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Corel Ousted From Public Life?

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the don't-call-me-garbo dept.

Corel 214

gagy writes "Ottawa's Corel Corp. has been showing signs of weakness in the past few years, and looks very likely to be bought out by Vector Corp, at which point it will become a privately held company. A Toronto Star story spells out the details of the deal, and takes a brief look at the history of Corel." We mentioned Corel's deal with Vector last month.

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GNAA FP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493839)

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Dear GNAA- (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493960)

I am an effeminate Mexican. Can I join the GNAA?

Signed,
John Leguizamo

Re:Dear GNAA- (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493997)

yes. You can be either gay and/or niggerly. you dont have to be both

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Re:Dear GNAA- (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493999)

Sure, you can join Miguel de Icaza!

Re:GNAA FP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494011)

Where's the "hide posts from teenagers" button? Oh yeah, browse at 0 ...

Avast! This karma is cursed! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494131)

Arrrrr, real men read at score -1 and don't flinch away from the trolls like some lily-livered woman!

Re:Avast! This karma is cursed! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494256)

Real women read at -1, too. Don't lump ME in with those "browse at 0 or higher" pussies!

penisbird (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493852)

fuck you gnaa
and fuck you penisbird

Re:penisbird (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493964)

heh, you're just mad that I beat you to fp :P

-penisbird

Re:penisbird (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494257)

<)
()
===D

Slow down cowboy!

Important Stuff:

Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Attention on deck! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493857)

This is you captain speaking. That is all.

Fuck Corel (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493858)

Another whiney lets-sue-instead-of-work company bites the dust.

When their business model went from "producing worlds best drawing/publishing software" to "sue microsoft to force everyone to buy our office suite", I've been waiting for the day when

AWW WHO GIVES A FUCK

linux was stolen. kernel hackers efforts have been an utter waste of time

corel really is an interesting pickup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493861)

I'll just go alone, as I have been doing
for years.

What a fall. (4, Insightful)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493867)

From WordPerect's market dominance to getting bought out by a graphics package maker to this.

Maybe the law firms will think about converting now?

Why is Slashdot so RACIST? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493886)

Exactly why are there NO people of color in the Slashdot/Linux/open source communities? Why are blacks excluded. Why does Rob Malda aka CmdrTaco associate with ZERO minorities. Why the blatent racism? Please name even ONE black involved with Open Source. It is impossible because there are none. Liberals hypocrites like TORVALDS MALDA STALLMAN etc are quick to praise minorities but would never actually associate with one. They are frightened of them and believe them to be a criminal element, crossing the street if one ever approched them.
I am sick and tired of pale, obese, socially inept, smelly and sexless white boys like that fat slob COWBOY NEAL controlling everything. Please stop the blatent Racism and allow a token black to participate. Thank you!

what about... (-1, Troll)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493910)

...the gnaa? ;)

Lame troll. This one is MUCH better for inciting a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493957)

The Open Source movement, otherwise known as 'Free Software', has been a topic of considerable debate on the Internet's most controversial site. The majority of this debate has centered around the technical merits of the software, with the esteemed editors argueing against adopting Linux by employing the full depth of their considerable intellects, and the other side hurling death threats and similar invective. This has allowed many who would not otherwise receive quality information about Open Source software to be made aware of many of its ramifications, but one issue has been left alone: The overt racism that is deeply embedded in the movement.

Allow me to explain.

Alan Cox; Richard Stallman; Bruce Perens; Wichert Akkerman; Miguel DeIcaza.

What do you see in this list of names? Are there any African-Americans on it? Absolutely not, none of those names sound like one a self-respecting black person would have! No Maurice, no Luther, no Lil' Kim. There are many other lists such as this, you can see one here. Flip through each page, do you see anything other than white faces? Of course you don't, because Open Source and its adherents are ardent racists and they absolutely forbid access to the sacred 'kernel' by any person of color.

Lets look at another list, this time a compendium of the companies using Linux. Are there any black owned companies on that list? Nooooooo. How about these companies? They all have something to do with Open Source software, any of them owned by an African-American? No again. Here is an extensive collection of photographs from a LUG (Linux User Gathering) meeting, more can be viewed at that link. What is odd about these pictures, and every other photograph I have ever seen of a LUG meeting, is that there is not one single black person to be seen, and probably none for miles.

More racist overtones can be found by examining the language of Open Source. They often refer to 'white hat' hackers. These 'white hats' scurry about the Internet doing good, but illegal, acts for their fellow man. In stark contrast we find the 'black hat' hackers. They destroy the good works of others by breaking into systems, stealing data, and generally causing havoc. These two terms reflect the mindset of most Linux developers. White means good, black means bad. Anywhere there is black, there is uncontrollable destruction and lawlessness. Looking further we see black lists that inform other users of 'bad' hardware, Samba, an obvious play on the much hated Little Black Sambo book, Mandrake, which I won't explain except to say that the French are notorious racists. This type is linguistic discrimination is widespread throughout the Open Source culture, lampooned by many of its more popular sites.

It is also a fact that all Unix 'distros' contain a plethora of racist commands with not so hidden symbolism.

It can hardly be coincidence that the prime operating system of choice of the 'open source supremacists' - Linux, features commands which are poorly disguised racist acronyms. For example: 'awk' (All White Klan) , 'sed' (shoot nEgroes dead), 'ln' (lynch negroes), 'rpm' (raical purity mandatory), 'bash' (bring a slave home), 'ps' (persecute sambo), 'mount' (murder or unseat nubians today), 'fsck' (favored supreme Christian klan). I could go on and on about the latent racist symbolism in Linux, but I fear it would take weeks to enumerate every incidence.

