Corel Brings Linux Office 2000 Beta to the Web

Moving to create a total desktop solution for Linux, Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL) announced Friday that the first beta version of its WordPerfect Office 2000 suite for Linux is available through online beta testing sites.

“WordPerfect 8 has been the most popular Linux application with over 900,000 downloads to date on CNET alone, commented Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and CEO of Corel. “Now the availability of our full office suite, which includes compatibility for Windows users, will accelerate mass deployment of Corel LINUX for mainstream use.”

Availability and Features

The Linux version of the WordPerfect Office 2000 suite provides users with the same capabilities that are available to users of Windows. However, the Linux suite — which will install on all major Linux distributions — is compatible with the Windows version of WordPerfect Office 2000.

Beyond the standard office suite functionality, Corel’s new Linux-based beta will include its Application Services Printing Library, which allows added control over printer settings and printer selection. It will also include the Bitstream Font Server support for TrueType and Type 1 fonts.

The second WordPerfect for Linux office suite beta will be available in February, and the final commercial version will hit the market later in the year.

Moving Past Controversy

Corel experienced some light public flogging in fall 1999 when it began beta testing its distribution of the Linux OS. Open-source guru Eric Raymond, among others, accused the company of violating the GNU Public License (GPL) and of stealing open-source code.

The agreement that accompanied Corel’s beta stated that “all right, title and interest to all intellectual property with respect to the products shall remain with Corel and its licensors.” The company only applied the agreement to the beta version of the OS and dropped it from the boxed edition.

Derik Belair, Linux brand manager for Corel, told the E-Commerce Times that the company learned its lesson quickly. “We learned that we needed to be more specific in our beta testing agreement to make sure that it was clear the agreement applied only to Corel-specific components.”

“At the same time, many people in the open-source community stood behind Corel and understood that we’re learning as we go,” Belair added.

Bringing Windows to Linux

Earlier this month, Corel announced that it had tapped the services of Web-enabling solutions provider GraphOn Corp., incorporating the GraphOn Bridges product into the Corel LINUX OS package to enable users to run Windows applications over any connection.

“With the integration of GraphOn Bridges into the Corel LINUX OS, it will be easy to enjoy the benefits and high reliability of Linux while having access to the most widely used Windows applications,” stated Cowpland.

The move was part of a more recent Corel thrust to migrate product focus and theoretically client interest to the Linux open-source OS.

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