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Corel's last chance: Can they get a clue?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Corel is the only software company I know that has messed up its chance for greatness more than Apple.

It would be tiring to go into every aspect of their past incompetence, which has seen them badly bruised and beaten by both Microsoft in the Office arena and Adobe in the Graphics arena.

Still, you have to admire their persistence. A lesser company would have packed it in by now.

Their current plan is to build a WordPerfect Office for Linux.

Now that the company is under new management, maybe the players involved will recognize that Microsoft's dominance can only be assailed by offering a truly cross-platform alternative.

And that means WordPerfect Office for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Keep the present WordPerfect for Windows, and build versions for Mac and Linux off the same codebase. The whole package wouldn't need to be ported at once. Start with the Word-Processor and Spreadsheet and add a new app each year. $99. per app like Keynote.

Of course, this is a company that just surrendered the graphics front to Adobe, so I'm not hopeful they'll get this one right. But it would be nice to have a successor to WordPerfect 3.5e on the platform again, wouldn't it?
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post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
....

Their current plan is to build a WordPerfect Office for Linux.

....

Yes, let's target a platform preferred by people who don't like to pay for software. Better yet, let's compete against established alternatives that are currently free. Sure sounds like a plan to me!
post #3 of 17
I for one would appreciate this simply for compatibility's sake. I keep the last, still-freely-available, version of WordPerfect around since I keep on finding finding people sending me files in WP format. Work-wise, having this programme available has become essential for me. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work perfectly. An OS X version would therefore be most appreciated.
post #4 of 17
I wish WordPerfect would be resurrected on the Mac, but it may be too late for that.

The decline of WordPerfect - on all platforms - is a long, sad story about which I have posted before. I'm not going to comment on the full story right now, but needless to say that Corel has to take some share of the blame, as does Novell, who had it for a while and did not know what to do with it. The original WordPerfect people also have much to answer for: after being in a commanding position in the wordprocessing software market in the early 90s, their actions, and lack of action, started the ball rolling downward (above all, through their first botched attempt at a Windows version). But another culprit is Microsoft and its sometimes predatory practices - a long, involved story in and of itself, of which WordPerfect is obviously not the only victim.

It's too bad, because I really think that WordPerfect had the better product and better approach. I never was - and still am not - all that happy with MS Word. I think that we all can do better than MS Word - nevertheles, here I sit, using the Word product. Sigh.
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post #5 of 17
if word perfect is to have a chance, they need to rebuild their product from the ground up, code-wise. they should not build off what they already have. downloading a 80MB patch for your WP software is terrible, nothing i could recommend. considering they're still the only one that really allow you to show codes i can't believe they haven't done better.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Yes, let's target a platform preferred by people who don't like to pay for software. Better yet, let's compete against established alternatives that are currently free. Sure sounds like a plan to me!

Exactly...

Anyone else wondering how they're planning on generating revenue?
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by dfiler
Exactly...

Anyone else wondering how they're planning on generating revenue?

I just hope that before Corel implodes, they donate Painter to Apple...or opensource it.
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post #8 of 17
I'm sure that this "WordPerfect for Linux" will be just like the previous version _a hybrid product that uses the WINE emulator to host a lot of the backend functionality, in effect running the program half as a real Linux program, half as a Windows program.

Since that sort of functionality is unavailable on the Mac, they'd have to go back to the 3.5 codebase, which is ancient, and do a lot of reworking to get a new product out the door. Which, sadly, I don't think they'd be able to do, even if they attempted to. Corel is in a death throe.

I think the WordPerfect codebase is a curse. Has any company that's touched it come away from it unscathed?
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Kirkland
I'm sure that this "WordPerfect for Linux" will be just like the previous version _a hybrid product that uses the WINE emulator to host a lot of the backend functionality, in effect running the program half as a real Linux program, half as a Windows program.

Since that sort of functionality is unavailable on the Mac, they'd have to go back to the 3.5 codebase, which is ancient, and do a lot of reworking to get a new product out the door. Which, sadly, I don't think they'd be able to do, even if they attempted to. Corel is in a death throe.