Is there a single unix command out there that does not have some hidden racist connotation ? Suffice it to say that the racism pervades Linux like a particularly bad smell. Can you imagine the effect of running such a racist operating system on the impressionable mind ? I don't have to remind you that transmitting subliminal messages is banned in the USA, and yet here we have an operating system that appears to be one enormous submliminal ad for the Klan!

One of the few selling points of Open Source software is that it is available in many different languages. Browsing through the list I see that absolutely none are offered in Swahili, nor Ebonics. Obviously this is done to prevent black people from having access to the kernel. If it weren't for the fact that racism is so blatantly evil I would be impressed by the efforts these Open Sourcers have invested in keeping their little hobby lilly white. It even appears that they hate the Japanese, as some of these self proclaimed hackers defaced a web site with anti-Japanese slogans. Hell, these people even go all the way to Africa (South Africa mind you, better known as White Africa) and the pictures prove that they don't even get close to a black person.

Of course, presenting overwhelming evidence such as this is a bit unfair without some attempt to determine why these Open Sourcers are so racist. Much of the evidence I have collected indicates that their views are so deeply held that they are seldom questioned by the new recruits. This, coupled with the robot-like groupthink that dominates the culture allows the racist mindset to continue to permeate the ranks. Indeed, the Open Source version of a Klan rally, OSDN (known to the world as Open Source Developer's Network, known to insiders as Open Source Denies Negroes) nearly stands up and shouts its racist views on its demographics page. It doesn't mention the black man one single time. Obviously, anyone involved with Open Source doesn't need to be told that the demographic is entirely white, it is a given.

I have a sneaking suspicion as to why their beliefs are so closely held: they are all terrible athletes.

Really. Much like the tragedy at Columbine High School, where two geeks went on a rampage to get back at 'jocks', these adult geeks still bear the emotional scars inflicted upon them due to their lack of athletic ability during their teen years. As African-Americans are well known for their athletic skills, they are an obvious target for the Open Source geeks. As we all know, sports builds character, thus it follows that the lack of sports destroys character. These geeks, locked away in their rooms, munching on stale pizza and Fritos, engage in no character building activities. Further, they interact only with computers and never develop the level of social skill that allows normal people to handle relationships with persons of color.

Contrasted with the closed source, non-geeky software house Microsoft, Open Source has a long, long way to go.

Re:What a fall. (0)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493904)

You've never worked with many lawyers or doctors, have you?

Re:What a fall. (5, Interesting)

Trigun (685027) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493917)

Kenneth Cowpland was the ultimate death of that company. They were following the embrace, extend and extinguish philosopy, unfortunately they never realized that it was the competition that they were supposed to extinguish, and not themselves.
They killed WordPerfect. They let the entire graphics line die. They nearly killed the company when they put a big stake in developing a home computer which ran Java natively. They seemed to always have their heads too far into the future while their products stayed too far in the past.
In short, it is absolutely amazing they stayed alive this long, depite complete and utter mismanagement. Good riddance to bad garbage.

Re:What a fall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494068)

"Kenneth Cowpland" eh ?

Moderators, please read what you moderate. Parent post is a troll ...

Re:What a fall. (3, Informative)

crivens (112213) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494136)

Kenneth Cowpland? Don't you mean Michael Cowpland and his plastic wife and pink dog?

Re:What a fall. (3, Insightful)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493921)

It is sad to see such a turn of events. The only thing that can make it worse is if some SCO like low lifes buy the company for a few pennies and start suing people at OpenOffice.org or KOffice.org.

Ofcourse, M$FT and even SUN will pay money to those companies to make sure "they respect IP rights."

Sorry about the rant. There is so much reason for outrage.

S

Re:What a fall. (4, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493932)

WordPerfect corporation was bought first by Novell, and then by Corel, by which time WordPerfect was already losing out to Microsoft's products.

"Corel Linux" T-shirt clearance sale! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493933)

Cafepress is selling its old inventory of Corel Linux [cafeshops.com] T-Shirts at $5 a piece + shipping. Buy your piece of Linux history now, while supplies last!

Re:"Corel Linux" T-shirt clearance sale! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493986)

Tubgirl link. You've been warned.

What's the URL for Italy's power company? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494026)

Powergenitalia [powergenitalia.com] , of course!

Re:What's the URL for Italy's power company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494037)

Now you know why we are great lovers.

Re:What a fall. (1)

obotics (592176) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494034)

Maybe the law firms will think about converting now?

Sure we will think about converting. But to what!? OpenOffice!

Re:What a fall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494296)

OpenOffice works under Windows? kewl d00d!

G. H. W. Bush: - Not Much; G. W. Bush: -Even Less! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494048)


Find more about Bush's Brain or Lack of One [sfgate.com]

Cheers,
W00t

Re:What a fall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494303)

By getting bought out by an energy bar company, they've sunk to a new low.

NAAAAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493871)

No Affiliation with an Association of America Association of America. It's as cool as recursive acronymns. Top Ten Ps0t! W00t!

