Canadian software company Corel is staking megabucks on turning Wordperfect into a success, following the purchase of the suite from networking software firm Novell in January (PC Dealer, 31 January).
Under the guidance of new owner Michael Cowpland, president and CEO, Corel hopes to grab 30 per cent of the market, five per cent more than even Lotus aims to capture with Smartsuite.
But Clive Longbottom, senior research analyst at the Meta Group, was pessimistic about the attempt. 'The Corel package will impress some people and their big hope is to sign some OEM deals, but Microsoft has won the battle anyway.
'Corel's offering is not a recipe for disaster but it is a recipe for long-term decline, they won't bring in enough sales to develop it. We'll just be back to the Borland Backoffice approach again,' he said.
Wordperfect is being sold as an office suite, complete with business graphics and Internet access, at a street price of $100 - $100 less than Microsoft's offering. The suite will ship in April, with a Windows 95 version available in May.
'If you look at the value being offered, people will vote with their cheque books because it is unparalleled,' said Cowpland.
Corel hopes the product will generate between $250 and $300 million of revenues in fiscal 1996, bringing its total revenue to about $500 million for the fiscal year ending November 30. Wordperfect's current market share is seven per cent.
Novell bought Wordperfect two years ago for $1.4 billion, but was forced to sell it to Corel for just $116 million.
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