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Corel Cuts 220 Jobs to Save $12M 301

Cecil writes "Just saw this story on the City of Ottawa's website: 'The Software maker Corel Corp. is cutting 220 jobs - more than a fifth of its workforce - in a bid to reduce costs and return to profitability amid weak technology spending.'" Of course, this stinks for those who are laid off, but hopefully Corel can turn things around.
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Corel Cuts 220 Jobs to Save $12M

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  • Sure (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They can try to compete against Microsoft, which is pretty much a loosing battle given the commercial monopoly Microsoft has on the Office application suite, or they can compete against the OSS office application suites, in which case its pretty tough to compete against no-cost development. I predict they hang around a bit longer, but only selling to those buying PCs bundled with Windows and Corel where the buyers don't know much about Office software and want to squeeze an extra couple of pennys off the price of their machine.
    • Re:Sure (Score:3, Interesting)

      by panaceaa ( 205396 )
      Actually, Corel isn't making any money from bundling their productivity suite with PCs. They're planning on using the OEM bundling to show off WordPerfect [], without any support, in the hopes that customers will like it and follow the upgrades. In this sense, they're competing head-on with the no-cost model of OSS's OpenOffice.

      However, financial analysts point out that when customers of low-cost PCs upgrade their productivity software, they probably still won't want to pay. They're likely to try other low-cost alternatives instead. This could boost usage of OpenOffice and other OSS word-processing applications.
  • by petele ( 195334 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:16PM (#4613089) Homepage
    That isn't the city of Ottawa web site, thats a local news web site. If you want the City Of Ottawa's web site, check out []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you think you were surprised to find out Corel was laying off 220 people. Then imagine my surprise to find that they are still in business.

    Who buys this stuff?
    • Re:A bigger suprise (Score:2, Informative)

      by nelsonal ( 549144 )
      Who buys this stuff?
      Dell, Gateway, and HP all licensed their Office suite. I haven't used the newest one but the last one wasn't too bad. I have heard that their software is popular in the legal industry, where there exists all manner of legal templates that were never switched over to MS Office.
  • Not surprising... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:17PM (#4613096)
    Cash strapped and confused as Corel may seem, this move would appear to me to be a consolidation and focusing of Corel's main products (those being WordPerfect Office Suite et al.)

    In fact, having a former life in the photographic industry, I could never figure out what Corel was doing in the stock photographic / images business anyhow. The quality of their libraries were fairly well below the industry normals in addition to some fairly draconian and muddled contract agreements.

    In particular, there was an instance where a former employer of mine used some Corel stock images for their catalog. The photographer who actually took the shots summarily attempted to sue my former employer. When Corel was contacted, we learned that certain images in the library were still property of the original artist.

    This caused us some deal of confusion since this is not the not the norm for stock photographic images.

    This is a prime example of a company getting into a business they really didn't understand (Corel), its about time they started dumping their ancillary business and focusing on software development, rather than services like stock imagery.
    • by God! Awful ( 181117 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @09:32PM (#4613581) Journal

      This is a prime example of a company getting into a business they really didn't understand (Corel),

      Getting into businesses they don't understand is the norm for Corel. In the last 10 years, they have jumped on every single bandwagon that has come along (and been burned every time):

      - WordPerfect (it's been through so many hands, it deserves its own bandwagon)
      - Java (e.g. the ill fated WP port)
      - Network Appliances (a.k.a. Internet Toaster)
      - Linux
      - The Silicon Valley lifestyle ($50 million company Christmas parties)

      I was offered a job there about 10 years ago. They bragged about the office suite strategy in the interview. I thought it sounded like a pipe dream.

  • Nothing new... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EverStoned ( 620906 )
    I haven't heard of any Corel developments for a looonng time, it was inevitable that the company would start to go under, what with better, and often free, or even open source programs.
  • by Space Coyote ( 413320 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:17PM (#4613104) Homepage
    Not that they aren't the same ones made by a good many other companies in times of losses. Borrowing from the future will come back to burn them badly, I just hope they don't try to squeeze too much more out of the people who are left. I've heard some horror stories from Ottawa friends about working for them.

    IMO, if somebody were to come in with a good amount of cash and try to take them private, they might be able to leverage it into a powerful software maker again, without having to worry about quarterly finances quite so much.
  • by lingqi ( 577227 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:18PM (#4613108) Journal
    average out to be 54k / person.

    which means that if we bell curve it, there are some highly paid individuals being cut. probabbly software engineers, maybe some management.