Corel, you will be missed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493881)

Even back in the days before Linux went mainstream, from Corel Draw onward, Corel was ever a thorn in Microsoft's side. It looks like they went down in the good fight. The name "Corel" may emerge from this yet, but it sure won't be the same rebellious little software firm with a chip on it's shoulder.

Here's to Corel... may it live on in out hearts and minds in "the happy coding ground."

Re:Corel, you will be missed (4, Insightful)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493975)

Corel sold out to Microsoft. The only reason they ever even got a cash offer from MS was because they had a Linux product line that was a drop in replacement for MS OS/Office, notice how quickly afterwards it was withdrawn. I appreciate their work on WINE but other than that, good riddance, you danced with the devil and now you have to pay the price. Let this be a lesson to anybody would thinks MS is their white knight. Does anybody here remember Sybase?

Re:Corel, you will be missed (4, Interesting)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493981)

As I see it Corel lost a huge chance when they sold their whole Linux division to work with Microsoft on .NET.

They had a set of great graphics/design tools, a wordprocessor with a decent user base and a decent Linux distribution. With the right management (visionary, willing to further the boundaries) they could have been a great company. But they decided to go conservative, keep selling their boxed products and use a few OEMs, kill their linux development and surrender to the .NET platform.

Long live Corel, I would have wanted to have heard a lot more from them, but they had their shot and panicked.

Re:Corel, you will be missed (4, Insightful)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494271)

Corel was constantly chasing the latest "hot" technologies without ever letting their products mature and becoming marketable. Your reference to the change from Linux to .NET is a great example. But ever since Corel Draw became obsolete, Corel spent large amounts of time and money developing hype-driven products.

The first blunder I remember happened when Java was super hyped-up by Sun. With great fanfare, Corel ported Word Perfect to Java. Corel later cancelled the project, right when it was gaining market traction, seemlingly because the Java hype calming down. Around the same time, Palm sneaked on the scene with their much-hyped PDAs, and Corel announced it would create a PDA running Java (which never made it to market).

The bubble moved on, and in around 1999, Linux became the hot technology. Corel created a Linux distribution and ported Word Perfect to Linux. Only a few years later, Corel cancelled both projects and announced it's amazing new idea to create products for .NET. I can only imagine their .NET products will share the same fate.

I have no sympathy for Corel's demise. Ever since Corel Draw became a cash-cow, Corel never attempted to create products people actually wanted (to pay for, anyway). They chased hot technologies instead of customer's needs. I can't believe so many people, especially people on Slashdot, took the hype to heart and actually believed Corel would follow through on their announcements.

Re:Corel, you will be missed (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494057)

Corel was ever a thorn in Microsoft's side. It looks like they went down in the good fight. The name "Corel" may emerge from this yet, but it sure won't be the same rebellious little software firm with a chip on it's shoulder.

If anything, that was the problem with Corel. They were so fixated on avenging themselves on Microsoft, they jumped on every bandwagon that came along -- Java, Linux -- with no regard for whether it would work or if anyone would buy it. Apple, in contrast, survives because Steve Jobs and the corporate culture have an attitude of "What can I make that will be good and that people will pay money for?" not "How can I screw Microsoft?"

Sun, are you listening?

Corel (5, Interesting)

MC68040 (462186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493884)

Well one would hope they will stay alive, even though they've been around for their fair share of trauma a lot of people actually use their products. The last company I worked for used corel office on over 1000 clients while the rest ran MS office...

Corel's office actually had less support incidents of problems with the actual software, on the other hand, it was a pain because everyone was used to MS office and didden't understand the different GUI hehe.

http://funstuff.digital-bless.com/ [digital-bless.com] - Funny stuff.

Re:Corel (3, Interesting)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494007)

Their GUI is definitely different than MS's, and though I haven't used it much, I really liked what I saw, especially of the latest version of WordPerfect. If I took the trouble to use it more, I'm sure I would come to like it more than MS Word... but then, I've already decided on OpenOffice. Still, I hope Corel stays alive and gives Microsoft some competition. BTW, Didn't some major OEM recently ship Corel Office pre-installed in place of MS Works?

Sad to see it finally go (3, Interesting)

TheRedHorse (559375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493888)

Word Perfect was an awesome product. I still use it sometimes too. Any hope of open source type port of Word Perfect? I'm guessing probably not. But you can always hope.

Re:Sad to see it finally go (4, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493936)

Openoffice.org has a small branch (wp.openoffice.org I think) of developers working on it. WP offers a few features (reveal codes of course) that are slowly being added into Openoffice.org.

One nice thing about WP is that the file format, AFAIK, hasn't changed since version 6.1. Create a document in WP11, open it in 7, and viola, it opens. Word can't even do backward compatibility, try opening a Word 95 doc in Word XP. It'll open, but you'll most likely have to reformat. Because o the file compatibility, the Wordperfect import filter for Openoffice.org is coming along very nicely.

Re:Sad to see it finally go (2, Funny)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494140)

and viola, it opens.
I usually open mine with a cello...

Re:Sad to see it finally go (1)

GuidoJ (231456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494182)

One nice thing about WP is that the file format, AFAIK, hasn't changed since version 6.1. Create a document in WP11, open it in 7, and viola, it opens. Word can't even do backward compatibility, try opening a Word 95 doc in Word XP. It'll open, but you'll most likely have to reformat. Because o the file compatibility, the Wordperfect import filter for Openoffice.org is coming along very nicely.

Of course this is exactly why MS is still selling new versions of Office and why Corel is now out of business. Or did you think it was because WP doesn't have Clippy?