I think the WordPerfect codebase is a curse. Has any company that's touched it come away from it unscathed?

The real problem with WordPerfect is not just the codebase. It is the application's underlying paradigm. WordPerfect was developed for the Data General Nova II. Its clean screen paradigm was very successful in the minicomputer/dumb terminal era. The wordprocessor was successfully ported to MS-DOS when the personal computer's CLI was king. The advent of the GUI put WordPerfect in a new world that was fundamentally at odds with its origins. It was there that WordPerfect lost its way. It attempted to keep its toe in the era of the dumb terminal, while adopting to the GUI. But you can't serve two masters. WordPerfect needs to do more than just rewrite the application from scratch. It has to rethink its reason for being.

I have two suggestions. The original WordPerfect was the most efficient product of its kind. It needs to figure out how to make an efficient GUI-based product. Microsoft has given it a tremendous opportunity in that regard. Of course, the new WordPerfect has to read and write documents that documents written in its legacy formats. The format-code paradigm should make format translations relatively simple. However, the default format should be based on a modern paradigm--XML?
post #10 of 17
I wish they could get it together. I still have fond memories of WP9 and find MS Word unusable. I actually make other people do my word docs for me I hate it that much.
post #11 of 17
What is with all you people who dont like MS Word? It works fine for me, jesus christ its not that ****ing hard.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Logan
What is with all you people who dont like MS Word? It works fine for me, jesus christ its not that ****ing hard.

Try the fact that Microsoft felt Write (free app in Windows 3.1) threatened Word sales so much, they replaced Write with a much inferior program (Wordpad) in Windows 95.

Word isn't very hard, it's just bloated and not very powerful - and overpriced by far. Word's best feature is "compatibility with Word"... only I've heard that OpenOffice sometimes opens a previous Office document better than the current Office.

Personally, I don't really do word processing, I edit text and (on rare occasions) publish it.

What is so great about Word then?
post #13 of 17
Well, there's nothing INCREDIBLY great, but its the best thing out there. I don't know why people bash MS Word when the crap that comes out of my ass is a more powerful word processor than AppleWorks.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Logan
Well, there's nothing INCREDIBLY great, but its the best thing out there. I don't know why people bash MS Word when the crap that comes out of my ass is a more powerful word processor than AppleWorks.

Get this through your think head. AppleWorks, just like every other works program, is intended for non-professional uses. The target market is students and home users, not professional writers.

As for why people bash Word, people don't like being trapped irrespective of the quality of the trap. Word supporters claim that the Microsoft word processor guarantees 100% compatibility with Word documents. They have obviously never actually used Word in an even slightly heterogeneous environment. Two different installations of Word will render the same document differently even with Windows. But, it is the best that we can do so we use Word.

We use Word even when file compatibility is not a driving issue. We don't use Word because it is the best word processor out there, we use it because it is the only professional word processor on MacOS X. MacWrite II is a distant memory. FullWrite 2 is defunct for about the 15th time. WordPerfect is dead, due in no small part to Microsoft's paying Corel off. Nisus Write has been converted from a first rate MacOS 9 application into a child's toy for MacOS X. Now, alas, even FrameMaker is defunct.

However, all is not lost, not quite yet. AbiWord is coming along very nicely. Let us hope that the MacOS X-native Open Office comes to fruition.
post #15 of 17
Get this through your head: MICROSOFT WORD IS NOT THAT BAD. Once you get past the learning curve you'll like it. Guaranteed.

Logan
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Me
AbiWord is coming along very nicely. Let us hope that the MacOS X-native Open Office comes to fruition.

As a non-word processing guy, I'm interested. What's missing or broken in Abiword and X11 version of Oo.O that would make them "pro" word processors?
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Logan
Get this through your head: MICROSOFT WORD IS NOT THAT BAD. Once you get past the learning curve you'll like it. Guaranteed.

Logan

Word processors are not supposed to be tests of manhood. They are supposed to be tools to get work done.
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