Corel’s promise to WordPerfect users that the product will not be allowed to lay down and die has been strengthened by the latest reincarnation of the popular word processor.
Corel’s Office Professional 7 for Windows 95 ships with many of the core products featured in the earlier WordPerfect Suite 7 (WordPerfect 7, Quattro Pro 7 and Presentations 7), plus a host of additional features which offer OLE functionality, open network integration and Internet connectivity.
Office Professional 7 also features Barista, an application which allows users to create documents based entirely on the Java language. Users do not need any previous programming experience and documents created using Barista are platform-independent and will work with any Java-compatible browser.
Other products featured in Office Professional include CorelDraw 6, Netscape Navigator 2.01, the Paradox 7 database, Groupwise 4.1 and the Desktop Applications Director (DAD), which lets users launch the core applications from the task bar.
Corel’s decision to ship WordPerfect 7 only as part of the suite reflects a worldwide trend. Overseas research shows while WordPerfect has 56% of the standalone word processor market, by 1999 95% of word processors will be sold in suites, up from 72% in 1995.
Responding to Corel’s reduced pricing of the WordPerfect suite in recent OEM agreements, Microsoft executives say the company will “do what we have to do to retain market share from Corel”, though they may be surprised by the latest US retail sales figures showing WordPerfect suite running slightly ahead of Office.
While Corel’s WordPerfect suites may be the newest suite in town, that won’t last for long. Lotus and Microsoft are readying the next versions of their suites for release by the end of 1996. Lotus’s new version of SmartSuite will finally incorporate 32-bit editions of 1-2-3 and the Organiser PIM. And based on the previews, Microsoft’s Office 97 may provide stiff competition for the WordPerfect Suite’s Internet features. Office 97 adds a slew of new Internet tools and replaces Schedule+ with Outlook, a workgroup information manager with Web features.
Available in this country from late September, Corel Office Professional 7 is $849; the upgrade is $449 (excluding GST).