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Corel adjusts price of software suite

Corel is set to unveil a new three-tiered licensing program for its upcoming Office for the Windows NT Server 4.0 suite.

Corel (COSFF) announced today a three-tiered licensing program for its upcoming Office for the Windows NT Server 4.0 suite due out by the end of the month.

The suite is comprised of Windows 95 and NT client versions of WordPerfect 7, Quattro Pro 7, Presentations 7, Paradox 7, InfoCentral 7, TimeLine, Envoy 7 Viewer, Netscape Navigator 2.02, WebGraphics Suite, Web.Data, Web.Site Builder, and the Netscape FastTrack server. The Windows 3.1 version will have most of the same features but in earlier versions.

A single-copy purchase will cost $1,995. Companies with multiple servers must buy the single-copy version first, then additional versions for $1,595.

For companies with more than 25 servers, the per-server price goes as low as $1,200 depending on the number of copies purchased.

The company is also on track to release a full beta version of its Office suite written entirely in Java, with the final release set for the first quarter of 1997. A limited-function preview of the Java suite has been posted on the company's Web site since last month.

Corel is banking on the nascent network computer trend to build demand for applications that reside on central servers and are downloaded by users on an ad hoc basis. Such demand could be slow in coming, said one analyst.

"The market for a Java-based suite is extremely narrow, especially in the near foreseeable future," said Dan Lavin, senior industry analyst at Dataquest.

Still, others are crowding Corel as the publicity machines start to crank out compelling pictures of a networked, thin-client world. Oracle recently announced it would add a trio of Java applets called HatTrick to its InterOffice groupware, and Lotus Development is making noise about producing a set of Java applications next year, possibly to be released under the title SmartSuite for Java.

Before it gets to Java, IBM subsidiary Lotus Development in January will release SmartSuite 97 featuring 32-bit versions of the 1-2-3 spreadsheet, Organizer PIM, the Approach database, and Freelance Graphics. It will let users share their Organizer 97 files by a network file server or a Web server and use them through a Web browser. SmartSuite 97 will cost $399, $149 for upgrades.