Re:Sad to see it finally go (2)

iantri (687643) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494004)

I'm not sure if you are asking this because you want to run it on Linux or just want it open-sourced, but Corel provides a (free for personal use) binary of WordPerfect for Linux at their website.

Re:Sad to see it finally go (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494243)

??? I see no such thing.

-uso.

Re:Sad to see it finally go (1)

rekkanoryo (676146) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494250)

No they don't. They've stopped distribution of all their Linux products, including WordPerfect and PhotoPaint. I was too late to get the Linux "port" of WordPerfect but early enough to get PhotoPaint.

If you're lucky you can still find the download on one or two ftp servers, but those are becoming increasingly thin as well. Short form: Linux WordPerfect is dead as a doornail.

Does it really matter? (2, Insightful)

cageyjames (642932) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493905)

I am about to put my Word Perfect CD-Roms next to my WordStar floppies and Ami-Pro disks. Actually who really cares? Corel has not just hurt Word Perfect, but their other graphics tools just aren't good anymore. If they had spent more time working on Word Perfect and less on porting everything to Java, this might not have happened. How can Intuit survive Microsoft and not these other companies?

Re:Does it really matter? (3, Insightful)

oni (41625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494006)

How can Intuit survive Microsoft and not these other companies?

Is it because Microsoft isn't trying? Just wait until they start putting Microsoft Money into Office - or maybe including it with Windows. Intuit will be gone in no time flat. If people already have MS Money do you think they'll go out and buy Quicken? Even if Quicken is better? I don't think they will. It's sad but it's true. This is how MS competes.

The only way to beat MS is to give your software away for free or establish a niche market that MS doesn't care about.

Quite true (1)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494075)

That was a big part of the old Anti-Trust lawsuits. When they included IE with Windows, Netscape went through the roof. MS just has to bump up the price of their upcoming versions of Windows, and throw in product X. Consumers are thrifty, and will likely not want/need another word processor, graphics editor, tax filing program, etc. The only way for your product to survive is to beat Windows itself, and that won't likely happen for a LONG time.....or just make games instead ^_^

Re:Does it really matter? (2, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494102)

You're mostly trolling, but you have one valid point: Corel responded to MS pressure with crummy software and bad support.

When we had trouble with Wordperfect 8, Corel was there by our side, offering every bit of help, giving us beta service packs, and doing everything they could to resolve our problems. We finally traced it to a fux0red MFC DLL (Microsoft issued), and Corel quickly gave us a fix.

Wordperfect 9 was a solid product, mostly the result of their quickly responding developers. They fixed bugs as they found them, and for the most part didn't create any new ones.

Wordperfect 10 was touted to be the most compatible with Word XP. Tried it, they're lying. Documents with even minor complexity don't convert well. I posted several troubled docs to the newsgroup, other users who claimed XP support was there couldn't open them either. I contacted Corel support, they were friendly but not very helpful.

About a month ago I was troubleshooting printing issues with CorelDraw 11. Not only is this program not worth the upgrade, when I tried to contact support I couldn't get a good answer from anybody. The Knowledge Base has shriveled into a steaming pile of crap, and the only good support left is in the newsgroups. I was finally able to trace it to the print driver thanks to some good folks there, but Corel offered me nothing.

Probably due to layoffs, Corel has been forced to produce a lackluster product and shoddy support. Microsoft won that round, their last remaining competitor is pretty much a non-threat.

Re:Does it really matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494247)

CorelDraw 11 works great for me. Maybe the issue is of a PEBKAC nature.

article text (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493908)

By this time next month, software maker Corel Corp. will most likely be a step closer to being a privately held company -- and a step further from the often glaring self-directed spotlight that it was known for during much of its public life.

On August 20, Corel will hold a special shareholders meeting in Toronto to consider an offer on the table from U.S. tech buyout firm Vector Corp. for $1.05 (U.S.) a share -- a far cry from the $14.75 the company went public at on the Nasdaq in 1992 and nowhere close to its peak of $57.59 a share reached in December, 1999. Corel split its stock twice -- two for one in November, 1993, and three for two in October, 1994.

Vector already holds 22.89 million shares of Corel -- about 20 per cent of the company -- which it took off Microsoft's hands earlier this year. Corel's board has agreed to accept any Vector offer for the rest of its outstanding shares at anything higher than $1.10 a share. In exchange, Vector has agreed that it won't oppose another outside bid that values Corel shares at anything above $1.25 a share, though few expect another bidder.

If no one else steps up to the plate and the deal goes through, it will mark the end of the independent existence of one of the PC industry's longest-lived companies. It will also mark a nondescript end to a chapter of a company that has been anything but.

"Corel was certainly known and still is, but not always for the best of reasons," said one Wall Street analyst who used to cover the company.

From its boastful claim as a thorn in Microsoft Corp.'s side to its flashy founder being accused of insider trading and resigning from the company he built from scratch, few in notoriously conservative Ottawa will likely fret witnessing the company's slow retreat away from its self-orchestrated circus.

Indeed, Corel has had its share of moments and misgivings. There was the time the company announced its quarterly earnings, but failed to mention it had switched its reporting currency to U.S. dollars from Canadian. Several analysts, including Morgan Stanley star analyst Mary Meeker, dropped coverage in disgust that very day.