    I have heard somewhere that when a company start cutting engineers, then the company REALLY is not doing so well. I wish them luck regardless, though. They make some nice software.

    but then the 12M may not be all from job cuts, though - so I am just blabbing, actually.
    • Little more than half of the cost of an employee is his/her wage. Benefits, payroll taxes, training costs, facility costs, and administrative and support costs make up the rest.
    • CHEAP jobs. (Score:4, Informative)

      by unicorn ( 8060 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:49PM (#4613312)
      Lets see. Factor in the exchange rate, and you're down to $35,000US a year. Then when you remember that the annual cost of an employee is alot more than their base salary alone. Typically youy can assume that an employee costs about twice his salary, with taxes, overhead, benefits, etc. Now we're down to 17,500 roughly. That's $8.75/hr.

      The Starbucks the next block over, is hiring Barista's for $9.
      • The Starbucks the next block over, is hiring Barista's for $9.

        I know some application developers who make 9$ an hour (sellers markert!)

      • Factor in the exchange rate, and you're down to $35,000US a year.

        Or, if you go by the purchasing power parity, you get US$42.6K/year. Unless you want to buy all of your stuff, including food & housing, from the US. Then you'd pay the exchange rate.
  • Brain Drain (Score:2, Troll)

    by Mark4ST ( 249650 )
    Canada in having a problem with brain drain [], and this situation is only going to contribute to it. The only people who benefit from the drain are the actual (Canadian) employees who do it. The Canadian workforce suffers because the overall skill levels drop. The middlingly-abled American has to compete for jobs with Uber-Canadian expatriots.

    It's seems like a loose-loose situation to me.

    • Re:Brain Drain (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CanadaDave ( 544515 )
      I have never talked to any Canadian who wants to go down to the States. I guess it must happen once in a while, but only out of necessity. It is actually more common I think, in fields like nursing and medicine.

      We can't forget about the thousands of Iranians, Indians, Russians, and Chinese who come to Canada all the time. (did I leave out any significant minority there?).

      And NO Canadians benefit from the brain drain. Living in Canada is much better than living in the States (based on opinion surveys). Just look at stuff like the UN statistics on the best cities in the world to live (you'll find Vancouver near the top), as well as other surveys and you'll find this is the case.

      • Lots of Canadians want to live in the States. They're simply not the ones you hear marching in the streets over US foreign policy.

        I was greatly amused to see the results of a poll which came out in late October, 2001. I've forgotten the polling company, but it can probably be found in the archives at I couldn't find it just now, but it definitely is out there.

        Apparently, in the aftermath of the WTC terrorism, a majority of Canadians would *not* move to the US when given the chance. Some moron (Sheila Copps, no doubt) was crowing about this, despite the fact that it was the first time such a result had ever been found.

        Enough said on the matter, in my opinion. The other 45% were, of course, still quite willing to move to the nation with a supposed target on its ass. (I am one of them - I live quite comfortably in Canada, but would move to the states in an instant if it weren't such a pain (because I am established in my community, not because I would be denied permanent entry).)
    • And it's not going to stop unless the exchange rates start to change -- why work for 50000 CDN for example if someone in the US is paying 65000 USD? *shrugs* That's mostly, if not all of the problem. It's very very common in the medical field and certainly isn't suprising that CS and IT are getting hit badly as well.
      • And it's not going to stop unless the exchange rates start to change -- why work for 50000 CDN for example if someone in the US is paying 65000 USD?

        A factor to consider when looking at exchange rates and salaries is where you plan to spend the money. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck if you go to the US, pile away the cash, and then go to Canada and spend it there. The exchange rate is CA$1.00 == US$0.64, but the purchasing power parity is CA$1.00 == US$0.79. So, for every US$0.64 you spend in Canada, you get US$0.79 worth of generic goods & services. (Note: PPP includes sales taxes, and if you're an American resident, you even get a refund on the Canadian GST.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They could've cut 12 executives and saved $24M.
  • Sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:20PM (#4613127)

    I have to say that as an ex Corel Linux employee who saw what happened inside the organization that it is grossly inaccurate to say they dropped it on the marketplace and expected it to sell itself. They did run paper advertisments and were dedicating half or more of stand space to Linux and it's (wine'd) Office suite (Draw et al having the other half).

