LinuxWorld: Corel takes Linux to the desktop

Shunning a beautiful Tuesday morning in California, more than 1,000 Linux supporters gathered at LinuxWorld to hear Corel Corp's CEO and President Dr. Michael Cowpland describe the brighter Linux days ahead.

While it will certainly not be abandoning the Windows platform, Corel is, besides giving its applications broad Linux support, releasing its own binary desktop version of Linux. Corel's tomorrow is one where all of Corel's mainstream products, not just WordPerfect, will be ported to the Linux platform. Quattro Pro will be the first. This will make Quattro Pro the first well-known Wintel spreadsheet to make the Linux jump.

The other Corel applications, including Paradox, CorelDraw, and Corel PhotoPaint, will be following. By the end of 1999, PC users who don't want to move to an entirely unfamiliar office platform, like ApplixWare or StarOffice, will be able to reply on the more familiar Corel office suite.

This won't be a case where Linux applications always be a step behind their Windows counterparts, according to Corel. Cowpland committed to there being "no application lag in Linux."

Cowpland acknowledged that the Linux desktop--at least so far--"has not really happened in a big way." For Linux to succeed beyond the server, "it's got to be just like Windows," as far as ease of use, he said.

This is why Corel's Linux, unlike Linux distributions from Caldera Systems Inc and Red Hat Software Inc., will be a desktop edition of Linux first and foremost. Cowpland lauded several Linux vendors, including Red Hat, for their ongoing work, while simultaneously noting that Corel will stay out of the Linux server space altogether.

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