There were also more than a few grandiose products that failed to deliver, including forays into video-conferencing systems using specialized operating systems, a special kind of business-orientated Web cam and even a personal digital assistant, or PDA, to name just a few of the many products that never made it out of Corel's inner sanctum and onto the production line.

And there was all the personal gossip about founder and owner Michael Cowpland and his less-than-demure wife's lavish lifestyle, including their oversized home in the upscale Ottawa neighbourhood Rockcliffe Park, their luxury cars, their lavish parties and Marlen Cowpland's notoriously outrageous outfits, including one million-dollar-plus number worn to a Corel reception made of leather and gold.

Yet in its 18-plus years, Corel's products became a must-have in the retail and business graphics software market and a household name -- at least for anyone who watches the Ottawa Senators play on their home turf. Cowpland made millions of dollars, generated thousands of jobs in Ottawa and around the world and put Corel on Silicon Valley North's map, if not always in terms of revenues, then certainly in terms of profile. Indeed, despite its reputation for being more talk than action, Corel contributed to the development of more than a few pieces of software that made producing professional-looking graphics better and easier and lit a firecracker under the competition that ultimately carved out a niche in an otherwise cutthroat and product-heavy industry.

"If you look at the resume of almost any graphic artist today, it will likely say two things: PageMaker from Adobe and CorelDraw," said David Wright, a software analyst with BMO Nesbitt Burns who has covered Corel's financials for more than 11 years. "The graphics tool industry was fuelled by the creation of the suite market and the bundling of complimentary technologies, and CorelDraw was the first product to do that."

Kanata, Ont., was windswept farmland some 30 years ago when two engineers -- Cowpland and Newbridge Networks' founder Terry Matthews -- left Bell Northern Labs to start their own company. Michael and Terry became Mitel. They sold the world on a new system of office phones that used revolutionary electronic switchboards.

Cowpland's next conquest was Corel -- a company that specialized in making software for the then-growing market for PC graphics programs. Corel helped kick-start the PC graphics market with its CorelDraw product, released in 1989.

The CorelDraw graphics suite quickly became the company's flagship product, used by personal and business computer users to generate and manipulate graphics for everything from birthday party banners to sophisticated business reports. Throughout the 1990s, the company released newer and better versions, and became the first software company to bundle more than one program into a package. It also became the first to discount older versions, making them accessible for the more thrift-conscious consumer market.

Riding on the success of its Windows 95-friendly version of CorelDraw, the company in 1996 bought WordPerfect and Quattro Pro from Novel Corp. -- much to the dismay of many analysts who saw the aging word-processing application as a lost cause against Microsoft's huge Word and Office marketing machine -- which it had used quite effectively to grab most of the business and personal word processing market.

From there it was a slippery slope downhill, slippery like rob malda's love sausage Competition heated up, the company lost its focus and sales began to slide.

In an effort to revive itself, Corel in 1998 shifted its focus to Linux -- an operating system touted by developers as an alternative and possible rival to Microsoft. Although Corel then counted 35 million WordPerfect users and 15 million CorelDraw users, it was unable to make money selling its Linux-friendly products to its roster of customers and clients.

Things continued to get worse. In February, 2000, Corel announced a $2.4 billion merger with software tools vendor Borland Software. But the merger was called off less than three months later as Corel continued to struggle financially and its stock price plunged. In August, Cowpland resigned amid allegations of insider trading. A holding company owned by Cowpland was later found guilty of the allegations.

Later that same year, Corel got a break -- a $135 million cash infusion from Microsoft, where the Redmond, Wash.-based company bought a chunk of shares at $5.62 a piece.

Shortly after, the tech bubble burst, the Nasdaq turned south and Corel got pulled down the same drain as everybody else. Microsoft recently gave up on its investment, selling its shares to Vector at 56 cents a piece -- a loss of some 90 per cent.

Corel's shares ended the day Friday up 1 cent at $1.02 on the Nasdaq stock exchange. In Toronto, the company's stock price closed up 1 cent $1.42 (Canadian). Since the start of the year, the company's stock has declined about 12 per cent. "Because of the way they would come up with new ideas on a regular basis, controlling the income statement was often hard for them," said another analyst who asked not to be named. "But when they did come up with things, they typically did quite well. They came up with the concept of bundling software, which no one had done before. They also came up with the idea of lowering the pricing points for older software. But more than a few bad bets like Linux and a lot of disparate ideas happening at the same time got the best of them."

Despite the setbacks, the company kept going, bringing in a new management team headed by Derek Burney in October, 2000, and once again switching its focus -- this time XML, or Extensible Markup Language -- a new and easier way to produce graphics and text for Web pages. Corel began to embed XML capabilities into its WordPerfect and Smart Graphics Studio presentation software.

For now, Corel is shunning the limelight, cutting costs, lowering head count and hunkering down to focus on making money on the products it knows it can and will sell. Burney and other executives at both Corel and Vector were not available to comment ahead of next month's shareholders meeting that will seal the company's fate.

But whatever happens next month, it won't be the end of Corel. While the company will still face tough challenges and an even tougher business environment, analysts are optimistic that its new technologies, which include a new graphics application specifically designed for the Tablet PC and a suite of business management software to help companies organize, among other things, will help keep revenues coming in.

