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Corel Linux - Not Quite Dead Yet 96

zhensel writes "In Corel's latest Linux newsletter, they comment on the "spin-off" of their Linux distro reported here recently. In an apparent attempt to capitolize on the recent woes at Suse, however, they also confirm the release of the second edition of their operating systems targeted at european markets for the low, low, price of ?4.95 (or a few hundred megs of bandwidth). In addition, they promise increased development for their Linux productivity software. " I kinda think its just spin, the kinda stuff you say when you're going down like "Duck and Cover"
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Corel Linux - Not Quite Dead Yet

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  • by macsox ( 236590 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:02AM (#398300) Journal
    1) Corel announces intent to work with Linux.
    2) Microsoft invests in Corel.
    3) Corel backs off on Linux.
    4) Microsoft pulls support because of DOJ pressure.
    5) Corel re-affirms Linux commitment.

    I feel like a pattern is emerging.

  • We're just attacking in a different direction.

    Or not.

  • by Bilestoad ( 60385 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:02AM (#398302)
    Q. How do you turn failure into a "spin-off"? A. Apply spin.
  • No doubt someone is going to harp on the fact that Corel is "back" in the Linux business now that Microsoft is getting out of Corel. I agree with Taco on this, it's probably just spin.

    The Linux community at large was never overly pleased with Corel, as they acted generally cluless about the community-generated OS. I don't want to discourage Corel or anyone from their pursuit of Linux products, but I would say that Corel is currently on very shakey ground - In both the Linux world and the financial world.

    I hope they make it work, but I doubt they can.
  • It seems Corel ahve burned their bridges with the OSS community [] and Microsoft have jumped out of bed [] with them as well.

    It doesn't look too good for them, when it turns very sour for them net there will be nobody to bale them out this time.

    Why would anyone bother, they have nothing to offer. A sub-standard drawing program, and a poor Linux implementation. They've dug their own grave, and they should jump into it now.

  • by levik ( 52444 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:04AM (#398305) Homepage
    Why does there seem to be such a negative attitude towards Corel and their products here on slashdot? Their Linux distro made pretty big strides toward bringing the OS to the desktop and boradening its market as far as novice users are concerned.

    It seems to me that the distribution's further development should be considered a good thing.

  • Of something I saw a lot of growing up...

    A local video store in a certain location in a shopping center would go under. The building would remain vacant for a couple months, then, lo and behold, another Mom n Pop video store moves in. They fail. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The lesson that nobody bothered to learn is, that place was OBVIOUSLY A LOUSY LOCATION FOR A VIDEO STORE.

    How many Eurocentric Linux distros are going to have to eat it before they figure this one out?

    Just my opinion... :)

  • Do you think this will ultimately kill Corel? If linux was such a loss for the company, then how would bringing it back from the dead make the company suddenly able to be successful with the product?

    If Corel had full Word import functionality, it would be the WP of choice for me. If Corel Linux would allow me to download, install and then install other apps available from debian, then it might be my dad's future OS.

  • by Adnans ( 2862 )
    I kinda like the word "kinda"

    Seriously, I think Corel management is doing a U turn now that Microsoft is devesting in the company. Never burn your bridges, especially if you're heading for Microsoft territory.

  • Anything that makes people more aware of OS's other than Windows is good. Maybe people will start with Corel and then move on to RedHat or Debian.

    As an open-source community, we shouldn't betray Corel if they want to develop Linux.

    They've slept with the enemy, been thrown out to the curb, and now is coming back to us.
  • with all the distro's out there, what would be the big loss of loosing a distro like corell? from what i gather it was targeted at the desktop user, and there's other distros that are like that (mandrake?).
    I think they would do more good by open sourcing their office application, assuming it's less resource intensive than open office. then again there's koffice... i think their nitch in the market was too late and too small, and didn't provide enough value to the consumer.
  • There's nothing stoping you from adding in debian apt sources if you like.

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • by Adversary ( 7517 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:16AM (#398312)
    I was recently talking with someone working in the linux group at Corel. They actually are spinning off, and are in the process of coming up with a name, and trying to find a location (good luck, not a lot of open office space in Ottawa).

    Corel isn't exactly the most financially stable company, so they need to focus on what they are doing, and linux isn't the main focus of the company. So it gets spun off, in the same Corel Computer (remember the netwinder?) was.

    In the end, it means the new company will succeed or fail on its own, which should clear up any conspiracy theories regarding microsoft and corel in the future.
  • By taking the price of their retail box down to around $5, they're helping to kill the very market that they need to exist to help push Linux (i.e.: retail Linux box sales). It costs easily twice that much per box. A company that is suffering as much as Corel is should know better than to do that. If anything, they should be doing what they can to push the prices higher so they can at least break even.

    They deserve what they get...
  • I completely disagree,I think people are going to move away from Windows, and towards a free open source operating system as tech financing dries up. With the growth in the technology sector leveling off, I think PC manufacturers are going to have to find new ways to beef up the bottom line, and won't be quite as eager to send Microsoft a whole bunch of money for something they can get for free, and make modifications to.

  • by albamuth ( 166801 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:25AM (#398315) Homepage
    And found out that it was just an extremely stable (libc5) version of debian with a pretty/friendly install program. It is extremely kiddy-fied.
  • Their Linux distro made pretty big strides toward bringing the OS to the desktop and boradening its market as far as novice users are concerned.

    I love Java. I hate C++

    After you learn you are a novice no more, you become an expert. Then you find that those features they put in to help novices are a real pain to experts. I don't hate Corel Linux or Java, but I don't use them either.

    I wonder why programmers find it so hard to design systems that cater to beginners without being inefficient or patronizing.

  • They won't have the money to spend more unix admins when they can get a load of NT/Windows 2000 jockeys for a lot cheaper. And they have to retrain their sales staff and get the consumer to accept an inferior operating system for the puposes of games, browsing and office apps which what the consumer wants.

    Anyway MS marketing budget benefits PC makers and the big ones get very advatangeous deals on Windows licenses.

