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October 11, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Users will get their first peek at Corel Corp’s new office application suite, WordPerfect 9.0, at next month’s Comdex show in Las Vegas, officials said Friday. A spokesperson for the company said the first beta version of the software would be released on October 30, with a second version due after Comdex, on November 30. Beta three will be released on January 6 and a full roll out is expected some time in the first quarter. The spokesperson said the new suite will include improvements across all the suite’s four components: word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and PIM (personal information management) software. One of the highlights, she said, is a feature called Real Time Preview. This will allow the user to see formatting changes on screen in real time. For example, when selecting a different font, the entire page automatically changes to give a preview of what the page would look like. Users can then click on an icon to select the change if they want to. But improving compatibility with Microsoft’s Office suite, in particular the Word component, has been the company’s central focus. The spokesperson said: We’ve re-written a lot of the code from the bottom up to allow for this improvement. It’s something our customers have been really asking for. Users will now be able to import word documents into WordPerfect without having to go complicated formatting procedures, she added. The suite also includes support for XML and features integration with Microsoft’s VBA (Visual Basic Application) scripting language (see separate story). Like version 8.0 before it, the new edition will come in two versions; the second one bundled with Dragon Systems’ Naturally Speaking voice recognition product. Although pricing is not yet available, the spokesperson said Corel expects to place version 9.0 at very similar price points to the previous release. In that case, users can expect to pay around $89 for a standard upgrade license and $395 for the off-the-shelf product.

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