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Gateway snubs Microsoft

In another blow to Microsoft, Gateway plans to include Corel's WordPerfect 10 and Quattro Pro 10 on its 300s desktops.

    In another blow to Microsoft, a fourth computer maker plans to bundle Corel's WordPerfect Office with its low-end consumer machines.

    Gateway is planning to include WordPerfect 10 and Quattro Pro 10 on its 300s desktops in North America.

    "This alliance enables Corel to introduce a whole new group of customers to the unique benefits of our productivity solutions," Steve Houck, Corel's executive vice president of strategic relations, said in a statement.

    Gateway's move follows similar decisions by Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and Sony, which in recent months have chosen Corel's WordPerfect over Microsoft's software for some of their consumer machines.

    In a significant win for Corel, HP announced in August that it would stop carrying Microsoft software on its Pavilion machines and bundle WordPerfect instead. Two weeks ago, Sony said it would offer Corel's software on its desktops while keeping Microsoft's software on its notebooks.

    The agreements mark a major resurgence for WordPerfect, which was once an independent company and a major competitor to Microsoft. Novell bought the program in the mid-1990s and then later sold it to Corel.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Office became the dominant productivity suite, partly because of the company's strict licensing deals with hardware makers. Now, however, some business software buyers are protesting against new Microsoft licensing plans that lock them into expensive upgrades and are looking for less expensive alternatives.

    Corel wouldn't estimate the price difference between its office software and Microsoft's when bundled on machines, but retail versions of WordPerfect sell for about $100 less than Office.