    I think the reason they didn't get very far is:

    1. They didn't have any money
    2. The only allies they could hope for (hackers) didn't go for it at all thanks to the incompatible libraries (though I updated a machine successfully to Debian 2.2 leaving behind the samba only, but then again maybe their internal network just suited well).
    3. They didn't have any money

    What could they do in the face of this? Could they re-write all the incompatible sections to placate us....NO they couldn't afford to. Could they change from wine for Linux apps... NO they couldn't afford to, they weren't getting money from Linux so in the face of the cost cutting required it was hard to justify expenese on Linux that might actually produce money from Draw/WP 10.

    Where next......well after their minor success with their unix WP7/8 and an old draw I think they will be back to the Linux marketplace with a native app, the only questions are how long must we wait, will it be worth it or have MS killed it?

    Ultimately I cannot see many/any traditional shrink-wrap software companies converting well into Linux land, they can't comprehend the underlying concept of using the GPL (not just LGPL) stuff out there and releasing products based on support et al rather than licensing revenue. Why didn't Corel just port their whole App suite to Gnome/KDE2 on all platforms rather than work on KDE and wine?

    All of their problems probably would have been solved had it not been for the change in relative stock prices of Corel and Borland between the initial merger announcement and the critical dates. What was an attractive deal for both sides become a wholly unappealing deal for Borland shareholders and Corel lost a stay of execution AND the combined "powerhouse" that should have arrived on the Linux platform.

    Disclaimer. The above are the conclusions I have drawn from my observations.....not the facts cause I don't know if you all couldn't tell :-)

  • Given this (from the linked article you've not read yet):

    That appointment was made permanent after he orchestrated a $135-million US investment by arch rival Microsoft Corp., which provided Corel with enough cash to ride out a period of declining revenues while it worked to develop a new business strategy and products.

    Maybe we should just make Microsoft Corp. give (not invest) $135-million US to all the major companies (an Open Source projects) in trouble due to the economy...they can afford it...and it certainly would be good PR!

  • by pardasaniman ( 585320 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:21PM (#4613135) Journal
    I think that Corel's failure was the fact that people pirate MS Office, and don't care to try out less expensive office suites.

    In my opinion Corel Office was much more intuitive, yet, in my school, there is not one person excluding myself who doesn't pirate software. In fact teachers indirectly encourage students to get MS Office off Kazaa or "to borrow it from a friend"

    It is really really sick.

    We must stop piracy in the education system, it'll save good companies like Corel.
    • Why would teachers encourage that? You can most likely get it for $10 from your institution.
    • Ha, did you ever hear the famous quote from Corel's Michael Cowpland? He said that Corel would not be where it is today were it not for software piracy. ie. people pirating Corel's software, which generates more interest, and stimulates more people to actually buy it. He was one of the few company heads to ever come out and admit to the advantage of piracy, as a sort of advertising.

      I wish I had the quote exactly. It was on CBC Newsworld or some other Canadian network channel a few years ago.

      • It's clearly done so much good for Corel too :p

        I'm one of the ones that bought a copy (though I rather wish I had just pirated MS Office instead now...)
        • I pirated 5.1, 6.0, and then bought Wordperfect 2000 a few years later for cheap, student edition for $25. I don't know why anyone buys MS Office. It is the easiest software in the world to pirate. You can use any CD copier software. They should have at least used some sub-channel data like Blizzard did with Diablo II. That was a bitch, until I discovered CloneCD.
      • He said that Corel would not be where it is today were it not for software piracy. ie. people pirating Corel's software, which generates more interest, and stimulates more people to actually buy it.

        So what you and Cowpland are saying is, software piracy is responsible for the dire straits Corel now finds itself in ?
        • No, he meant Corel would not be where it is today, as in, Corel would NOT be as successful as it is today. So he meant that if it weren't for software piracy they would be in a worse position or worser yet, bankrupt. The quote was said in brighter times you see, when Draw was still fairly popular and Wordperfect was doing decent.
  • Infuse, say, $20M into the company with a promise for Corel WordPerfect for OS X, and maybe stronger ties between Corel's graphic products and OS X...
    • And that would be about the time that Apple committed suicide.

