Corel will be Web-everything

Corel will have Web-enabled versions of all its applications making it perfect for the application service provider (ASP) environment, says CEO and founder Dr Michael Cowpland.

Corel will have Web-enabled versions of all its applications making it perfect for the application service provider (ASP) environment, says CEO and founder Dr Michael Cowpland.

Cowpland was speaking at the Computerworld Expo in Auckland where Corel launched Word Perfect Office 2000 for Linux.

Next month Corel will announce two ASP partners in New Zealand. One will offer the Office suite based on Windows and Linux hosts to corporate customers and the other will be focused on distribution channel partners.

Clients will access the applications via their browser.

Cowpland says for Corel there will be a lot more focus on the Web in future.

"Although we are 90% fat clients at the moment it will be more like 50/50 in the future," he says. "We will have a Web hosted flavour of everything we've got."

An example is Web Point, an application similar to Microsoft Power Point but which will be Web hosted, that launches in two weeks.

Despite Corel's high Linux profile the company is also committed to developing for the Windows platform, says Cowpland.

"We use both Windows and Linux on the desktop. We're not anti-Windows and we'll continue to aggressively develop for Windows. We want people to have a choice."

Corel plans to integrate connectivity software by GraphOn into its desktop version of the Linux operating system, thus enabling users to run Windows applications.

Corel signed a deal with GraphOn to use GraphOn's Bridges software in its version of Linux, which was introduced last November.

The version of Corel Linux OS containing both Linux client and Windows NT server licenses for GraphOn Bridges is scheduled to ship in the middle of this year.

With the Corel Linux desktop OS, users will be able to remotely access, by dialling-up to a server or connecting to the Internet, Windows applications, Corel Windows applications and most other Windows applications residing on a Windows NT server, without having to license any additional software.

Cowpland's comments on the commitment to the Windows platform are probably also intended to soothe the ranks of Borland developers it acquired when the two companies merged in February.

At the time some questioned whether Borland would continue as a strong development platform for Windows.

"Up until now we've had desktop applications but we haven't had tools. Now we have those through Borland Jbuilder and Visigenix."

Cowpland says Visigenix will also enable e-commerce development ó- a market which is small but of high value.

So far about 5% of Corel customers are using Linux. The company did two million downloads of Word Perfect 8.0 for Linux. "There's a lot of free stuff going out there at the moment which is good because it gets people used to using the products."

Cowpland says the people buying Linux tend to be early adopters or people looking to save money.

He says the main selling point of Corel Linux is ease of use and compatibility with all other types of system files.

Last year Corel made a $US17 million profit on turnover of $US240 million.

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