Tech Industry

Corel changes its Office tune

Software maker Corel quietly drops the "Office" moniker from its productivity application suite, which will begin shipping at the end of this month.

Software maker Corel (COSFF) has quietly dropped the "Office" moniker from its productivity application suite, which will begin shipping at the end of this month.

The company has also revamped its plans to integrate Netscape Communications' Communicator into the suite, as previously reported CNET's NEWS.COM.

Now simply called WordPerfect Suite 8, the suite will first ship in a standard version, with a professional version to follow this summer. The company had previously said the professional version would ship in July, but final release hinges on completion of CorelCentral, a groupware/email/scheduling component based on Netscape's Communicator.

Standard CorelCentral was previously slated to be lighter in features than Professional. Current plans now call for the same version in both suites. Central will have email, an address book, a card file, discussion group threads, telephone and whiteboard conferencing, and a scheduler based on Starfish Software's Sidekick, which Corel integrated into version 7 of its suite.

The standard edition of WordPerfect Suite 8, however, will not ship with Central, except for the address book feature. Buyers will have to order and install Central separately when it becomes available. The only extra charge will be shipping and handling. The added components, which share information with other applications in the suite, should integrate seamlessly, the company said.

"It will function exactly as if they had purchased the suite with CorelCentral on the CD," a Corel spokeswoman said.

The standard edition will include WordPerfect 8, QuattroPro 8, Presentations 8, CorelCentral, PhotoHouse 1.1, Netscape Navigator 3.0, the Envoy 7 viewer, 30-day Internet access, Bitstream Font Navigator 2, plus font, clip art, and photo libraries. Installation of CorelCentral will automatically upgrade the browser to Navigator 4.0.

Now that CorelCentral will be the same in both versions of the suite, the only major difference will be the inclusion of the Paradox 8 database, the WebSite Builder authoring tool, and the Timeline time management software in the professional edition.

The standard WordPerfect Suite 8 will cost $375 or $179 for upgrades, not including rebates. No pricing has been announced for the Professional edition.

To go along with version 8 of its suite, Corel is introducing the Freedom licensing program. Freedom will let business customers pay their license fee once a year. The fee allows customers to pay based either on total employee head count or on the number of workstations that will install the software. If the company adds employee users during the year, they don't need to change the license until the end of the year.

Top-level pricing for the Freedom license is $75 for the standard version and $99 for the professional version for 100 to 999 seats (employees or workstations). Prices per seat decrease at 1,000 seats and again at 3,000 seats, according to Georges Sabongui, director of major markets programs.

Corel is also planning a version of WordPerfect Suite 8 professional for the NT 4 server, but pricing and lineup have not been finalized. It will be available after the release of the non-NT server version of WordPerfect Suite 8 professional.