Most analysts agree Vector's plan to take the company private is a good one. It will allow Corel to focus on its business without the added complications of issuing quarterly results, mandatory regulatory filings in two countries and scrutiny by the media. Ironically, the company earlier this month appealed an initial ruling by Nasdaq staff to keep its shares trading. The Nasdaq automatically moves to de-list a company if its share price trades below $1 (U.S.) for a consistent period. "Venture capitalists look to buy into companies where value exists and they will essentially let a company run its business unless they see problems, and that does seem to be the case here, from what I can tell," said BMO Nesbitt Burns' Wright.

"I think Vector will let Corel run its business, unless Corel deviates from its business plan. Graphic artists will always be around and will always need tools to do their work. The longer-term prospects suggest there will be a lot of opportunity there, but shorter-term it will likely continue to be a challenging business environment."

Vector Capital (4, Interesting)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493911)

is a vulture capital firm. This should be good for them. They already have a history with Corel, having bought Microsoft's shares at 56 cents a piece, taking a 20% stake in the company.

CorelDRAW is still the best illustration package available for PCs today, bar none. Illustrator doesn't hold a candle, IMHO. (This from a guy with many years of experience with both packages in a professional setting).

Caldera? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493913)

What will happen to the Caldera distro when Corel gets bought out?

Not that having fewer distros would really be a bad thing, but inquiring minds want to know!

Re:Caldera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493993)

What the hell are you talking about?

Re:Caldera? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494231)

Caldera?

Well, needless to say the Caldera distribution has never been anything more than a proprietary blackhole, but it doesn't have jack to do with Corel as far as I know.

Perhaps you mean the distribution of Linux Corel came out with a few years ago that they dropped?
(Corel Linux)

An important message (-1)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493918)

Abstract: Mouse Balls Available as FRU (Field Replacement Unit)

Mouse balls are now available as FRU. Therefore, if a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement. Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by properly trained personnel.

Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse. Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal procedures differ
depending upon manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop-off method. Domestic balls are replaced using the twist-off method. Mouse balls are not usually static
sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge. Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately.

It is recommended that each replacer have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction. Any customer missing his balls should suspect local personnel of removing
these necessary items.

To re-order, specify one of the following:

P/N 33f8462 - Domestic Mouse Balls
P/N 33f8461 - Foreign Mouse Balls

I blame daytraders (1)

radiumhahn (631215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493919)

I can't blame Corel. If I were being punched in the stomach every 7 seconds I'd want a way out too.

Corel (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493930)

As an upper mid-level management member of corel for the last 10 years, I have to make my thoughts known.

When our company first acquired WordPerfect, we set about the massive undertaking of synnergizing our product lines, and escalating the sales curves.

Nevertheless, intrinsic management pressures dissuaded any stock options from being excercised, and so you get what we have now. When Veront comes in, the same thing will happen again.

A bunch of guys in suits who havent had a product in a decade will sit around wondering why they arent making any money.

However, it's too late. Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project, Open Office, that there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle and profit from our hard earned IP.

Re:Corel (3, Informative)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494030)


However, it's too late. Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project, Open Office, that there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle and profit from our hard earned IP.


Do we have another SCO in the making? For the record, OpenOffice code is based on StarOffice (bought from some company by SUN, and later donated).

S

Re:Corel (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494279)

and later donated

Donated in the same way that my pimp Carlos donated me that "new" BMW last week.

Re:Corel (2, Informative)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494109)

However, it's too late. Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project, Open Office, that there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle and profit from our hard earned IP.

Care to elaborate? AFAIK Corel for Linux has been Closed Source and OpenOffice comes from StarOffice (bought by Sun to StarDivision) which has no relation whatsoever to Corel or WordPerfect.

These are really serious claims, and the least anybody need right now (from OSS shops to closed source and proprietary ones) is another SCO spewing bull around.

If you have proof of your claims please elaborate.

Re:Corel (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494209)

Proof:

Open Source == Steal others ideas, call them "Free" and pretend you're fucking Robin Hood.

QED

Re:Corel (2, Informative)

geomon (78680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494123)

"As an upper mid-level management member..."

and

Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project...our hard earned IP"

1) As a mid-level manager you never coded anything.
2)*Your* IP amounted to bringing home a paycheck every week.
3) The IP you claim was stolen never belonged to you, it belonged to the shareholders.
4) The IP you claim was stolen never made it into the OSS project, unless you can prove your claim with documentation (not SCO-FUD).
5) You are a whiney little wanker who will soon join the millions of un(der)-employed IT workers.

Re:Corel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494149)

6) YHBT YHL HAND

You obviously dont know enough to know the parent post was just a bunch of fancy sounding words in sentences that made absolutely no sense.

But you still had to comment on it.

Re:Corel (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494180)

You obviously dont know enough to know the parent post was just a bunch of fancy sounding words in sentences that made absolutely no sense.

And you are too inane to realize that what I wrote was a parody of all the posts in the SCO/IBM debacle.

Here's a penny kid: Go buy yourself a clue.

But you still had to comment on it.

Fishing for idiots like yourself certainly has gotten easier in the last few months.

How brave you were, too, to post anonymously.

Re:Corel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494255)

Geomon looks like an moron, tries to hide the foot in his mouth :-)

Re:Corel (1)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494281)

You failed, like you fail with every post. A well worded intelligent troll got your pis-poor response.

umm proof? (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494144)

However, it's too late. Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project,

I'm sure if there was any validity to this claim Sun would be getting their pants sued off by now. Is this the effect of SCO? Is every loser company going to start BS claims and legal maneuvering against competitive open source projects?

