WordPerfect update due early 1997

Corel plans to upgrade its Windows-based suite early next year.

Corel, which last week released a preview version of its Corel Office for Java suite, plans to upgrade its Windows-based suite early next year. The upgrade, Version 8 of the WordPerfect suite, is expected to be released in the first quarter of 1997, company officials say. The upgrade price will be US$100.

The next version will be further integrated with the Internet and offer interactive tutorials as well as a help feature similar to Microsoft's Office Assistant.

New features in Version 8 of the WordPerfect suite include:

-- speed improvements based on fine-tuning of the code;

-- new user enhancements with a user interface that is closer to the look and feel of Windows 95;

-- an editable property bar across the suite that allows automatic updating of objects by letting users click on an object and change its characteristics;

-- a user assistant feature or a task-based interface that is consistent across all of the applications; and

-- the capability to go to a Web site within an application.

The preview version of the Corel Office for Java suite includes Corel WordPerfect for Java, Corel Quattro Pro for Java, and CorelChart for Java. A beta version is expected to be available by the end of the year.

Corel plans to release the Java-based suite next second quarter.

Michael Cowpland, CEO of the Ottawa-based company, says Corel is in the final stage of negotiations with Oracle, Sun and IBM to bundle the Java-based suite when those companies ship their network computers. Pricing for the Java-based suite will be US$80 for single units and US$60 per user on a site-licence basis.

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