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WORDPERFECT CORP SETS LAUNCHES IN ARRAY OF ENVIRONMENTS; THUMBS DOWN FOR C

WordPerfect Corp will show a preliminary edition of WordPerfect 5.0 for MS-DOS micros at Comdex in November, reports electronic newsletter Microbytes Daily. Company president Alan Ashton is reported to have said that 5.0 will not be a page-layout program but will enable users size graphics and flow text around graphics. He added that the program will not offer true WYSIWYG display; that will have to wait until hardware is capable of rapid screen updating, 5.0 will run in 512Kb, will use virtual operations, and graphics will be an overlay. Users will have more control over vertical and horizontal spacing and will be able to specify kerning, he said; editing will be displayed on a monospaced screen for faster operation. The company will announce a release date for 5.0 at Comdex, and it will most likely be the first quarter of next year, Ashton said. He also revealed that Net-work Library, a diary/calculator/file manager/editor program, will also include electronic-mail capabilities. This program might be shown at Fall Comdex. Ashton also is reported to have told a group of government managers in Washington DC that WordPerfect’s goal is to get its WordPerfect program running on a range of micros, mainframes, minis, and networks. (It is often forgotten that Wordperfect was originally written for Data General minis and has spread to be widely used on micros). WordPerfect for the Atari is set for October 1. November 1 is the release date for WordPerfect for the Apple II GS. (He said the GS version has a Mac-like interface and complete document compatibility with the IBM program.) The company expects to show a new version for the Mac at Comdex. Also on November 1 will come WordPerfect 4.2 for Data General minis. The VAX group, he added, is not far behind. They have developed translation utilities to port assembly language code from the PC-DOS environment. Experiments with C have reinforced WordPerfect’s decision to stick with assembly language code, which Ashton said lets them get more features in less space with greater speed. There is, however, a C project under way. By next March, the company expects to have version 4.2 for Unix System V running on the NCR Tower and HP 9000/300. WordPerfect is also working on a product for the IBM 4361, 9370, and 370 series VM operating system to link up with Profs, which Ashton called the office automation system of choice under VM.

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