ...because people in other countries who develop for Windows refuse to figure out how to use CVS.

    This is so true it's scarey... what's worse, is that most US winblowz folks here in the Seattle/Redmond area are pathetically afraid of CVS as well.
  • ...we won't be seeing any of the long-awaited "Corel For X-Box" products?
  • Gates proclaimed that he would be buying Redhat next..
  • The article points out:

    [I]f Microsoft sells all of these shares at the proposed price of $2.5625 per share, then Microsoft would only make $61.5 million--a figure that represents half of the $135 million price Microsoft paid for the shares in October, 2000.

    Maybe they're willing to take a loss to reduce their taxes?!

  • Careful, all the Chretien apologists will come out of the woodwork and berate you about how good Canada really is.

    Canada SUCKS especially for IT which is why 66% of many graduating classes in Computer Science immediately head South.
  • Come here and say that, you manky-toothed boiled food eating big-eared chinless inbred bastard.
  • Err, Microsoft invested in Corel, destroyed it and is leaving.. Seriously, so many people saying that - can anyone point to anything that's happened there since Microsoft came in?

    Anyway, here's my refined theory: Microsoft needs to keep its competitors afloat and will intercede to rescue them, Apple being the most obvious example. Unfortunately, keeping Corel solvent is beyond even Bill Gates' power. When MS realized Corel was doomed no matter what, they decided to bail so they at least couldn't be blamed for being present at the death scene.

  • Buy the company, tank it, sell the shares off at a loss, make Corel a laughingstock... And sabotage Corel's chances at providing an Office Suite for Windows AND Linux, thereby tying everybody that much closer to MS for office-software-related solutions.

    Very, very smart...

  • Is Corel no longer involved in the .NET crap? Are they going to back to more intense Linux development? This'd probably be the best move for them since they're kind of orphaned now. Question is: can we trust them? *squints*
  • If you will recall, one of Microsoft's stipulations when it invested its $130 million dollars in Corel was that Corel would have to implement MS's .NET framework whenever Microsoft said so.

    Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but it occurs to me that people might quite possibly start snatching up copies of Corel PerfectOffice the moment that Office XP ships. The people who, rightly, dont feel too warm and fuzzy about renting software. Under the previous arrangement, don't think that MS wouldn't make that phone call to Corel about .NET as soon as they saw Office sales/rentals/subscriptions start to slip.

    What I think that this boils down to is that MS realized that the Slash And Burn Dep^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Corporate Acquisition Department realized that if the DoJ was *already* looking into the investment, before .NET even got off the ground, then they might have done too tidy a job of cornering the market.

    Before you get too weepy-eyed about _The_Impending_Death_Of_Corel_, please remember that Perfect Office has been the hot potato of the software world for over a decade. Corel, Borland, Novell, WordPerfect Inc., that product has been second-tier for many years now.

    And, dont forget that they also supplied what many considered to be the worst ever distribution of Linux. Buggy and insecure.

    No, I dont feel bad for Corel. I like WordPerfect, but I never like CorelDraw or any of Corel's homegrown applications.

    What it boils down to is that Corel will most likely fall by the wayside, but the last gasp of that dying company will be to sell PerfectOffice to someone with a little more capital. Perhaps Sun, perhaps Compaq.

    Either way, PerfectOffice will go on, and I for one like the idea of a Perfect Office unencumbered by .NET far more than the alternative.


  • by ksheff ( 2406 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @03:21PM (#409581) Homepage

    The question then becomes what technology did MS obtain as a part of the initial investment? They could have also used it as an opportunity to try to steer it down a dead end path ala OS/2.

    IMHO, the real reason they probably invested in Corel is to give the appearance that they still have competitors (they did the same thing with Apple) in the shrink wrapped office productivitiy market. But now that this move has raised the attention of the DOJ, they're dumping the stock. This will certainly cause Corel's stock to dive even further. It would be really funny, if that would cause the SEC to look into the situation and have multiple agencies trying to take them to court. Wishful thinking, I know, but it would be fun to watch.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:50PM (#409582)
    > Now they can dump it on the market and watch Corel's stock price tank.

    Might prove to be a major faux pas, if IBM decides to do what so many people have been suggesting.

