Corel sets Linux debut for Comdex

New installation program will remove need for techie knowledge

Corel will demonstrate its new desktop Linux operating system next month at Comdex in Las Vegas.

Corel first showed Corel Linux at the LinuxWorld Expo in August. It is based on the Debian/GNU Linux distribution and contains the K Desktop Environment, a Windows-like user interface.

Company officials said they are targeting technology enthusiasts and small businesses that are looking for power, performance, stability and cost-effectiveness in an operating system. Although it is generally accepted that Linux is difficult for non-technical users to install and operate, Corel has enhanced the GUI and created a new installation program that is simple and fast, officials said.

"We can provide extra value regarding ease of use [because] Corel's version takes down the barriers," said Susan Gautier, a spokeswoman for Corel. The company is now working with third-party software providers to strengthen the operating system and hopes to reach agreements with PC manufacturers to bundle it in the future.

Corel Linux can be downloaded for free from Corel's Web site starting 15 November. Corel plans to ship two versions of the OS for retail sale in December. A standard edition of Corel Linux, priced at $49, will include a basic version of WordPerfect 8 for Linux, some third-party applications such as system utility tools and games, and some technical support.

A deluxe edition, priced at $79, will include the full version of WordPerfect 8 for Linux (with additional fonts and clip art), additional third-party software applications and more technical support.

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