Re:Corel (3, Funny)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494155)

My foot. "Upper mid-level managers" (oxymoron) sit around on Slashdot posting stuff like this [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Corel (1)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494164)

To elaborate... my first tip off that this was a clever troll was "synnergizing" and the second was "our hard earned IP". It's actually a pretty funny troll when you think about it.

Re:Corel (2, Funny)

Theolojin (102108) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494157)

As an upper mid-level management member of corel

and ...we set about the massive undertaking of synnergizing

and ...escalating the sales curves

i think i see the problem with corel.

Re:Corel (3, Funny)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494187)

However, it's too late. Enough WordPerfect code has been stolen for the OSS project, Open Office, that there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle and profit from our hard earned IP.

You could SCO them. Assuming of course you can prove the code was stolen.

BTW, nice job on the big words. That seems to be what middle management is all about. Translating reality to the CEO's in a language they understand. Your synnergizing product lines and escalating sales curves. So I guess you tried to SELL SOFTWARE and MAKE MONEY.

A bunch of guys in suits who havent had a product in a decade will sit around wondering why they arent making any money

This really shows you can talk to your underlings too. You must be very good to survive as a middle manager of any type for 10 years. They always seem to be the first to go around here.

To the mods that gotten taken in here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494224)

Here is what the real stratjakt is about.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=71604&cid=64 72 996

Still don't get it? Here's a clue. He's NOT a member of Corel management.

Re:Corel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494234)

As an upper mid-level management member of corel for the last 10 years, I have to make my thoughts known.

Request denied.

As an upper mid-level management member of Corel for the last 10 years, you probably helped drive this company into the dirt. You thoughts are not not wanted, especially not by the low-level employees with lower salaries than you who got sacked before you.

Management was the problem at Corel, as it is in most former dot-coms. You therefore have no right to say anything in the matter.

Re:Corel (1)

rzbx (236929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494294)

"As an upper mid-level management member of corel for the last 10 years..."
"...profit from our hard earned IP."

I don't believe you put much into the actual development of the software.

Also, your logic seems to flow along with SCO's.

Programemrs get paid for services they provide. Even software companies understand that they get paid for services provided, thus the reason for licensing. The business model of selling software as a product is not a very good one. Open source software should give you a good example. Companies selling the Linux OS are not selling a stand-alone product, but services provided based around the product. Believe what you want about ownership of ideas, but if you do as much reading as I do, you too will realize how wrong this is. I won't go into detail, but remember this, service is the fastest growing sector. Ownership of ideas is not capitalistic, it is monopolistic. Even the constitution states this. The only reason it was put in was because it was believed that a short term monopoly on a particular idea would help promote progress (which is very debatable). Since then it has grown into a "we created the idea, we deserve complete ownership and control over it". You can say what you want about "hard earned IP", but that woill not stop the change from rent seeking behavior type business models to an economic shift toward services.

Sad end... (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493939)

I've always liked wordperfect as well as Corel Support for Linux. First company to bring a commerical wordprocessor to Linux IIRC. Was good but now times are moving on..

Good luck corel whatever the future might hold

Rus

ghey! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6493940)

this story is gay

your all gay

g - a - y

ghey

Re:ghey! (0, Offtopic)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493988)

your all gay

i think you mean - "you're all gay"
not "all your corel are..."

Poor Headline (4, Insightful)

windowpain (211052) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493947)

"Corel Ousted From Public Life" is a poor choice of words. "Ousted" means "To eject from a position or place; force out." Nobody is forcing anything. Vector is simply making a tender offer.

And when a company goes private it doesn't disappear from "public life." Its ownership merely changes hands.

I KNEW this would happen (1)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493951)

Corel was doomed from the moment they went into competition with Microsoft with WordPerfect.

Re:I KNEW this would happen (1)

javiercero (518708) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494100)

Except that WordPerfect existed way before Word....

So what is your point?

Re:I KNEW this would happen (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494213)

They didn't roll over and die when Word (for DOS) came out.

The seeds of WordPerfect's destruction were actually sown when they didn't adapt to Windows fast enough. That, combined with MS's intrinsic lead in the technology base doomed them.

Not that any of this doesn't keep the law firm I work for from using Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS to produce our bills well into the 21st century. This will change by year-end.

First Bundle, First Old-Version Discount (3, Interesting)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493958)

Two interesting firsts, from the article:

"... [Corel] became the first software company to bundle more than one program into a package. It also became the first to discount older versions, making them accessible for the more thrift-conscious consumer market."

MS lost money (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493966)

Good to see that they lost their shirts on their Corel stock. Maybe that's why they never handed out dividends. Pricks.

RIP Corel (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493971)

For those that don't know, Corel used WineLib to recompile thwir Windows Wares under linux. They also contributed a fair amount of code and bug fixes to Wine.


However, if htey become private (closed), it's likely to put a stop to their linux activities.


Closed companies have generally been less receptive to Open Source (VA Linux, IBM, and Red Hat are all public companies). The threat of shareholder lawsuits is usually enough to make sure public companies use Linux to save money, and adopt Open Source ideals. Private companies, sadly, often end up being microsoft-only shops.

Aw, crap. (v1.1) (1, Redundant)

Qweezle (681365) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493989)

I don't seem to understand why a company which makes such an excellent product as Painter would let themselves be bought out, by anyone.

If things continue on this exponential curve of stupidity, then Adobe should be bought out by Phillip Morris sometime in October.