  • I think Corel Linux was good because it was sort of a stepping stone for the new users moving into Linux territory. A person who "outgrows" the Corel feature set can easily move up to a more advanced distribution if need be, but the initial step from windows is vital if Linux is to get wide acceptance on the desktop. It seems to me Corel played a big role in facilitating that first step.
  • Sorry, I was wavering between moderating you up and chiming in and the opportunity to run my mouth took priority...

    You're absolutely right and this is precisely the kind of panicked, low-ball-price marketing that's killed Corel for years. They love to do these bursts of "WordPerfect for $3.99" with no regard for the long-term efects on their brand names. It's no wonder people think of Corel software as one notch above the shovelware CDs near the registers at CompUSA.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Taco: are you posting stories with exploder?
  • by MatriXOracle ( 33400 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:33AM (#398321) Homepage
    The apporach corel is taking makes sense to me. Give me an honest answer: when was the last time anybody here actually bought a linux distro? Most people who are in the know download it off the net.

    People who aren't in the know might buy it, but those people want support. If you actually read the Derek Burney article and pay attention to what he is saying, corel can't become LinuxCare. They're not in the support business, they're in the application business.

    So now what they're doing is spinning off the OS, maybe to someone like LinuxCare....and then they can concentrate on providing applications like WordPerfect and CorelDraw for Linux.

    What's the problem with that??

  • I kinda think its just spin, the kinda stuff you say when you're going down like "Duck and Cover"
    The kinda stuff VA Linux has been saying lately?

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • It sounds like Corel is trying to undercut SuSE in
    sales in Europe...

    This smacks of Microsoft... makes me shudder.

    To me, this goes flat in the face of what made Linux successful.. which is a community development of the OS and accompaning utilities/applications regardless of the company you work for.

    Could be wrong, but then, Microsoft could believe in fair competition.

    DOS is dead, and no one cares...
  • Well, if Corel Linux is anything like the guy in The Holy Grail, someone will soon whack it on its head and put it out of its misery.

  • You're exactly right about the Word import functions. If Corel had import and export in Word format, it would gain a lot of space in the WP market. But can it *legally* do that? After MS invested in Corel, will they even consider doing this?

  • they can get a load of NT/Windows 2000 jockeys for a lot cheaper

    I'm now in the process of hiring four programmers/sysadmins. Although the system consists of 24 NT/w2k machines and just two Linux machines, I'm rejecting anyone who doesn't have a good knowledge of Unix. Why? You said it: NT/w2k jockeys are "cheap". I don't want to hire a professional who didn't learn to operate anything but the easiest systems.

  • I mean, honestly--has anyone ever used it, other than to see what it was about? Does it exist as the primary/sole OS on anyone's desktop? (I won't even ask about servers!)

    Not arguing that it's good, bad, or indifferent. It just doesn't have ANY market share that I can see, and with Corel gasping for breath, I don't see that changing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @08:42AM (#398328)
    Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a windoze user, and I don't really know that much about running linux. The only linux that I ever installed and ran on my machine was the Corel permutation of it. The point I'm trying to make is that if Corel can get a windows user like me who has a casual interest in linux to try it out because their version is easy to install, they Corel is an asset.

    If they continue on the Linux front, then they will give a windows user here and there a chance to switch over with their easy install and learn the benefits of opensource/GPL. And this, of course, is a good thing. It helps people because they can put an OS on their machine without the Micros~1 tax and those people can help other people do the same. It helps people have more control in how they use their machines. It gives us just a bit more freedom.

    Go Corel!

  • Whoops, I didn't mean to post that as AC. I'm me, I tell you! ME!!!

    O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law:

  • Well I didn't qualify it by saying that cheap NT/Windows 2000 admins were any good. I am just saying in a recession company's cut costs where they can....
  • it sounds like spin.. I wish they had said they would put more efforts into their distro and not their apps. Their distro could be a viable migration path away from windows for some people.

    "just connect this to..."

  • Why wouldn't it be legal to do this? I'm no lawyer, nor do I even know the laws pertaining to this, but StarOffice does M$ Office import/exports (and Word will save in WordPerfect format) why wouldn't Corel be allowed to?
  • I suggest you read what I wrote before replying to it. I don't think that 'Anything that's Anti-Microsoft is good.' I said that anything that lets the general public know that there are alternatives to Microsoft products is good. I personally don't think that Linux is anti-Microsoft. The goal of Linux is to provide a choice in operating systems.
  • I don't think Corel will ever open source their Office suite or any of their other apps for that matter. While, some people in the company may see the value in doing so, the stockholders would never allow it to happen. For one, the company could discover cold fusion tomorrow and still report a loss for the year. I don't think they're going to cut their main source of revenue just yet.

    While, I think opening the code would be a great statement to make, I don't think them closing their doors shortly after would be.

  • Hopefully they really mean it. I just got WP for Christmas (my wife saw it on a shelf, knows enough to look for the "Linux" word, and got it. How sweet!) I like it better than StarOffice. But it's got errors like crazy (I can't print from presentations, for example). I'd love it to be stable enough that she can use it, instead of having to call me to the computer everytime she needs to make a sign or something. And I'd really like to feel comfortable installing updated versions of Wine.
  • I bought RH7 and Mandrake 7.2 in the same day, at the same time, at the same store. Why? Because I wanted to see the installer AND I wanted to support the people who are trying to commercialize LINUX. As a matter of fact, I've purchased EVERY distro I've run, with the acception of 6.2. (rh 5.2, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0)

    And, because it's the best way I can think of to contribute, not being a C/C++ coder.

    People need to ask themselves, honestly, what have *I* given back to the 'cause'?

  • They didn't drop the price of their retail box.

    The $4.95 price is for the downloadable version (CD only) for people without broadband conections or who don't have access to a CD-R.

  • I've Noticed That Corel's Newletter Uses A Large Number Of Capital Letters At The Start Of Almost Every Word. I Believe That One Should Always Be Extremely Wary Of Companies That Use Capitalisation In This Way. It May Be Because Some Marketing Guy Believes That Capitalising Every Word Will Really Drive Your Point Home. IIRC, I Believe I've Seen Some Scott Adams 'DilbertSpeak' Which Does The Same Thing.

