Slow progress for Corel NC plans

Corel's plans to move into the hardware business with a line of NC products is moving slowly but surely. Communications manager

Marc-Antoine Benglia said yesterday that the firm has about 100 'prototype 2' versions of the standard NC product running in evaluations with corporates. Benglia said that a September or October debut is likely for both the NCs and Corel Office for Java suite which has been available in pre-release form since last October. He added that the NC development had been slowed down by compatibility problems. "Unfortunately there has been a lot of smog around where the NCs out there couldn't run much Java software apart from browsers."

Meanwhile, it's unlikely that Corel's 'video NC' - an NC with videoconferencing capability - and NC notebook will arrive this year.

"The VNC camera is ready but now it's a matter of the magnitude of the market because the camera is pretty sophisticated but pretty expensive, so we want to see some commitment from a decent group of customers," Benglia said.

Benglia added that Corel's promised notebook NC, based on ARM's StrongARM chip, will almost certainly miss this year. "It's not at the point where we're ready to produce it yet," he said. "There's no prototype yet and Corel Computer has a lot on its plate. I don't see why it should be this year rather than early in 1998 given that the market is so young."