Corel plans hardware, software barrage

Graphics and illustration specialist Corel this week detailed next year's software updates and plans to push into hardware.

WordPerfect Suite 8 for Windows 95 and NT is planned for summer 1997 but Corel will deliver a 7.x update in February to compete with Microsoft's first quarter release of Office 97. A preview of WordPerfect Suite 8 for Java can be downloaded from Monday with a final version due in January.

Media relations manager Marc-Antoine Benglia said Corel will also branch into systems with the Portable Network Computer (PNC) and a Network Computer (NC). Both will sell for around £400, run on native Java operating systems and have WordPerfect Suite for Java in ROM. The PNC is a handeld device that will boast handwriting input, an Internet browser and a colour screen.

Corel won't manufacture the devices but plans a short run of 1,000 preview units in June 1997, although a manufacturer hasn't yet been selected. "The intention is not to be a hardware manufacturer," said Benglia. "If we partner with a good manufacturer [the NC] may not even be badged Corel."

Corel will drop CorelDraw 4 and 5, and replace CorelDraw 6 with version 7 for sale within the first two weeks of October. It will include PhotoPaint 7, context sensitive menus, an enhanced colour management system and support for Intel MMX processors.

Other software releases include the DTP package Ventura 7 at the end of October, graphics utility Print and Photo House due early November, and a new video-editing suite for Windows 95, Corel Lumiere, at the end of the year.

For information on the PNC, Corel can be contacted by telephone on 0800-581028. For software information, Channel Market Makers can be contacted by telephone on 01703-814142.

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