Gateway's recent announcement that all of its consumer and small business desktop and notebook PCs will ship with Corel's WordPerfect Suite raises an interesting point for PC resellers.
Some may have been so obsessed with matching the specifications of competitively bundled packages that they may not have considered what the customer actually wants or needs.
According to Gateway marketing manager Michelle Vanzella, research has convinced the direct vendor that the brand of the bundled software is not as important as functionality. "Many of our consumer PC customers con-sider the software bundled with the PC as Gateway's anyway, and the lower-cost Corel package meets their value needs," she said. "The Microsoft Office small business edition will still be available as an option," she added.
The entry price point for a Gateway consumer PC at the end of last year was $1999. The latest move is believed to be in line with Gateway's aim to hit the Australian market with a sub-$1500 PC package. Gateway had previously bundled a Microsoft suite, Works, with its consumer offerings. The Corel Office Suite provides users with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, Internet and e-mail applications, including: Corel Quattro Pro (spreadsheets), Corel Presentations (presentation slides), and Corel Central (with mailbox, calendar, scheduling, and fully integrated Netscape Communicator).
Gateway's GP-Series is described as a range of PCs specifically designed for users in small business and home offices. The G-Series is designed for the home user, and the Solo refers to Gateway's range of notebook PCs.