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

  • I have to give the caveat that the Linux install on my laptop, salesman, [] was based on an install of Corel Linux (plus great big gobs of Debian Unstable) until I repartitioned it yesterday for a fresh install of Debian.

    Yes, Corel Linux was pretty bad. They tried building a slick install, and did not do too badly from that perspective. But it was inadequate for more "sophisticated" use, and there just isn't yet a big market for "nonsophisticated" Linux users.

    They were selling it as product when they were effectively still beta-testing it.

    It's fair to say that they needed something to sell; what they probably should have done was to make sure it included software that would lead to "callbacks."

    As it stood, it was pretty easy to install, but the process of adding packages to make it really usable for anything leads to the users becoming knowledgeable enough not to need the crutch of "simple installation." (Add to which that about the only faintly daunting install still around is that of Debian. [] With many distribution makers working on "easy installs," it's hardly unique to Corel...)

    • Corel probably should have included .debs for WordPerfect 8, with prominent splash screens promising the improved features of newer versions.
    • They probably should have included some slick little "applets" samples based on Paradox 9, with prominent advertising of the merits of deploying that.
    • They should have included some samples of Windows software "WINE-ized" to allow them to run natively on Linux.

      This wouldn't require going after anything spectacularly prominent; I'm sure that throwing a few thousand dollars at some Windows shareware authors could get a few interesting applications ported.

    Those would represent "strides" towards demonstrating that it might be worth spending more money on their software.

    There's not the money in simply "making it easier," especially when other makers of distributions are trying to do the same.

  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @09:06AM (#398340)
    Corels primary mistake was getting the idea to make a distribution at all. By the time they had that idea it didnt really matter wether or not it was any good, because there were Too Many Distributions anyway, of which most already _are_ fairly easy to use. At best the only thing another distribution would do was join the other hordes of minor distributions. Theres no money in that market, unless you have a coherent strategy other than "repackage-and-sell" (which several of the largest distribution vendors have), so they basically set themselves up to waste resources and fail (and further they managed to annoy a lot of people with semi-open licenses during testing, etc).

    If they instead concentrated on making their applications work perfectly on linux (complete with easy installer for the large dists), and spent the extra energy on helping along other ease of use efforts that would be a good thing. Look at Ximian for an example.
  • Most people who are in the know download it off the net.

    Most people who are in the know probably wont use Corel linux at all and directly use Debian linux on which Corels is based?
  • I sometimes buy distros...It's worth the $25 to me to get a nice package with 3 or 4 CD-ROMS, complete with full PDF's of various Linux books. My time is worth more than the time it takes to download.
    Specifically, RedHat 5.2 and Mandrake 7.2 were good deals because of the wealth of documentation on the CD-ROM's in the boxed set.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @09:12AM (#398343)
    An opening disclaimer... I'm kind of a Corel employee. (This also is why I"m posting this anonymously...)

    I have a few points to make. First, Microsoft hasn't 'bailed out' of Corel. Their stock is just now registered as sellable by M$. Corel was planning on registering the stock as sellable ever since they got the $ from M$. M$ hasn't actually sold any of the stock yet. If they did, Corel's stock would no doubt tank. But then again, Corel's stock is low already, this really couldn't hurt that much. Corel will still have the $135 million (or whatever it was) in the bank. Oh, and the shares are still non-voting.

    Second, Corel has been moving forward on spining off Linux for months. They haven't accelerated or anything; it was just anounced in this particular newsletter.

    Third, IMHO spinning off Linux is good for the distribution. Corel's specialization is graphics products, maybe now office products too. To make a really good distribution (not that it's bad now...) they would have to give it more attention than they want to. And they prolly wouldn't do a good job of it even then.

    A new Linux company could get veture capital. Corel doesn't quite qualify, at >10 years old. The company could make business deals with companies that wouldn't want to work with Corel, for whatever reason. And Corel could make business deals without hurting its Linux image.

    And, not to mention, the new Linux company would prolly 'get' opensource. I hear the Linux developers talk about co-operation, I hear the management talk about competition. In a linux company, the open source thought mode would overpower the old closed-source thinking.

    Yes, I know, as a Corel employee I'm fed from management... But I can think on my own.

    (I'm pretty sure I'm not giving away any company secrets here... Oh, think of the karma I'm missing ;-) )

  • trying to find a location (good luck, not a lot of open office space in Ottawa)
    Nortel will probably be selling off a few buildings..5 or so from what I heard.. (ok that is not that many but still...)

  • by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @09:21AM (#398345)
    Well, me for one.

    I have bought boxed copies of distributions for two main reasons:

    1. To get printed copies of the manuals.
    2. Because I realize that these companies are providing a valuable service, and the service is more likely to continue if I throw a few bucks their way.

    I've also bought the cheap-o versions from Linux Central [] for updates and for distros I want to try out but don't want to tie up the money in yet, and the like. Besides, if I'm buying versions to give away to friends it's easier for me to buy them as Linux Central CDs than it is to burn my own. And, finally, this throws a few bucks Linux Central's way in return for them providing a useful service.

    (Other outfits like Cheapbytes and Linux Mall provide similar services, by the way. Linux Central just happens to be the one I use.)
  • I disagree with you. I have bought four different Linux distro's from MicroCenter. I do it for a couple of reasons:

    1) I like Linux and want to support the companies who put these distro's out, it certainly isn't free for them to do all that work, they deserve to be compensated.
    2) $70 is a drop in the bucket
    3) I like the boxes and docs... I'm into saving that kind of stuff.. don't know why
    4) I have a slow internet connection and I have more important things to do with my time than download a full distro from the net

    So you can see, no I am not a newbie, no I do not need or want support and I'm pretty much "in the know."