      It is critical to Apple that MS keep making Office for the Mac. It isn't anywhere near as critical for MS to keep the Mac marketshare of Office. I have seen people argue (and I am not sure that I don't agree with them) that the x86 port of Darwin was simply to keep some leverage with MS on this one issue.

      While you might not like Office or MS (and don't look at me, I am exclusively Linux) from a business perspective Apple cannot afford to mess with this relationship.
      • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @10:45PM (#4613925) Homepage Journal
        I have seen people argue [...] that the x86 port of Darwin was simply to keep some leverage with MS on this one issue.
        How does that work? Why does MS care whether Darwin runs on the x86? Even in some hypothetical alternate universe in which Apple releases a complete OS X for x86, MS doesn't have anything to worry about from Apple.
        • Debatable. The thing that keeps MS in their monopoly and Apple in the margins, the argument goes, is that Apple is a hardware company that happens to ship an OS. If Apple on the other hand decided they were going to start acting like an OS company, they might be able to give MS a run.

          Personally, I think there is some merit to this argument, but not much. However, I really do think that MS way doesn't want to even think about that right now. Linux is causing them enough trouble. Linux isn't taking over anything but the geekiest desktops right now, but they are eating into the back office space like beavers on meth, and the logic of free (as in beer) could put them on some more desktops in the very near future as soon a few issues get dealt with, and at the speed of Linux evolution over the last few years, I don't think Redmond is laughing at the threat. They think they can win it, but they are starting to take the idea seriously.

          In that light, I think they don't want any hassles with Apple. Even if you think you can win a fight, that doesn't mean you want to fight it.
      • I'm not advocating the death of Office, but you're saying that increased competition in the Office Suite arena in Macland is a bad thing?

        I imagine having two competent office suites would drive down costs for the consumer, increase features and support for the consumer, and in general increase the capability of OS X fitting into a business environment with the added application support.

        You're saying it's better for Apple to bend over for Microsoft than to invite Corel to play in the sandbox?
        • You're saying it's better for Apple to bend over for Microsoft than to invite Corel to play in the sandbox?

          That's exactly what he's saying. MS has pretty much nothing to lose by not releasing any future MS Office for Mac. Just the prospect of that will be enough to prevent people from buying Macs. Doesn't matter what it is - the majority of people at the present time and in the near forseeable future won't make purchasing commitments unless MS Office is available for that system.

          I'm not talking Joe Art Guy who is a hardcore Mac fan - he's going to buy one or two machines. I'm talking larger institutions with art departments. If a company has to outfit and update Mac machines for a dept, but they can't exchange Office docs with them, they'll probably just force them to run Intel hardware with Windows. Why not? Photoshop runs on that just fine.

          Apple potentially has much more to lose than MS by inviting other players in to develop office suites for OSX.
  • Two corrections (Score:2, Informative)

    by mike449 ( 238450 )
    Since I live in Ottawa, I can correct two errors in the story:
    1. does not belong to City of Ottawa. It belongs to GlobalWest Communications Corp., as well as and many other similar domain names.
    2. Slashdot crew, update the Corel logo!
    • *sigh* Ottawa - where my tax dollars go to die.

      Anyway, our intrepid (Score:4, Informative) poster has a glaring error - and are owned and operated by CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp. I should know - my immediate supervisor (I work there) registered the domains.

      The City of Ottawa's web site is at, just like most any other Canadian city (use, where xx is the abriviated province name).

  • Keeping in touch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MagPulse ( 316 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:26PM (#4613171)
    As I hear about these continual massive layoffs, I wonder if the ex-employees are keeping in touch. Most of them probably haven't looked for a job lately, so it will take them a little time to get back in to it. Also it's important for them not to feel bad about it. They will go through a life-changing event, and there will be hundreds or thousands of people going through the same thing in a conveniently small geographical area, so it would be great for them to help each other and at least use each other for networking.

    I guess I'm just proposing something like
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:40PM (#4613267)
    The good news is that it equals only 125 american workers do to the conversion rate.
  • hopefully Corel can turn things around.

    Why do you care? Seriously.

