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WordPerfect 2002: Sweeter suite?

WordPerfect 2002: Sweeter suite?

In an effort to give loyal customers compelling reasons to upgrade, Corel ‘s WordPerfect Office 2002 Professional Edition includes a diversified set of supporting applications and utilities to increase individual productivity and corporate usability beyond that of previous versions. In an effort to become more attractive to the corporate sector, WordPerfect Office 2002 now includes administration enhancements and expanded communications capabilities with the addition of CorelCentral Mail and Admin to put it on par or close in amenities with Microsoft Office.

Right off the bat, current users of the WordPerfect Office suite will find seamless migration to WordPerfect Office 2002; and through utilisation of the same file format as earlier versions, they will reap the benefits of backwards compatibility, including document sharing with users who have yet to upgrade. Along with the addition of the Microsoft Windows Installer, WordPerfect Office provides a system administrator-friendly upgrade that will minimise installation complications and maximise user-information sharing.

IT will be happy to know that security has been beefed up in the release as well. Protection of intellectual property via encryption, digital signatures, secure file sharing, virus protection and secure e-mail transmission are all included in the latest release. This feature set provides businesses a formidable wall as protection in front of proprietary and confidential information at the individual and the network level.

But the most notable productivity gains to WordPerfect Office 2002 come from the addition of CorelCentral Mail and Admin, Dragon Systems Naturally Speaking 5.0 and, to a lesser degree, Net2Phone functionality.

Although late to the game, CorelCentral Mail and Admin are full-featured, robust e-mail applications ready for corporate use. CorelCentral Mail includes all of the expected features such as the capability of managing multiple e-mail accounts, organising and prioritising e-mails, viewing attachments, and integrating with the CorelCentral address book, calendar and day planner.

CorelCentral's Admin functionality is a separate module intended for system administrators trying to set up corporate databases, accounts and permissions for individuals, groups, or other company-specific resources within the CorelCentral Mail application.

Although seemingly consumer-oriented in nature, the ability to dictate through Dragon Naturally Speaking 5.0 and to call contacts over the Web with Net2Phone were surprisingly simple to use and will undoubtedly lead to productivity increases, however slight.

In addition, Corel has done a terrific job with its accessibility feature set for various users. Keyboard access, high-contrast displays, sound alternatives, system setting for calibrating keyboard and mouse, text dictation, customisation of the UI, and automating complex tasks are just some of the features Corel has included to make WordPerfect Office 2002 easily accessible to those with specific needs.

Despite these leaps beyond previous versions, tardy inclusion of must-have features is the overarching theme of WordPerfect Office 2002. Although the ability to communicate and share documents between WordPerfect Office 2002 and Microsoft Office, including Microsoft's upcoming release, is easy and seamless and its accessibility features are admirable, there are no revolutionary improvements in WordPerfect Office 2002 to convert Microsoft Office users.

Corel is making strides, albeit small ones, in its effort to match the functionality of Microsoft Office, but it still has a way to go. Although integrated solutions such as Dragon Naturally Speaking and Net2Phone add functionality for specific types of users, it will take some time to see if they make a productivity difference. However, Corel's focus on corporate usability through the utilisation of compatible file formats, open standard adoption, and significant system administration functionality allows corporate users to rest assured that their WordPerfect Office 2002 documents will easily leverage the Web and communicate seamlessly in the Microsoft world.

The WordPerfect Office 2002, Professional Edition also includes Paradox 10 and Dragon voice recognition software.

The bottom line - WordPerfect Office 2002, Professional EditionBusiness Case: This full-featured desktop office suite enables companies that manage large quantities of reusable, complex documents to edit, append, revise, and seamlessly share these documents with both WordPerfect Office and Microsoft Office users.

Technology Case: WordPerfect's new system administration and e-mail communication features gives IT managers a compelling reason to upgrade. Enhanced features such as e-mail account management, defining specific user groups, user accessibility features, and widespread adoption of open standards such as XML, Cascading Style Sheets, ODBC and PDF will allow for seamless communication across the Web and competitive solutions.

Pros:

* Good integration with Microsoft Office and older versions of WordPerfect Office.

* Comprehensive security features.

* Ability to manage long, complex documents.

Cons:

* Still feature-deficient in comparison to Microsoft Office.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, Microsoft NT (with Service Pack 6 or later) and Windows Me.

Price:$US1210, upgrade $616.

Distributed in Australia through Tech Pacific.

Contact: Gavin Watson on (02) 9226 1118 or gavinw@corel.com, www.corel.com.


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