Corel serves up suite bargains

Corel has issued a serious pricing challenge for Microsoft Office by licensing its Office Professional suite by the number of Windows NT 4.0 servers running it, rather than the traditional method of number of users.

Corel has issued a serious pricing challenge for Microsoft Office by licensing its Office Professional suite by the number of Windows NT 4.0 servers running it, rather than the traditional method of number of users.

The strategy, already underway in the US, will shortly be in place across Europe and only applies to NT 4.0 servers. The move, effectively a big price cut, would buy market share from Microsoft Office, the clear leader in office software. Analysts give Microsoft about 85 per cent of the suite market although Corel is pushing hard in retail sales.

Eric Lefebvre, Corel European communications manager, denied that Corel is dumping the product on the market but said it is using a new method of licensing. "We are not launching a price war, but only applying a concept and strategy that is a good fit for Corel," he said. "This strategy will not reduce our revenues but actually increase them. Profitability will remain, as we will also get accounts that would not have looked at us without this new licensing program."

Corel bought the WordPerfect suite of applications from Novell early this year and has made suite products available from as little as £61 in the UK. A Java-based suite is currently being developed.

Corel's UK agent Channel Market Makers can be contacted by telephone on 01703-814142.

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