  • by daemonjon ( 612262 ) <.daemonjon. .at.> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:48PM (#4613303)
    and here are just a few reasons why: gateway, dell, hp and sony. all announced in the last year that they are beginning to bundle various forms of corel office with new computers. a wonderful way in itself to renew the user base; hook em while they're young! for a first time pc buyer (read: gateway) get the software in their hands even if you have to lose money. as opposed to say MS[sometimes]Works im sure that liscensing costs are less for the pc distributors which will definately give corel some legs (oh yeah and that article thing we are supposed to be talking about, i think it said they found a way to save a few dollars somewhere....). plus it seems they have a niche in a niche market (osx) that will still pay some of the bills. they did a very wise thing by being one of the first developers if not the first into every product market they have on macOSX when the big boys (read: adobe) were taking a wait and see approach. as much as i personally use their software (none) im not sure why i always keep up with their camp but i think all you naysayers will have a long time to write the obituary yet.
  • this is really going to start putting Ottawa in the shit.

    First off, houses in places like Beacon Hill, even, are going for at least a quarter mil, thanks to a massive influx of greed and dot com wannabes.

    Now, Nortel is tanking, Entrust doesn't seem to be doing so well, and Corel? Well, apart from giving Ottawans yet another interestingly white trash tacky overpriced outfit to look at at every new gallery opening or whatever, it isn't doing much apart from being a big copper eyesore next to the Queensway.

    Man, I feel for those employees - but it looks like Ottawa's basket is rapidly emptying of eggs.
    • This isn't any different from anywhere else. Every city in Canada is going through this. The ones that had less to begin with probably have a harder time. I'll be glad when Nortel finally packs it in. They were way too big anyways, and was crappy place to work. Ottawa is actually somewhat lucky in that they have a lot of other sectors going on, like the public sector and military which will never go away. They also get a lot of attention from the federal government (every heard of the capital commission) so it will always be a great city to live in, and will have no problem recovering, once the economy, markets, and ventrue capital start to recover.
    • First off, houses in places like Beacon Hill, even, are going for at least a quarter mil, thanks to a massive influx of greed and dot com wannabes.

      So if the high-tech companies are tanking, then why is there still a housing shortage in Ottawa?
  • Why the buyin? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:52PM (#4613339)
    Of course, this stinks for those who are laid off, but hopefully Corel can turn things around.

    Doesn't this stink for more than just the people who got laid off? Does the idea that a corporation can layoff dedicated workers not meet with challenge these days? The anti-union attitudes of /. editors is astouding sometimes.

    What ever happened to the idea that if you dedicate a major portion of your life to a company, you deserve something a little more than just money for 40 hrs/week--like job stability for example.

    The US has gone from a "right to work" country to a "right to get fired" country, almost within a few years. The focus on "keeping corporations profitable EVERY SINGLE YEAR" is absurd.
    • Re:Why the buyin? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @09:54PM (#4613691) Homepage
      Part of the problem is that all of the young hotshot twenty-somethings don't yet realize that they're on the block next.

      These kids went to school, got headhunted, got a $40k salary and got stock options just like that without ever really having to think about anything. Sure, they think they're working hard, but there's just no comparison, for example, to the much more grim and realistic world experienced by kids graduating from college during the Carter years (to chose an epoch at random). The economic slide hasn't hit the current group of young adults hard enough yet; they still believe it's the nature of existence to have cash in hand and food on table and they basically consider anyone who doesn't to be a lazy bum or an idiot. They have no connection whatsoever to the concept that one can be qualified, willing, and actively searching for work and yet still end up starving.

      Give it a few years. If this economic downturn starts to hit enough dotcom kids, you'll begin to hear Athese same anti-union love-Bush American kids begin to cry like babies and maybe even have some sympathy not only for laid off Americans but also for other peoples around the world, who even today in the first world are struggling much harder in many places.
      • If this economic downturn starts to hit enough dotcom kids

        Where have you been the last two years? Those dotcom kids you so lovingly refer to WERE the hardest hit sector of the economy.

        They have no connection whatsoever to the concept that one can be qualified, willing, and actively searching for work and yet still end up starving.

        A little tip you might wish to take to heart, assuming starving isn't something you wish to do. You, the employee, are worth precisely the amount it takes to replace you, and not a penny more.

        No economic system in existance works around this basic fact. If after 20 years on the job your qualifications equate to that of that "dotcom kid" fresh out of college, you will go hungry. You can be pro-union, anti-union, socialist, communist, capitalist, and it just won't matter. If someone else can do the same job you're doing at half the cost, you're gonna be out of work!

