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2163Re: [wpmac] Future of WordPerfect Redux

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  • Randy B. Singer
    Oct 2 11:22 PM
      John Rethorst said:

      >This is hard to understand. Corel makes money by developing and marketing
      >software. If a market has been identified, and the company does not have
      >a product for it, it has a decision to make. But if the product is there now,
      >and there are no issues of amortization of development costs, why on earth
      >doesn't Corel release it? They could make it a web download (no printing
      >or distribution costs), charge for support etc. Every sale is pure profit.

      I think that Corel, with WordPerfect, is sort of in the position that
      Apple was just before the release of the iMac (which was the product that
      started the reversal in Apple's fortunes.)

      If you will recall, Apple was in a nasty financial situation, and had
      made the decision to market only to their "creative" core markets
      (publishing, graphics, etc.) and to discontinue all efforts towards
      marketing to other markets, especially the vertical (business) markets.
      Overnight Apple lost a ton of users among real estate professionals,
      doctors, lawyers, etc.

      No one understood the move at the time. It made little sense to most of
      us that abandoning markets where Apple was moderately successful could be
      a good thing. But apparently it worked. Apple retrenched, and then as
      they became more solid, they expanded back into the markets that had been
      abandoned. First the consumer market (with the iMac) and then latter
      they retured to most other markets.

      I think that Corel is where Apple was just before the introduction of the
      iMac. WordPerfect/Windows has a niche, and it is profitable. It is even
      growing in popularity as more and more users are getting tired of
      Microsoft's licensing scheme for Office. But I don't think that Corel
      wants to over-extend itself. Even selling software from a Web site
      doesn't cost nothing, and I doubt that a corporation like Corel would
      find that sort of retail model to be professional enough for them

      My (wild) guess (based on next to nothing, I don't have any inside
      information on this) is that Corel is grooming WordPerfect to be
      attractive enough to be sold to another company at some point. That
      would allow Corel to concentrate on the graphics products that they have
      traditionally specialized in. (Some of those products are potentially
      very hot, such as Painter, which Corel has done very little to promote.)

      But it couldn't hurt for folks to write to Corel and ask that
      WordPerfect/Java be dusted off and made available commercially. But I
      predict that doing so would be a waste of time. Corel has already made
      it clear that the problem with re-introducing a WordPerfect product for
      the Mac isn't making the software work.

      Randy B. Singer
      Co-Author of: The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th and 6th editions)

      Routine OS X Maintenance and Generic Troubleshooting
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