    I think if you really like an alternative to Windows and you actually care about the software industry as a whole then you should give some thought to purchasing your next distro too. Sure it's all well and good to jump on the Linux bandwagon but unless these companies can make money they will not continue to do what they do. It's pretty simple economics really.
  • Give me an honest answer: when was the last time anybody here actually bought a linux distro?

    Almost nobody here is part of Corel's target market, so whatever answers you receive are irrelevant.

    What's the problem with that??

    The problem is this: What if their application crashes on the user's computer, and the user calls up asking for application support?

    IIRC, the purpose of Corel's Linux distro was to make it so that there was at least some distro out there that the app guys could trust (and therefore recommend to their users).

    Given how much an application relies on underlying services, and how easy it is (especially with systems as flexible as Linux) for the user to screw things up, application support can never become completely seperate from overall system/OS support. Take anyone who has done support in the Windoze world, and I guarantee that person has spent many unpleasant hours on the phone telling people how to open Control Panels and check a few things in there. When you're dealing with "dumb" end users, you have to have knowledge of the whole vertical system. Corel Linux was a way for Corel to have that.

    IMHO, there's nothing really wrong with spinning off Corel Linux, but their support people are still going to have to learn to support Linux (not just the apps). Whether they just support the Corel Linux spinoff, or instead select Red Hat or Mandrake (or by some miracle, become general practitioners who can support Linux in general), I can't say. But it'll have to be at least one.

  • Yes, i used it. I liked it a lot, ESPECIALLY the awesome integration of a Windows networking client inside a file manager (remember, this was when corel linux FIRST came out way back 'when' when this was a feature).

    It installed painlessly, and it worked. I reccomended it to friends whom also installed it, who have far less linux experience than I.

    Granted i perfer a redhat based distro, and didn't keep Corel installed for a very long time, i was very impressed with the direction they were taking.

    THe p[roblem is, every company is going in the same direction and it's only a matter of months before other companies catch up. I believe many of them have.. although, someone please let me know which distribtion is now fully windows-networking capable , this was the most important feature IMHO of Corel.

    (When i say windows networking i mean browsing of network compusters, clicking on shares, mp3's etc and it just plain works (ie an mp3 plays in xmms when you click on it without having to mount a drive, use some archaic command line smbmount tool etc)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why does there seem to be such a negative attitude towards Corel and their products here on slashdot?

    Because their products are targeted at different users. Go to an Iced Earth concert and ask the people you meet about Brittney Spears or NSYNC, and you will hear a similar attitude.

  • I've done both, but I prefer to buy. In fact, I have happily purchased...

    Red Hat 5.2
    Red Hat 6.0
    Red Hat 6.1
    Red Hat 6.2 (three times)
    Red Hat 7.0
    Mandrake 7.1
    Mandrake 7.2 Complete
    Debian 2.1.5

    Now I'll admit that I felt a little foolish listing them out like that and for a moment questioned my own sanity. Then I remembered why I purchased them...

    - To support Linux the best way I can
    - To get the manuals and other fun stuff
    - Even w/ a cable modem its still a long download.
    - I didn't have a cdr until 2 years ago
    - I've wanted/needed a copy in a hurry
    - I wanted my company to pay for it

    Yeah, maybe I could have spent my money a little better, but I'd rather plunk down $29 for Red Hat than deal with 6-12 hours of downloading any day.

  • As a primary/sole OS? Yes.. I have a family of four and three of them are using paid deluxe versions of Corel. I'm the exception. Of course, their computer needs are small. They all have a copy of WordPerfect Office 8 for Linux, and use Netscape for Internet access. And, although they have all seen by Gnome desktop on a pure Debian installation, none of them want to switch.
  • This is so dead on. They should have re-written WP and the Office Suite and graphics suite to run natively in Linux. Now that would have made linux users proud to have Corel on their side. This distro thing only rubbed the community the wrong way. Imagine where we might be if Corel had just focused on the app side of things.
  • I've never really liked Corel's Linux OS. It made me feel like I never moved out from in front of a Win 98 machine. However, their software for linux looks fine. I am happy to see that some companies are taking their office sofware and offering it to non-M$ customers. -Jeff "Post Early, Post Often..." Never Post Anonymously... you Coward!
  • Ottawa, just call Nortel. =0

  • Has it even occured to you that there are children who read these posts? Keep the smut off of /.!
  • Oh I agree. (and nice post bob, that is far closer to a real post than a troll. There is hope for you yet! ;)

    Cowpland was the real problem with Corel, he jumped on every new technology, whether it was useful to the company or not. Netwinder, Java, Linux etc. (Netwinder is actually a good thing, but they sold it off, I guess they had little choice.)

    It would be nice to see Corel enter the Linux market for reasons other than PR or stock price. Unfortunaly to few people in the higher ranks in Corel understand what Linux is about.
  • Because if you are a commercial entity you want support. Even though you may have great admins and such you still want real support. And getting that from the people that produce the distribution makes a lot of sense.

  • Linux companies are not charities. I personally dont really get why many people want to treat them as such. There are many ways you could more efficiently donate your money to the cause (a non profit entity like the FSF and others). When you give money to a company, you are giving it to the shareholders first and foremost, i think that companies should have to compete on their own merit, not an artificial quasi charity market. Just IMHO.
  • Knock, knock, human.

    You're obviously an Ugly American, the kind that would complain (and would attempt to) drive on the right in the UK, speaks on-ly in-En-ga-lish in France and wonders why they're so damned rude, and asks for a cold beer.

    Pay attention class, and repeat after me:


    Why does there have to be a European distro, an Asian distro (or ten), an African distro, hell, a Latin American distro?

    Simple, the world doesn't speak just one language!

    Granted, most modern scientific texts' authoritative versions are in English, but a scant thirty years ago, you needed to know German to get a chemistry degree.

    Most of the people (by number) on Earth speak a dialect of Chinese.

    Europe is a plethora of linguistic traditions.

    Not to mention the myriad character entry systems (read: keyboards) that are needed, I'm typing on a kb doubled-up for use with Greek. And the accentation! What a pain in the butt!

    The reason different distros exist is because there are regional differences that smaller companies can more easily adapt to.