        This isn't some evil corporate scheme designed to pound down the little guy. It's a basic natural law of the relationship between an employer and employee. The only reason an employer hires anyone at all is in the belief that the person in question can make more revenue for that company. Whether you're talking about IBM, Microsoft, or the local coffee shop, this basic fact doesn't go away.
        • You don't seem to understand that there are times when many, many people do not have jobs. It isn't a matter of you or I being less qualified than someone else; it is a matter of the jobs in this or that sector having gone way almost entirely because of the near-failure of the capital markets. This can and does and has happened, even in the US at times.

          When this happens, you suggest that we should essentially let everyone starve because that's better for the pocketbooks of those who do still happen to be able to find work or those who happen to be independently wealthy. Of course, you're also thinking that this will always be you, because naturally you plan to keep your skills up.

          Well good luck to you. (i.e. "What a simpleton!")

          This kind of brutal capitalism may sound good on paper, but when your own children are the ones going without adequate nutrition, education or medical care in spite of the fact that you have kept your skills up, and nobody will hire you at any wage, you will feel differently, I promise you. Ask anyone who lived though the great depression. And if you don't feel differently -- if you say "well, damn it, let my children go without medical care, that's better for the market!" then you are simply beyond saving (and so, in all likelihood, are your children for that matter).

          In short, you proved my point entirely: you are so sure that income is a simple matter of personal skill, deservedness and "a few unlucky souls here or there" that you'll suggest that those in trouble should be merely ignored or pitied rather than helped. This is because it hasn't yet been you or your family and friends suffering. This kind of thinking simply doesn't hold up well when the population of struggling people begins to reach into the tens of millions, as often happens during times of economic hardship.

          Eventually, many people begin to find that the hardship hits close to home, you see... and then, as I implied before, they begin to vote differently...
    • Re:Why the buyin? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Metrol ( 147060 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @11:11PM (#4614044) Homepage
      The anti-union attitudes of /. editors is astouding sometimes

      A company is not a social program. Once more, a company is not a social program.

      A company, any company, exists to provide a product or service that results in what most folks hope is a positive cash flow. If that is the result, it will grow. In that growth will certainly be newer jobs.

      The reverse is also true. If a company has proven that it cannot make money, it will shrink. In it's shrinking, fewer employment opportunities exist.

      No union, legislation, or any other happy thoughts can change this basic economic fact. When a company, like Corel, is no longer producing products that customers wish to buy, fewer jobs will result. How can you maintain staffing rates of old when you no longer have the cash to pay them?

      The US has gone from a "right to work" country to a "right to get fired" country, almost within a few years. The focus on "keeping corporations profitable EVERY SINGLE YEAR" is absurd.

      Nevermind the fact that we're actually talking about CANADA here. There has never been, in ANY nation a "right to work". Oh sure, there have been lofty attempts with subsequent failures, but the concept simply doesn't exist in the wild.

      First off, a "right" is not what someone does for you. A "right" is what the government can not do to you. Just as true in Canada as the US, or any other country for that matter. At most, something a government does for you could only be described as a "social program".

      Please refer to the beginning of this post... repeat as needed.
      • How can you maintain staffing rates of old when you no longer have the cash to pay them?

        You borrow the money to pay them, and then you go bankrupt. Oh, wait, that doesn't maintain their jobs very long.
        • You borrow the money to pay them, and then you go bankrupt. Oh, wait, that doesn't maintain their jobs very long.

          Wow, are you ever wrong!
          You borrow the money to balloon payment the executives. Geeesh, I'm never letting you run any company of mine! :)
  • by markv242 ( 622209 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:59PM (#4613376)
    IMHO, Corel has gotten itself into this rut because it has tried to create too much with too little.

    Draw, Wordperfect, Office, etc etc. All the while they're creating ports of .Net to FreeBSD (that won't generate any revenue) and other various frivolous projects. This is a little bit like the plight of Sonic Foundry; getting into video and creating five different audio suites really dilutes the manpower to create great applications.

    What Corel needs to do is concentrate on one product and make sure it's the best in the business. Go after Photoshop. Go after Office (well, on second thought, don't). But don't go after both at the same time.