  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @03:02PM (#409583)
    Selling all of those Corel shares at a loss is probably hundreds of millions (If not billions.) of dollars cheaper than dealing with another antitrust suit. At least M$ is finally learning how to deal with DOJ investigations- Not insulting the prosecuters, government, american people, ignoring DOJ orders, etc.
  • Yes, it's my own work :) (well except for the Zero Wing art :P) slashdot_aybabtu.gif []
  • by Mike the Mac Geek ( 182790 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:30PM (#409585) Journal
    And when they drain Bungie Studios of all it's worth, it too, will be discarded.

    Why does Microsoft sound a lot like a vampire? It drinks till it's full, then tosses the withered husk by the wayside.


  • by Chuck Flynn ( 265247 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:41PM (#409586)
    It all makes perfect sense. Why own shares in a competitor to your imminent product? They'd have to divest, and that's what they've done.

    Antitrust law discourages companies in the same market from owning stakes in each other, but Microsoft and Corel could previously claim they're not actually in the same market, since their underlying software was different and they were aimed at ostensibly different audiences.

    The only explanation for why Microsoft would dump its Corel shares (which have been doing well, lately) is to clear the field for them to bring MSLinux out. It makes perfect sense.

    The big question now is whether anyone will buy a Linux distribution from Microsoft.
  • Microsoft Executive Says Linux Threatens Their Industry Stranglehold, Competes With Windows

    2/14/01 4:57 PM
    Source:Bloomberg News

    Redmond, Washington, Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp.'s Windows
    bloatware chief, Jim Allchin, says that freely distributed
    software code such as rival Linux could stifle Microsoft's innovative
    ways of stealing, extorting, and gouging money from it's customers
    and that legislators need to understand the threat.

    The result will be the demise of both Bill Gates income and
    the incentive to support the Dark-side of the force, he said yesterday,
    after the company previewed its latest version of eX-Windows. Microsoft
    has told U.S. lawmakers of its concern while discussing protection of
    intellectual property rights.

    Quote Snapshot
    IBM 114.88 -1.90
    HWP 33.06 -3.29
    MSFT 56.69 -2.13
    LNUX 7.53 -0.59
    RHAT 6.84 -0.22

    Linux is developed in a so-called open-source environment in which the
    software code generally isn't owned by any one company. That, as well
    as programs such as music-sharing software from Napster Inc., means
    the world's largest software maker has to do a better job of bribing
    policymakers, he said.

    ''Open source is an stranglehold destroyer,'' Allchin said.
    ''I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for our

    Microsoft distributes some of its programs without charge to
    customers, although it never releases its programming code, except
    for experimental research releases of its Research division's IPv6
    implementation for NT Foow and Two-Kay, and it retains the ownership
    rights to that code. Linux is the most widely known open-source product,
    though other programs including the popular Apache system for Web server
    computers also are developed the same way.

    Corel Inquiry

    Allchin made his comments several hours before Microsoft confirmed
    that its $135 million investment in software maker Corel Corp. last
    October is being reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department. MS/Corel said
    last month it willl drop efforts to develop the Linux operating
    system, though it will continue to make Linux applications. Corel _said_
    it hadn't consulted with Microsoft before making that decision.

    Brian Behlendorf, founder of open-source company CollabNet Inc., said
    most companies that use the open-source development model do retain
    the rights to some of their intellectual property.

    ''I think Microsoft is trying to paint the open-source community as
    being fascist; that all software have has to be free, or none of it
    can be,'' said Behlendorf, whose company helps businesses run their
    own open-source projects.

    Allchin said he's concerned that the open-source business model could
    stifle blind ambition and greed in the computer industry.

    ''I'm an American, I believe in the American Way of beating down and
    destroying your competitors at all costs,'' he said. ''I worry
    if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done
    enough education of policy makers to understand the threat.''

    Linux Adoption

    Some leading computer companies including International Business
    Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. are selling Linux- based
    products and working on open-source projects, noted Jeremy Allison, a
    VA Linux Systems Inc. software developer. He's also a leader in a
    project develop an open-source file and printer server program.

    Microsoft only began significant bribery efforts in the last few
    years. The Redmond, Washington-based company also talks to lawmakers
    about issues including the need for more visas for people with
    computer skills and computer privacy and security, because people
    in other countries who develop for Windows refuse to figure out how to
    use CVS.