    And remember: SuSE didn't 'bite it', they are the #1 Linux distro in Europe and probably in the top three worldwide.

    Ruling The World, One Moron At A Time(tm)
    "As Kosher As A Bacon-Cheeseburger"(tmp)
  • How about that wanker Kiss The Blade? What the hell ever happened to that shmuck anyway?
  • I have a very simple solution to corel. Port every one of their apps to Linux. and I mean actually port them natively no wine,java,or other crap. write it in C or C++ and port them all. I dont want them for free. I want wordperfect suite (AS discreet apps no damned staroffice desktop junk) draw, etc.. I'll buy them, I'll use them.

    I am sure there are thousands o people out there that feel the same way. WE need productivity software for linux that doesn't suck, use almost every resource the machine has, or is just a hack. (all java apps are hacks, come on.. the dang VM is slow enough to make a PIII-866 crawl now try and do a productivity app in that? only the insane try it.)

    Linux needs real productivity apps now. Corel can get on the wagon and be the first, or the Open source projects will beat them to the pole again.

  • Well... $70 maybe a drop in the bucket for you, but a lot of people like me don't have that kind of money waiving around. It's easier for me to get someone to make a copy of the original or the ISO and I give them $5 for their time and I pay for the media.
  • by lemox ( 126382 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @10:18AM (#398363)

    Oh yeah, all the dialup users just love to dedicate a large portion of their week to download a linux distribution.

  • I don't think Corel should sink their money in to making their own distro, only to compete with all the other ones out there. Granted, there are some good things about it (I love anything Debian based ;-) but why don't they just throw their resources in to more useful areas like Word Perfect and such?

    While I'm happy about all the work they put in to Wine, I think that if they actually migrated the program to something that's a little more linux friendly, then maybe it'd be worth grabbing. They have mature product on their hands and a brand name to boot, which could sway the businesses and home users looking for something familar. "Oh, I remember Word Perfect! I guess this linux thing can't be so bad." The problem is that WP looks and feels like ass on linux. If they actually used something like the Gtk or Qt then it'd be. If Corel sunk their resources in to the task of making their apps really really good under linux then maybe they'd do better. I mean, why compete in the distro wars when you're already so far out in front in terms of the apps you've got?

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • From the "Three Minutes With Burney" article:

    We did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and making the appropriate acquisitions to fill in the holes would have cost us around $300 million."

    --,aid,40401, 00 .asp

    The "Back-of-the-envelope calculations" sounds like "I really didn't want to give Copland's Linux crap the time-of-day".

    Burney didn't take the time to understand the goal.

    When I first saw this newsletter, I thought "Maybe they are trying to breath some life into their Linux applications after telling everybody they were going to kill it". But, after reading Burney's comments, he has a much different vision. Their Linux division tries to put a nice spin on it, but it's too transparent. I think Burney would rather Linux just go away.

    They're dumping their distribution on someone even less likely to make it profitable (like they did the Netwinder?).

    Although they took a great deal of flack from the Linux community, Copland's aim was to broaden Linux into the less technically savvy market. There failure was their inability to partnerwith 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 the few 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.

    Excerpts from Burney's public statement...

    "My belief is that people would be willing to pay, for lack of a better term, for an end-to-end solution."

    Right on the money! A soup-to-nuts solution is the only way to un-root the Micro$oft desktop.

    "...making the appropriate acquisitions to fill in the holes would have cost us around $300 million."

    You don't understand. That knowledge is/was in-house, with those that put together your distribution. Adding and testing server applications would not have been THAT big of a leap. That $300M figure is totally bogus. The only partner you'd have needed was one of the big-name hardware vendors.

    "So you end up making 15 calls and they're all pointing at each other"

    That's what people do now with Micro$oft. You could have made a single-access-point of service, which could have destroyed the Micro$oft shrink-wrap paradigm.

    Businesses spend a great deal on service. Ask Sun or IBM if service sells. For that matter, ask Maytag or Sears.

    Large companies accounting, for service, usually charge 10X the wages of those who actively make the products. That's not all spent on Sysadmins and software upgrades, but a large amount is.

    Small businesses can't get the service they need. They're left with integrating the software and hardware themselves, often with the help of an over-zealous teenager or someone in Management that has more productive things to do.

    That's the niche Corel could have captured.

    Service alone, like software alone, doesn't cut it. Soup-to-nuts: hardware (the entire network), software, and service does.

    Like Sun, but atop open hardware and software, aimed at small business, legal, and medical.

    The current Linux community doesn't need service: we're a "do it ourselves" lot. But, Corel shouldn't have been marketing to us.

    "...there's no way [to make money] because you don't control your intellectual property."

    It's the service, stupid.

    Between the proprietary office apps and the service on an open hardware and software platform, Corel was uniquely positioned to be the first company to give Micro$oft true competition.

    As long as you try to compete with Micro$oft on their own turf, you loose. You can make a better product at a better price, but they own the platform. They have, can, and will change the platform at-will to suit their application and competitive needs, leaving Corel always chasing their tail. As long as Corel is "just another Office suite" on the WinDoh's platform, Microsoft wins.

    "And Corel wonders why the community never received them with open arms?" (a Quote from the previous slashdot article).

    Screw the Linux community: that was not Corel's market. Redhat, SuSE, Debian, etc... can fill our needs. Corel's focus was on the average and business user -- where Linux needs to go.

    "And a great thing about .Net is, it's not mutually exclusive with Linux ."

    Maybe that's what your Micro$oft handlers are telling you. With IE the only browser of relevance, .NET will assure the Microsoft lock-in by forcing out Apache and other servers. In Microsoft's embrace & extend vision, the only way the Web will be browsed is with Microsoft's servers and clients. .NET is the strategy to make port 80 theirs. As "hard-ball" (Ballmer) recently said:

    "In adopting Internet standards such as XML as part of its .Net initiative, Microsoft will continue to protect any intellectual property that it embeds as objects in XML wrappers. We will have proprietary formats to protect our intellectual property..."