  • not sad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <asv@ivoss. c o m> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @09:10PM (#4613455) Homepage Journal
    Frankly, I could care less for corel, they rank right up there with MS when it comes to unnecessary upgrades. I started using coreldraw about 10 years ago when version 3 came out. It was a really solid program until version 6, which seemed to be real buggy and rushed. Then corel started pushing upgrades out every year, which out any real value, but you were forced to get it in order to be compatible with clients. They really blew a big opportunity with version 7, which Photopaint was ranked higher than latest photoshop offering at the time by just about every magazine.

    The other reason i hate Corel is they buy really good products and ruin them. A good example is Fractal Painter, which is a really cool product, tons of features. The best part was the integration with tablets. Corel bought painter and it has fallen in to obscurity.

  • News forum, this evening, in a reader-submitted story, revealed shocking allegations and supporting evidence substantiating the claim that someone actually reads the city of ottawa's website.
  • Michael Cowpland took the right direction at the wrong time when he rode on the Linux revolution.
    I believe Linux is the way, but he put too much of the business on doing stuff for a market that wasn't
    ready for it. Even though Michael is not a part of Corel anymore, the damage from this decision still
    affects Corel to this day. I hope they'll return to profit one day.

    The 220 who got pinkslips can look forward to a long period of unemployment since there are about
    30-35,000 unemployed techies in Ottawa. Home Depot recently announced that they wanted to hire
    80 people for a new outlet, and got nearly 30,000 people applying. (techies and non-techies) The only
    way out of this unemployment trap is either to move or to start up your own company.
  • Why isn't Corel releasing the source for their whole office suite, then selling plugins, service, and other add-ons for the base product? Selling their base product isn't working, right? This isn't a rhetorical question. I really want to know if there is a real problem with them going with a different model a la Netscape.
  • So what?! (Score:3, Informative)

    by yalla ( 102708 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @09:17PM (#4613499) Homepage Journal
    Siemens in Germany is laying off ten thousands of workers; the whole telecommunication biz in Germany is on the ground. So why are a couple of hundred workers at Corel are worth a headline at /.?

    Nobody is talking about the thousands at Marconi, Alcatel, AT&T, Siemens, name a company.

    Sorry, i might be a bit pissed of, but sometimes i don't get the point about selective recognition.

  • (though there's plenty there to work with), but I just hope that if worse comes to worst, they find Painter a good home. I'd sure hate to see that proggie's untimely demise.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @10:08PM (#4613751) Homepage
    Let's take an overview of what Corel sells:

    - WordPerfect. Matches every feature of Word, and throws in a few more: Reveal Codes, and a SGML mode, plus frame placement that actually works.

    - Paradox. An awesome database engine. Far better than Access, last I read from the pointy-heads that know this sort of thing.

    - Quattro. At least up to Office 97, it matched Excel for features. I haven't the foggiest what either company has added (or even could add!) to the spreadsheets, so I don't know how they compare now.

    - Ventura Publisher. Its only competition is FrameMaker. It has far better typographic controls and UI, plus it comes with a database publisher that simply rocks, and XML import that appears to be more powerful than FrameMaker's.

    - Corel Draw. It is awesome. I think it can be argued that it's the best general-purpose vector illustration program out there.

    - PhotoPaint. It's easily as good as Photoshop. It does have a rather different UI, but the power is there.

    - XMetaL. From the recent SoftQuad purchase, it is one of the best XML creation/maintenance engines out there. Coupled with Ventura for publishing to print, and it's beyond compare.

    - iGrafx. From another recent purchase, these are a set of Process/Workflow tools that are incredible.

    - Painter. From its Metacreations purchase, Painter is an incredible "natural media" simulation. It's a world apart from Draw and Paint, and a helluva lot of fun.

    I think that pretty much covers their major product list.

    Each and every one of those products ranks in the top three for its category in terms of functionality.

    Unfortunately, Corel has several things going against it:

    - Major (and foolish) Mac bias in the graphics/publishing market.

    - An incompetant marketing department.

    - A history of buggy product releases (though the inevitable service packs always help a lot).

    And, of course, there's always the harsh reality that the best products don't always come out on top... and we're all familiar with some really crappy products that are dominating the market.
    • Unfortunately, Corel has several things going against it:

      - Major (and foolish) Mac bias in the graphics/publishing market.