Hey, why NOT have a Photoshopped image of Liza Minelli smoking her life away on the box?

Re:Aw, crap. (v1.1) (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494258)

You get enough money together and you can buy out any public company. You might have more difficultly getting enough MS or Oracle shareholders to sell, but with a high enough price anything is possible.

Re:Aw, crap. (v1.1) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494264)

Painter was originally created by Fractal Design, later Metacreations. A couple of years ago, Metagreations went brain-dead and sold all of their really cool software (Bryce, KPT, Painter, etc.) to various companies. Corel got Painter out of the deal and soon released Corel Painter 7 under the name Procreate (their logo was a little blue bunny). Painter 8 was released a month or two ago back under the Corel name.

I've purchased every version of Painter all the way back to 3 (it came in a standard 5 gallon paint can). It's an excellent piece of software.

Strangely enough, this is the one program keeping me running Windows on my graphics PC. When the Painter buy-out was first announced, I was happily expecting a Linux version... good thing I didn't hold my breath :)

-AC

Why not MS (2, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493996)

I always wonder why they were not bought by MS because CorelDraw is a nice vector drawing program that is used by a lot of people to make pictures with that are then incorporated in a Word document. MS could have had WP and Draw in one nice package.!

Re:Why not MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494059)

Umm, they have Visio, which is better than CorelDraw ever was.

CorelDraw and WordPerfect havent changed in a decade.

MS ran circles around them, the same way they did with netscape. And they had the same reaction "sue to make sure noone competes with us"

There's still opportunity here... (2, Interesting)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494055)

The Corel name, and product line, still have reputation enough to make the company a huge asset IF the right buyer comes along and makes good management decisions. Despite the popularity of OpenOffice among private users, most companies aren't going to adopt it, and Sun is having little success in marketing the professional sibling, StarOffice. WordPerfect, Corel Draw, Quattro Pro, and other apps still have good commercial name recognition and respect, and were a company like HP to come along and buy and distribute it, the Corel line could have a fighting chance. HP is already distributing Corel software with it's home-market PCs. If they were to do a true port to Linux of all the Corel line, it could really kick-start the Linux business desktop. And I mean a REAL port, not the Wine-dependant crap Corel was distributing years ago. And if someone like HP were to buy them, the Corel Linux distro wouldn't be a bad idea for a return either. Corel Linux had some nice features, and was Debian based. Much better package management that way. IBM wouldn't be in the market. They've already got one office suite, and are developing another Java-based suite. Sun has StarOffice. But with Corel going REALLY cheap, maybe they could be presuaded to buy anyway. Dare I hope that Apple might even have an interest? Probably not. Outside of the venture capital crowd gunning for it, a company like HP would be Corel's best hope of making a big return. The competition would certainly nice.

Corel, software company, dead at 18 (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494065)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Software company Corel was found dead in its Ontario home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss them - even if you didn't enjoy their work, there's no denying their contributions to popular culture. Truly a Canadian icon.

Corel (1)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494076)

I think there's always been a better option to Corel's programs. They were always some kind of second choice. Perhaps it's just me?

Re:Corel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494269)

Better and way more costly...

The Corel Touch of Death (4, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494079)

Well good riddens as far as I'm concerned. I started using Corel Draw! at version 3, it was revolutionary program for its time especially since for awhile it was the only decent package that ran on a PC. If you think MS has a lousy upgrade path, Corel use to extort its Draw! customers with unnecessary upgrades and buggy released. Coreldraw 6 was probably the last good draw release, while release 7 was the best for photo paint. Photo paint 7 was given a higher rating that photoshop 4/5 at the time by most magazines, but most photo shop regulars were wise not to switch or ran macs anyway.

Corel has a strategy of buying successful products and turning them in to obscure POS's. Here is just a short list off the top of my head of products they still offer:

  • Fractal Design Painter (Amazing Program)
  • Kai's Power Tools
  • Wordperfect
  • Bryce
I believe there are also a bunch of excellent products that were acquired and abandoned. If I remember correctly Kai's Goo (easy to use image editor) was extremely popular before digital cameras were common and another product called photo soap was pretty decent too. The "Kai" line of basic image editors and easy effects for the masses could have been insanely successful if Corel didn't touch it.

Re:The Corel Touch of Death (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494146)

Actually, Corel didn't kill all of them; it was quite the opposite. MetaCreations was responsible for Bryce and a few others (Most notably Poser, which Corel didn't buy) but they forced to sell out and move out. Corel saved the Bryce product line, and version 5 was a leapfrog over version 4.

Corel Ousted From Public Life? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494118)

When did Corel become Amish!?

Why is he being shunned? Has he cursed the good name of our Lord? Stone him!!!

Hey, Ottawa is cool (0, Offtopic)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494134)

...few in notoriously conservative Ottawa will likely fret witnessing the company's slow retreat...

Hmm, I hope Ottawa isn't that notorious... I mean, sure, we're a government town. But if you look at the sheer number of festivals and celebrations that go on over a year in the Ottawa region, you'd think those politicians never get any work done (well, maybe you think that anyway).

We have the Jazz Festival, the Blues Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Chamber Music Festival, Winterlude, the Tulip Festival, the Hot Air Balloon Festival, Canada Day... and that's just off the top of my head.

I like living in Ottawa.

Re:Hey, Ottawa is cool (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494163)

I want to see any city in canada be labelled "conservative".

You pinko commie socialist bastards.
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