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Corel reinforces Mac commitment

Demonstrating how it has forsaken its PC-only heritage, the company announces new software titles for the Mac OS X operating system. Adobe: Are you watching?

LAS VEGAS--Proving that it has truly forsaken its PC-only heritage, Corel on Thursday announced new software titles for the Mac OS X operating system and pledged to bring all future titles to the new OS.

Specifically, Corel announced that new versions of graphics programs CorelDraw and Photo-Paint are available.

Apple Computer is helping to promote Corel's products, stocking the titles prominently in its retail stores and promoting them at its online store. Corel has been quick to bring its titles to the new Mac operating system, in contrast to rival Adobe Systems, which has been slowly releasing new versions of its software for OS X.

The most important piece of software for OS X, Microsoft Office X, is set to hit store shelves next week. Office X brings Microsoft's popular word processing, spreadsheet and other office applications to the new Mac OS.

Apple is holding up Corel as a model for what it would like to see from other software developers.

"I think in a lot of cases (Corel) can be held up as the gold standard for OS X development," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations.

Corel has been trying to use its early adoption of OS X as a way to grab market share from Adobe. Ian LeGrow, Corel's executive vice president of creative products, said the company hopes graphics professionals will give a second thought to the programs that are on their hard drives and consider Corel's titles as an alternative to Adobe programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

"That's why we moved in so quickly," LeGrow said.

Corel has a long history of trying to attach its fortunes to alternatives to the Windows operating system, having earlier tried to sell versions of its software that ran on the Linux operating system or on Sun Microsystems' Java technology. However, Microsoft invested $135 million in Corel last year in a move billed as an effort to garner support for the software giant's .Net initiative.

see tech trends: CNET.com: What's hot, and not, at Comdex The company did not start bringing its software onto the Macintosh until 1997.

Corel promised at this summer's Macworld Expo in New York to increase its Mac efforts, and it announced a new Procreate brand for some of its titles for the Mac.

And while Corel is increasing its presence at Mac shows, it was absent from this week's Fall 2001 Comdex trade show.

"This is the first year in a long time that we haven't been there," LeGrow said.