Corel recently endorsed the Network Computer Reference Profile program led by Oracle, and said that it will build a Java version of its WordPerfect suite; a beta version will be avialable for free download from October. However, the news that it is to release a handheld browser is something of a surprise as Corel has always been dedicated to software in the past.
Corel CEO Mike Cowpland said the unit will have no storage capacity but will allow users to download Java app-lets from the Internet. The front-end will be a version of Netscape Navigator and the device will be shipped with a phone jack. 28,800bps dial-up Internet access will be available and an Ethernet connection will also be supplied.
A spokeswoman for Corel UK said an announcement in this country will be made on Tuesday.
PCDN Comment: Corel's decision to go into hardware is surely a bid to create a market for Java app-lets, where it is investing heavily. Java, the Web and handheld systems are a natural match, so it will be interesting to see where this leads.