    He went on to obfuscate that statement with wanting to maintain "a certain level of interoperability", but he's a known spin-doctor, and we've seen what tricks he's pulled with "interoperability" in the past.

  • will there finally be a great Office Suite for productivity, but it will have name recognition. I know people who still use WP. A push from the App side of things on both Windows and Linux could start a trend of moving to WP, and then to Linux. A lessoning of the dependency of MS to supply everyone everything.
  • by Glanz ( 306204 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @10:43AM (#398367)
    Agreed. Corel Linux is by far the easist to install and it has the advantage of being based on Debian/GNU. Libranet Linux is also easy to install and maintain. It too is Debian-based. With both you're just a few clicks away from complete updating via app get. Linux users who love to spend hours typing codes and revising paths/ports just to send a letter to Mama, and just love the recovery time between RedHat and Mandrake crashes won't like these distros. They work too well and never crash...., and they both are Canadian. I use Windows and Debian equally and I still find the Windows interface easier to use when you have to get some serious work out. Sometimes you just want to type a letter or a manuscript, without 200 pages of commands to tell the stupid Linux OS exactly what to do and how. It's like working on the same thing twice, once for the OS and once for one's self. If Hemingway had used a Linux OS and some of the OpenSource text formatters that come with it instead of a pen, we would have never heard of him. Then again, he might have written some pretty fancy code.
  • Believe it or not, I'm not nearly as Americentric as you are anti-America.

    I'm just making the point that, while there's a demand, is it ENOUGH of a demand to make any kind of money?

    Apparently not.

    Once, again, just my opinion. Perhaps you should switch to decaf? :-)

  • Corel products suck, their Windows products suck and their Linux products suck, they're doomed. Oh maybe they should start developing for MAC OS, those poor MAC users don't have much applications to choose from after all so that'll be a sure bet.
  • I haven't played with the Unix versions of WordPerfect, but the Win32 versions all supports Word import/export beautifully. WP7 supports Word 2-95. WP8 supports Word 2-97. WP9 supports Word 2-2000.

    Since WP for Linux is simply WP for Windows running on WINE, it should be able to import/export Word docs just fine.

    The only probs I've had with Word export is that the occasional formatting error occurs (usually a misalignment of tab stops), but nothing major. This is with tables, images, and multiple fonts.

  • I have been trying to get Corel to stop sending me their unsolicited newsletter. Looks like I haven't quite gotten through to them. Amusingly, bounces, and the address they suggest you write to if you feel this is in error *also* bounces.
  • I'll throw in another reason why I'm pretty interested in Corel's distribution.

    Debian's package archive deliverred by a company I'd assume understands useability. The hope is that its Mandrake based on debian.

    Now why is it their ftp requires login?

  • Yes, it will, but there's this little bug that crops up occasionally that trashes the file you just saved (or is that a proprietary feature???).

    Works in reverse, too, sometimes...

  • by MatriXOracle ( 33400 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @03:15PM (#398374) Homepage
    Sure corel could recommend that their users use Corel Linux, but how many actually would? It's not like corel can only support their own distro, or they'd be limiting their market too much. Therefore they had to support all distros (or at least several) anyway. Which brings me back to my original point: Corel is not LinuxCare.

    BTW, there's a very big difference between the support people telling customers to go into their linux control panel and actually supporting the whole linux distro themselves.

  • dialup users can borrow a cd off a friend or use cheapbytes...
  • The main problem corel has had with their distro (and with all their other linux stuff) is that while linux on the server is flourishing, linux on the desktop is still stalled. Corel Linux was always intended as an easy-to-use distro for the desktop to convert windows users.

    However people have not begun converting in droves to linux. Corel is not in a position where it can afford to keep pouring money into this market hoping it will eventually take off. Even if it does, KDE and GNOME are getting much easier to use. So what will corel have a better chance selling: Just Another GUI Distro, or brand named applications that are recognized by people, like WordPerfect and CorelDraw? That's why their keeping the apps, and while not dumping the distro, they're not going to focus on it anymore.

    Besides, if and when linux ever take off on the desktop, it's going to start in the corporate world. There, it's going to take a company that can provide integration solutions, support, the whole bit. Corel can't do that, and that's the type of company they're trying to spin off their OS in to.

  • Isn't that the point?
  • And remember, mon ami, that Linux-Mandrake is from FRANCE. The same country that loves Jazz, Jerry Lewis, and Mickey Rourke. Is that a problem? Mais non! Vive le Mandrake!


  • Wow that a comment, thanks for that! But maybe next time, you should try backing up your toughts with arguments. You will look more intelligent...
  • I am talking out of your oversized cowardly annonymous ass. The one right behind yo mama's teeth teenaged wannabe nerd.
  • I agree on that. I don't run wine, and don't like my laptop bloated down with it. Thats why I don't run WP 9. I run StarOffice 5.2 instead.

  • I used to use WP8 Commercial (personal) a lot.

    It was astounding in that WP7, it's precursor, was actually BETTER then WP8. Why? I don't care how many nifty new features (read: trivial) WP8 had -- it had far more bugs, bombed out often, contrasting sharply with my use of the rockhard WP7. It goes to show Corel really doesn't put a lot into their Linux products. The WP for WINE (that's what it should be called) suite is pure example of this. As far as the toolkit used in a Linux native app, I'm all for whatever gets the job done -- motif doesn't look half as bad as people say it is, though the lack of it maintaining a theme/consistent look with other apps is troublesome (although there's a great programming opportunity to someone who wants .Xdefaults to be in accordance with whatever theme is in use.)

    On that note, I ask, does anyone know where I can find WP7 for download? It seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Yes, I know a license is required.

    I think their defense is porting to Linux naitvely would require too many resources. And, that is true to some extent, as Windows programs really are different. The WP Office code is probably very attached to Win32 APIs.

  • The crux of your statement (that Burney does not understand the goal of Linux in Corel's overall strategy) is based on a number of false premises, false facts and misconceptions.

