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January 14, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 11:59am


By CBR Staff Writer

Corel Corp will be releasing its full year figures tomorrow (after the markets close), with Wall St anxious to see if the company has fully completed its transition from pushing PC graphics products to competing with Microsoft as a fully-fledged Inter- and Intranet office suite provider. The company, the largest software company in Canada but which reports in US dollars, closed 1995 on a runrate of $196.4m, with net of $14.5m. But after acquiring WordPerfect from a tanking Novell a year ago, Corel has ballooned to possibly double that size, given that its first three quarters closed at $36.4m, $87.5m and $84.9m. However, its first and third quarters dipped into the black to a combined loss of $9.7m. Though Corel claims to have restored a very tarnished WordPerfect to a respectable 50% share of the retail market for suites, and has garnered high visibility for aggressive moves into Java-based office suites, the Network Computer, videoconferencing and an aborted PDA project, most of these hot products will only begin to appear this quarter. So the vast bulk of its fiscal 1996 results must still inevitably emerge from its cash-cow Corel Draw line. In April the company posted a hostage to fortune when it boasted that sales could jump to $490m for fiscal 1996, zooming to $770m for fiscal 1997, with the WordPerfect element reaching $160m this year alone. Meanwhile it came as no surprise – given its mano-a- mano stance viz Microsoft, that it follows the Oracle-Sun credo regarding the NC, and has been working with the company since early 1996 – that Corel has licensed the Communicator groupware- enabled successor to Netscape’s once-ubiquitous Navigator, rather than the Redmond offering. Communicator will be integrated with Corel’s WordPerfect Suite 8 and Corel Office Professional 8. Corel also plans to include the new application with all new versions of WordPerfect Suite and Office Professional. It has bundled Navigator with both products since early 1996; in return Netscape licensed WordPerfect Suite for its internal use. Expect a rash of somewhat egregious announcements on similar lines from all Netscape’s buddies, and note going from Navigator to Communicator is effectively a no-brainer upgrade.


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