Corel Corp claims it’s in the catbird seat when it comes to Network Computers and will be the only application fully written in Java – outside email and browsers – ready to ship at the beginning of next year. Corel’s by-default position should become official within the next two months, when the Network Computer Gang […]
Corel Corp claims it’s in the catbird seat when it comes to Network Computers and will be the only application fully written in Java – outside email and browsers – ready to ship at the beginning of next year. Corel’s by-default position should become official within the next two months, when the Network Computer Gang of Five consortia fill in details about the Internet terminal and Corel announces its OEM deals and produces a beta. Corel’s WordPerfect suite in Java (CI No 2,924) – its legal department is still trying to find a name for the suite using the heavily trademarked coffee name – will feature 80% of the current desktop WordPerfect suite features and take up single digit megabytes of memory. Corel said Network Computer manufacturers will bundle a Corel suite smart card with the machines that would give them free access rights for one part of the suite, such as wordprocessing, but then require a fee for other areas such as spreadsheets. Corel expects it will still charge corporates for traditional site licenses. It says the Java version will be the best option for mixed environments and function with any intranet groupware server with ODBC, ODMA, LDAP and other standard hooks, which will make it superior to Microsoft Corp’s Office or Lotus Notes. Corel disparaged Lotus for being too Notes-centric. Our system will be able to talk to Oracle or any back office system, Corel said. With the Java version in an intranet environment, Corel’s suite acts like client server software, but makes installation and maintenance easier, for example, an administrator could send out a memo in the form of a Java applet telling users about an upgrade or new software, which would instantly be installed as they read it. Corel doesn’t expect Fortune 1,000 companies just to throw out their desktop suites entirely, but already has companies trying out the pre-beta in departmental environments. Companies rarely switch suites, but Corel sees Internet terminals as an opportunity to convince users in mixed environments to make the move away from Cambridge and Redmond. Will the Java version be cheaper? Corel isn’t sure. Since it offers less features it seems as though the price should drop, but since it has more cross platform capability Corel may end up charging more than its current suite price of about $700. Corel also said yesterday it will release a software developers kit for its Barista publishing engine, probably before the end of the year. With the Barista technology and Corel Office for Java, users will be able to publish to HTML, Acrobat, Common Ground, Envoy and others. Meanwhile, Corel launched its Office Professional 7 for Windows 95 suite yesterday, which allows users to publish documents directly to Java and costs $700 for the CD-ROM version and $300 for upgrades.