    The point of it all is: Corel is an _applications_ developer and Burney's realized that they must refocus to _applications_ (on the three main platforms) in order to dig themselves out of the hole. The dumb mainstream press took the comments about Corel "selling Linux" to also refer to Corel's applications, and that fundamental misunderstanding was immediately repeated ad nauseaum by the shoot-from-the-hip crowd who ridiculed Corel for quitting Linux involvement altogether.

    Spinning off the NetWinder was smart; (Linux on Transmeta "server appliances") is running with that ball and Corel still holds a stake in them.

    The Linux-centric OS vendors are now finally starting to focus on the desktop users so Corel's mission on that front is accomplished. I'm sure Corel would love to see their own desktop-centric Linux OS division joining forces with an established distro vendor, but if the latter want to stick to their own guns, Corel might as well spin off their distro (i.e. the Linux OS division and their know-how) e.g. to the Linux Global Partners (?) who have already invested in many high-profile Linux projects (that are desktop-centric).

    "Integrated Linux desktops" will be a result of _partnering_. Different vertical or geographical markets call for different partners. Corporations like Sun can afford to do a lot of subsidizing thanks to the huge revenues from their hardware sales (mostly tied to Solaris) unlike the bruised-by-Microsoft Corel.

    It is ironic that, apart from dirty MS tricks, large reason for Corel's financial woes over the last few years was to believe in Sun's claims that Java was going to become viable as a desktop environment. The Java efforts cost Corel enormously, and how did Sun thank Corel for their efforts (let down by Sun's Java delivery)? By buying the fledgling StarDivision and flooding the market (esp. the Linux market) with free copies of the suite. Sure, Sun's main target was MS, but they're not exactly eating into MS-Office's marketshare on Windows... (why would the PC OEMs promote offerings by Sun, their competitor??) Furthermore, it is also ironic that the much-hyped OpenOffice project depends largely on Sun's contributions while Sun themselves see Linux as a threat to their cash-cow proprietary server market. (what does McNealy really want?)

    There's your "three great ideas, all ahead of their time, all fouled up in the execution".

    The "end-to-end" solution provider dream came pretty much to an end when Borland's shareholders (of whom MS is one, albeit not openly) and the MS-friendly press helped kill the merger plan last spring. Now MS remains the only source of integrated _office_ solutions, not surprisingly catering for the Windows environment(s) only. And all the big OEMs are still "offering" only MS-taxed desktop preloads. Despite the possibilities built-to-order manufacturing offers, where are the Linux or even WordPerfect Office on Windows options? The problem doesn't lie in Corel's corner...

    The MS investment in Corel, and the highly restrictive agreements tied to the money, might have been a shrewed plan by Burney (whose father's been a career diplomat, btw) all along. Until that deal the regulators never gave a damn about Microsoft's second, and most lucrative, monopoly in Office suites. Now the Office suites are back in the agenda, just in time for the latest Appeals Court antitrust hearings which otherwise don't seem to go too well for the DOJ under the newly emboldened Republican mindset sweeping the US leadership. Corel looks set to keep much or all the M$ cash while MS gets more scrutiny for their anti-competitive behaviour besides probably having to sell their non-voting Corel shares anyway. Corel's spinning off the distro division also makes practically sure that MS can't use it as their proprietary yet limited .NET platform. I think Burney could have done much worse than he has in his less than six months as Corel's CEO.

    As a final note, I would like to express my deep disappointment for the negative editorial slant Mr. Taco consistently dishes out at Corel: "I kinda think its just spin, the kinda stuff you say when you're going down like 'Duck and Cover'" Also, just how hell does Corel's continued support for their distro, until a new owner is found, constitute "an apparent attempt to capitolize on the recent woes at Suse" !!?? What is dot-com millionaire Taco's beef with Corel? As if the FUD against Corel from the pro-MS press (like ZDNET) wasn't enough...


    A. Bullard

  • or they could just buy the damn boxed distribution. Hell, they cost less than most games, which the /. crowd seems to have no trouble affording.
  • As an aside, hadn't Corel been contributing to the WINE project quite a bit? Of course they did it to allow them to sell their consumer applications as "Linux" versions without really having to port them. But it seems that they did (and maybe still are) contributing code back to the community for a big, gnarley project that many folks are glad to see moving forward.

    If I'm wrong I'm sure the people here will correct me...

    I did run Corel Linux for a time, but eventually scrapped it. It was OK, and a lot of the end-user eye-candy type stuff was well-done and easy to use. But I need to know how to setup and maintain Linux servers, so back to RedHat and Debian...

  • They have:

    1. Entered Office suites market and failed, gave up on competing with MS
    2. Created a Java based office suite, failed, bailed out.
    3. Created a network computer (netwinder), failed, bailed out.
    4. entered Linux distro market and apparently not yet succeeded.

    Since Microsoft and Adobe have seriously kicked Corel's butt they have been looking for markets where they can avaoid direct competition of MS.
    Moreover, their management apparently thought that once they bring a new breakthrough product, that will cure all of their other problems (sort of like SGI). It seems to me Corel has started too
    many initeresting projects yet finished none of them, that's their real problem. Market does not like that.
  • One of the reasons for me is that they failed to open-source their enhancements. Therefore, they actually did _nothing_ for Linux, just for themselves. When RedHat does something great, everyone benefits. However, if Corel does something similar, all you get is Corel lock-in, which is one of the main things that Linux people are trying to avoid.

    Exactly. I actually bought Corel Linux. I knew little about Linux at the time... once I figured out that Corel Linux was based on this distro called Debian, and that Corel had some lock-in proprietary stuff, I became non-interested in Corel and went to Debian. (And I'm very happy with Debian; apt-get rocks!)

    The ironic thing is that I bought Corel Linux because it is so easy to install, but I was unable to install it. The Corel Linux graphical installer in 1.0 would choke and die on any GeForce video card, and there was no text-based installer. The web site contained a suggested workaround: get a non-GeForce video card, swap it in to your system, install, swap the GeForce back in... I never got around to it.