    Linux is the fastest-growing operating system program for running
    server computers, according to research firm IDC. It accounted for 27
    percent of unit shipments of server operating systems in 2000.
    Microsoft's Windows was the most popular on that basis, with 41
    percent. But who's counting?

    Despite Linux's success in some markets, Allchin says he isn't
    concerned about sales competition from the product. Microsoft provides
    support to change and develop products based on its operating system
    software that Linux companies don't, he said. Companies that use Linux
    in their products then must pay someone else for support, he said.

    ''We can build a better product than Linux,'' he said. ''There is
    always something enamoring about thinking you can get something for

    That last statement made this CNET editor wonder if he is a hypocrite or
    just another foot-pedestal to the leader of the evil-empire, Gates.
    I mean, if he thinks open-source is stifling their innovation and incentive,
    then why did he say "We can build a better product than Linux"?
    And why have they not yet done so? deerg!
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:52PM (#409588)
    See The Register [] about it.

  • by dreami ( 97561 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:54PM (#409589) Homepage
    It's originaly from the *bad* translated japanese videogame "Zero Wing" to sega genesis. Look here [] for a nice flash sequence from the game.
  • by outrage98 ( 99696 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:43PM (#409590)
    "Microsoft Bails Out Of Corel"

    "A Million Bucks, Mach 7.6, Straight Down"

    Heh, heh...

  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:54PM (#409591) Journal
    In a related story summed up [] at the bottom of the original blurb (original link here []):
    "Alarm bells first rang when it emerged last October that Corel's mystery investor was none other than Microsoft. They should have rung louder... Now it appears the United States Department of Justice is taking a closer look at the antitrust implications of that transaction."

    "To be brutally honest, I'm not going to shed any tears over the death of Corel's Linux distribution... On the other hand the passing of WordPerfect for Linux and WordPerfect Office for Linux would be more of a worry. Officially these products have not yet been dumped - but don't hold your breath."

    "But there's another reason to worry about the demise of Corel's Linux offering, the company has played a major role in the development of Wine. In January Corel outlined its business plan in a press release. Wine isn't specifically mentioned, but the company says it will continue to develop Linux applications and presumably this means the Wine contribution will continue. This means that a Microsoft controlled company is going to play a major role in the development of Wine. Is anyone looking at the antitrust implications of that?"

    While the original article [] is far more in depth, and goes on to mention that this is more likely a remnant of the previous administration, I can not but help start to feel like the republicans do about Clinton. It is hard. I try to control my dark side.

    But MS ..., each day one of its' minions goes and does something that just irritates the hell out of me.

    I'm going to have to start painting MS in the pictures of royalist France or something. Or maybe Napoleon. They are really starting to irritate me.

  • by JohnnyKnoxville ( 311956 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:30PM (#409592)
    Microsoft knows how to sell companies? I had no idea.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:29PM (#409593)
    Well, they got what they wanted. Corel is "out" of Linux distribution and no longer in competition with Microsoft. No need to hold onto the stock anymore. Now they can dump it on the market and watch Corel's stock price tank.

    Sabotage and Dump.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:30PM (#409594)
    Corel: WHAT YOU SAY !!
    Microsoft: Ooh, whoops, I mean you can have them all. My bad.
    Microsoft: HA HA HA HA HA HA...
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:29PM (#409595) Homepage Journal
    They bought it, killed it, then sold it.


  • by Winged Cat ( 101773 ) <[atymes] [at] []> on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:40PM (#409596)
    You can't buy market dominance like that.

    Oh, wait...
  • by update() ( 217397 ) on Thursday February 22, 2001 @02:46PM (#409597) Homepage
    With 20 posts already, no one has mentioned the fact that the Corel acquisition was getting them into deeper trouble [] with the antitrust people at the DOJ. I don't know why they'd be bothered about that now and not before, but maybe they didn't think it would raise eyebrows. Anyway, that seems to be the most likely explanation for why they're bailing now.

    For the people claiming "Microsoft invested in Corel, destroyed and is leaving the body for the vultures." -could you please elaborate on what they did to accomplish that? Persuade them that there was a meaningful Linux desktop market to target?

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"