      Huh? How do Macs fit in to Corel's decline? Corel offers all of its' major graphics programs on the Mac, they just don't sell very well. I think you have "Mac" mixed up with "Adobe".

    • Seriously, I _love_ Corel's software, but there's no way to convince these people in "the industry" to move away from Adobe.

      Case in point: Last conversation I had with a graphics arts teacher I mentioned that I thought CorelDraw was an awesome DTP program, and wondered why not a single machine there has a copy of it (this all stemmed from a problem of people at the College receiving CorelDraw 9.0 files but the College not having anything more recent than CorelDraw 3.0). Her answer? A flat out "Nobody in the art industry anwhere uses CorelAnything whatsoever for anything".

      Well, la-di-da, with that attitude, you guys never will use it, either. That still doesn't stop the Student Association from receiving many various CorelDraw files when they fill up the ad section of the student calendar.

      You know... I think I just realised something. When I have that "M$ is garbage" attitude, I make users who actually find Microsoft's software decent feel just like that. Like "maybe the reason you don't like xyz is because zyx is just too EASY for you!".

      Bummer. Now I feel sad []. Strong sad.
    • - Corel Draw. It is awesome. I think it can be argued that it's the best general-purpose vector illustration program out there.

      Yep, it could be argued. Of course, the person arguing this position would be wrong, but I guess that's beside the point...

      I used to do a lot of portfolio evaluation at the ad agency I work at. People would get pissed when I made a comment like "hmmmm, you must really like Corel, eh?" It's one of those graphics programs which taints every project it touches with its own "feel." Too many gradients, too many too-bright colors. Tacky.

      It's only "awesome" if you don't know any better. Which, apparently, you don't.

      For professional vector illustration, Adobe Illustrator (like Photoshop) is the standard. If you can't use it, well, we won't hire you. Flaws it certainly has, but each revision is better (with the possible exception of 9, which I more or less skipped).

      - Major (and foolish) Mac bias in the graphics/publishing market.

      Okaaaaaaay. You don't like Macs. Congratulations, you're part of the moral majority. Bully for you.

      However, there's a very simple reason that Macs rule in design and publishing: Adobe software runs better on the Mac that it does on Windows, and Adobe software is the engine that drives this industry. You can deny it, and you may dislike it, but it's an established fact.

      Painter? A toy. Always has been. Like you said, "helluva lot of fun." I'm not in this for fun. I'm doing this stuff to please my clients, beat deadlines, and sell product. Having fun is great, but it's more important to get the job done, and get it done right. I'd rather finish my projects early, get off work early and ride a bike or something.

      Corel is failing because too many of its apps are mediocre. It's the Plymouth of the software industry. The only people who buy this stuff are shopping at Office Depot at the time, and pick it because of the pretty box.

      - PhotoPaint. It's easily as good as Photoshop. It does have a rather different UI, but the power is there.

      It's an interesting little world you live in, isn't it? I think maybe next time you should wait until the pails on the lunchbox tree are ripe before you tuck in...


  • Guy I know, knows someone in his class who's on a workterm at Corel...

    Turns out that as of noon today he was the only one left on his *floor* that still had a job.

    *Everyone* he knew at Corel was laid off today.

    He's not quite sure what he's going to do tomorrow. :)
  • Not to sound trollish on Corel, but...

    Personal experience with WP 2002 is that it runs sluggishly and I can expect it to crash every time I run it. Furthermore, the VBA module to automate WP is poorly documented at best.

    We were trying to merge documents of different sizes and orientations into a single file per a client request... something MS Word is horrible with due to the alternating headers. Acrobat was not an option because they did not a document they couldn't alter/cut/paste and all that jazz.

    After an entire week of development, we found that if you used late binding on some of the objects to activate a hidden parameter, you would get the desired effect of pasting a bunch of documents together. If you used early binding, the program would crash horrifically. The app is full of stuff like that.

    Further parsing and automation via WP has been a nightmare. I honestly don't know why the law profession is still using it, other than the fact that the legal profession seems to stay behind the curve with technology anyways. It seems legal partners are not eager to blow money on IT. If someone could explain it to me, I'd appreciate it.

    I'm surprised Corel is still around. They might not be around in another couple years if they don't fix their WP app quickly. OpenOffice is more stable and you can't beat the price. How can you compete with free or with Microsoft?

    I don't think its possible.

"The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language."