  • LinuxNewbie [] is probably just what you're after. It's articles are aimed at the beginner at Linux.
  • Where did thie eurocentric thing pop out from? Corel are Canadian, no?

  • If you are interesting in participating or observing a chat with Corel's President and CEO Derek Burney please join us at this evening from 7 - 8 p.m. EST. You may also join via any IRC chat program, more information may be found at our site. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you believe would be interested.
  • Not only must you be interesting, but also interested ;)
  • By taking the price of their retail box down to around $5, they're helping to kill the very market that they need to exist to help push Linux (i.e.: retail Linux box sales). It costs easily twice that much per box. A company that is suffering as much as Corel is should know better than to do that.

    Wrong. They still got to build their market in order to make any profit. You can make a lot of profit with end users. And if it's only the Dummys guide to Corel Linux. Corel's distribution still has the best chances to be the first widespread Linux distribution for inexperienced computer enthusiasts (fresh meat, heh). - They got friendly reviews and they are considered as 'easy to install' (and that is still the main point where many ppl fear a Linux distrubution (I ain't talking about Redmond citizens here). They are afraid of their computers. They are afraid of text screens and file deletion. They don't understand a thing. And yes, man, they need help.) The still to be formed company formerly known as the Corel Linux Division can help them. Who else 'in the scene' got that much expirience with end users? It's a giant chance. If they really bring this OS to the end user market something can change. Linux is still not etabiliated enough - i bet chances are low that it'll make it without companies like Corel (I don't like to use Corel software, too, but most 'professional' software is crap anyway). And btw, don't tell me Star Division will fix that, they always were underdogs and are now a reputation project of Sun, so don't expect any more from them than they currently do.

    Now is the time were Linux got to prove itself and got to deal with the final frontier: the silly and dumb end user market. Be happy that there are a few guys who have the guts to deal with a real herausforderung.

    As far as I've seen Microsoft has a lot of crappy plans with Windows XP, if there'd be a ready, stable and easy alternative this could be the time. (We're heading for the next software generation change, so this is the time.) Nobody lost anything yet, MS is still #1 and if we don't use the chances we're given now we'll stay the same underdogs we always were. But who cares as we just don't take any action we don't take any responsibility. Oh man. We were so superior, but those evil forces cheated and so we couldn't win... What a cheap lie!

    Here are some options: (1) Teach *everyone* programming (basics. maybe even basic. we got to speak one language in order to communicate.) - (2) Alternatively give them something that doesn't need to be understood in order to be operated - (3) Deal 14 hours a day w/ Microsoft software, effectively supporting the dark side of the force by keeping the system running. Relax in your spare time, get drunk and write endless contributions for Slashdot.

    Theese MS-guys don't invest as much in 'a vision' if there's not a massive change of the market. Don't believe that 'incoherence' hype; in my eyes I don't see any massive progress in ideas and invention throughout the last years. And yes: I've met some interesting people years ago with a vision. It was 1995 and they were talking about a 'free operating system' and 'technology to the people'. Where are all you elite code warriors? Still playing the same old silly games?

    If anything, they should be doing what they can to push the prices higher so they can at least break even.

    Word. =)


  • 6 months later and I only see a download version! To use the dowload version you need a decent web browser (the file manager does not cut it) and the deluxe box [] has all the toys to give people a good look at Linux as an alternative (from games demos to the IBM java tools).

    However the Inflatable Tux rules, check out his bigger brother playing F1 []

  • Hey, I think it's neat that some one "in the know" stepped up to the plate and filled us all in on the whole mess. Personally, I have read through most of the treads, and besides some of the immature "troll" responces, most folks are having some good input and asking intellegent questions and recieving some good feed back. I am a user of WordPerfect and PhotoPaint and IMHO I think they are much better than any other word processor and photo/art app out there. KDE's KWord is still a long way from being able to keep up with the more mature word processors, and GIMP, while I have a great amount of respect for the project, the interface is just to scattered and still needs some work here and there. I rarely use Linux these days, yes I am a Windows user, but not by choice. I have Mandrake 7.2 and it's one of the most unstable messes I have ever loaded onto my hard drive (paid for the boxed set and a CheapBytes set) Bought WordPerfect 2000 and it came with the Corel Linux (first addition) but I am so burnt out on trying to fiddle around with the Mandrake, I have run out of steam and don't want to go through the process of learning the ups and downs of a debian based distro. So I wait untill the 8.0 Mandrake comes out (replete with the new 2.4 kernel, KDE 2.1 and Gnome desktops) and in the mean time put in my vote to say "Port or write a wholly NATIVE version of the Corel applications (WordPerfect and Corel Draw) over to Linux (all versions: RPM, Debian, ect....)so we can drop the WINE B.S. I can use WP2000 on Mandrake but the fact that WINE is used to make it function, I see a noticable slowness to it. (I have a Pentium III, 256 RAM, 450Mhz system) Corel, IMHO, in the past and STILL is making some bad choices, it seems that they take on to many projects then don't follow through, out of fear, I'm quite sure of "loosing their shirts" but they need to slow them selves down, really look at what they want to accomplish here. I think it is a good idea that they have entered the Linux arena but they have to be patient, it will take a while to get the hold on the market that they are looking for, they just can't expect that every one is going to want Corel Apps. much less a Corel Linux distro. Many folks that have been through some of the ups and downs of Corel (speaking from the Windows side of things) know that support, for a while, was VERY poor, and many projects where abandoned or not done right. Now, many of those same folks are in the Linux arena themselves, and don't trust Corel because of the negative experiences they had "on the other side". "I'm not going through that crap again" and I can understand why!! But by the same token, Corel IS viable. They have wonderful applications that I hope NEVER go away. Corel just needs to focus on the projects they already have going, work on improving them to the Nth degree (both in Windows and Linux) and if since they already have the linux distro, keep working to improve that as well. There is allot of hope in me for Corel. I hope they figure them selves out and become a viable part of the Linux arena as well as the Windows arena, but, as all good things, it comes with patience and time and perseverance. Nuff Said!! Richard : )~
  • 6) Microsoft Linux 2002?


God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"