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Corel gets Linux help

Cygnus Solutions pulls in another win by hitching itself to the rising Linux star, inking a deal to help Corel move its software to the rival operating system.

Software tool developer Cygnus Solutions has pulled in another win by hitching itself to the rising Linux star, inking a deal to help Corel move its software to the Unix-like operating system.

In an effort to compete with rival Microsoft, Corel has been backing Linux for several months, most notably with a version of its WordPerfect word processor and promises of future editions of all its other office applications, including spreadsheets, databases, and illustration software. But translating all that software to Linux is a monumental task.

Enter Cygnus, a company that makes its living by writing the software tools necessary to let programmers write software for new chips. Cygnus most recently benefited from Linux's ascendancy with funding from Intel to help Linux benefit from the new instructions in Pentium MMX and Pentium III chips.

Cygnus will help Corel by beefing up its own GNUPro software tools, the company said. For example, it will improve the compatibility with Windows software development tools so programmers won't have to change much code when getting software originally written for Windows to work on Linux.

Another key part of Corel's strategy to get its software working under Linux is supporting the Wine effort, a Linux feature that lets Windows programs run unchanged on Linux machines.

Corel announced last week that it not only would bring its office software to Linux, but also would begin work on a version of the operating system geared to nontechnical users.