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Corel to make Net boxes work more

Corel wants to give Internet terminal users something to do with the $500 boxes.

Corel wants to give Internet terminal users something to do with the $500 boxes.

The company announced plans today to deliver a Java version of its existing suite of office productivity applications that will run on any Java-enabled browsers on any platform, including the coming Network Computers.

While Oracle has released an outline of the hardware specifications for the NC and some 18 vendors have announced plans to manufacture them, few companies have so far announced plans to provide productivity applications for the devices. Oracle has said that it will deliver a suite of basic applications called JavaWorks but hasn't provided any details.

Corel's Java applications won't turn up until early 1997, when the suite will appear as a collection of components, or single-purpose software objects that the user can mix and match. Code-named Corel Office JV, the suite will draw from technology now used in WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, and Corel Chart.

WordPerfect comprises the main document "container," or the frame that holds all the other elements. The user, for example, could pick a chart-making component and a spreadsheet component from a taskbar and incorporate them directly into a single WordPerfect document, thereby creating a compound document. These documents could then be easily converted into HTML and published directly to the Web where they could be read by anyone with a Java-enabled browser.

Corel said additional components will be added later but didn't specify which ones or how much they will cost.

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