Corel joins Linux stampede with new wares

Corel is aiming to break into the top ranks of the Linux world, readying a new version of its WordPerfect Suite for the open-source operating system and inking an OEM deal with US hardware-maker PC Chips, which will bundle Corel Linux with all of its motherboards.

The Canadian vendor will take the wraps off its desktop distribution of Linux this week at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas. The basic version of Corel Linux with no third-party applications or support will be offered for free internet download on November 15. Two packaged versions of the operating system - a standard edition of Corel Linux and a deluxe edition that includes WordPerfect 8 for Linux - will be ready for retail sale by the end of the month, according to company officials.

Also at Comdex, Corel will announce the second beta test release of the next version of WordPerfect for Linux.

PC Chips, which claims to have shipped 15 million motherboards to both top-tier and second-tier PC manufacturers last year, has agreed to bundle Corel's WordPerfect for Linux and WordPerfect Suite 8 with its motherboards.

The agreement also calls for the two companies to conduct joint marketing via Corel's Web site.

PC Chips officials said it will ship Corel Linux, WordPerfect 8, and Version 8 of WordPerfect Suite on a CD included with every motherboard. Some PC makers voiced support for what they believe will be a low-cost alternative for users.

"Having the choice to install a Linux workstation means consumers will save hundreds of dollars on tools and applications with this package, because the WordPerfect 8 for Linux software is included," said Basat Khalifa, marketing director at IPC Direct, a Canadian computer manufacturer, in Ottawa.

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