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Corel gets set for next WordPerfect

The Canadian software maker sets a date of late April for the release of the latest version of its flagship office suite, reworked to lure in corporate buyers.

Canadian software maker Corel on Wednesday announced it will release the newest version of its flagship office suite, WordPerfect Office 11, in late April.

The new suite contains many of the same features as previous versions but adds expanded collaborative tools, the company said.

Corel said it has redone Extensible Markup Language (XML) integration in WordPerfect Office 11 to allow people to publish slide shows, spreadsheets and WordPerfect files to XML. The integration also gives people greater file-sharing options and supports sending data across multiple computing devices, the company said.

Corel, which last month reported wider losses for 2002 fiscal year, is pinning its turnaround hopes on attracting corporate customers with applications designed to integrate XML into business processes.

The software maker has been touting its flexible licensing options, hoping to lure enterprise customers frustrated with Microsoft's controversial licensing policy. Last year, several major PC makers, such as Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard, began to offer customers Corel software as a less-expensive alternative to Microsoft's products.

"With WordPerfect Office 11, we're offering a highly capable product to longtime WordPerfect Office users and to a growing number of users seeking an alternative to Microsoft's cost and strict terms of licensing," said Graham Brown, executive vice president of software development at Corel, in a statement.

Microsoft's office suite, however, continues to have a commanding lead in the market. The software giant plans to officially launch Office 2003 Beta 2 on Monday.

Another rival software is StarOffice from Sun Microsystems.

Some new or expanded WordPerfect Office 11 features include:

  • New Document Map and Collaborative Review functions designed to improve formatting control and to enhance workflow.
  • The ability to share files by publishing to PDF and HTML, and support for Open Document Management API (application programming interface).
  • New e-mail document routing capabilities and the ability to let WordPerfect users collaborate via Microsoft Outlook.
  • New office integration with Corel's Quattro Pro spreadsheet application, allowing people to update their spreadsheets remotely using cell phones.

    Corel said it offers a choice of licensing programs designed for professionals and a range of payment options through its Corel License Program.

    WordPerfect Office 11 will be offered in standard and professional editions. The professional edition will be available as a license-only product for enterprises. WordPerfect Office 11 Standard edition will sell for about $300.