Corel announced Tuesday that WordPerfect Office 2002, its new suite of office applications, will be ready for release by the middle of this calendar year.
The office suite will be available in two editions - standard and professional. The standard edition will feature the latest release - version 10 - of the applications WordPerfect, Presentations and spreadsheet program Quattro Pro. The professional edition will bundle the database Paradox 10 and Dragon Systems's NaturallySpeaking 5.0 - voice recognition software that will enable users to dictate text into documents.
Among the new features in WordPerfect 10 will be the addition of the Oxford University Press Pocket dictionary, which has 30,000 definitions. An upgrade to 70,000 definitions will cost $US19.95, according to Basia Rudak, Corel communications manager for business applications.
Quattro Pro 10, meanwhile, will feature a new charting engine that enables users to decorate charts with graphics and symbols, effectively giving users "more power to create nice looking charts," Rudak said.
WordPerfect Office 2002 will also feature enhanced groupware functions targeted at corporate users, according to Corel.
Both editions of the applications suite include CorelCentral 10, a personal information manager (PIM). The PIM will have an e-mail client, address book and calendar that users will be able to access from any application in the suite, the company said.
CorelCentral 10 will also include Net2Phone's Internet telephony software, which allows users to place telephone calls or fax documents. "A user can launch a call from within the contact manager. All one has to do is click on the number," said Net2Phone's vice president of business development, Yonah Lloyd. The software will add voice capability to CorelCentral's e-mail client, enabling users to receive voice e-mails, he added.
WordPerfect Office 2002 will be compatible with Windows 95/98/Me and Windows 2000, according to Rudak. The WordPerfect word processor currently has 22 million users, most of them using it under the Windows operating system. Seeing that statistic, Rudak said it made sense to create WordPerfect Office 2002 for the Windows platform. "A Linux version [of WordPerfect Office] will depend upon user demand," she said.
Though Microsoft invested $135 million in Corel last year, Rudak dismissed a suggestion that Office 2002 is available only for Windows because of Microsoft's investment. "Microsoft may have invested in us, but they don't have any voting rights," she said. "Microsoft invested in Corel to emphasise the .NET platform."