Corel Continues Romp Through Microsoft Territory

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While not a win as large as previous announcements, Corel certainly scored Monday with a deal that puts its WordPerfect Productivity Pack on Gateway computers.

The software alternate to the Microsoft-dominated application world is increasingly winning over PC manufacturers to put its Corel product line on machines instead of Microsoft Office applications.

Corel has already signed deals this year with Dell and Hewlett-Packard to put WordPerfect applications onto its PCs. The deal with Gateway marks Corel's entrance into the three largest PC manufacturers in the U.S.

In the case of all three PC makers, only certain makes sport the Corel applications. In the case of Poway, Calif.-based Gateway, it marks WordPerfect suite applications in the series 300 PCs, which is considered by Gateway executives as an entry-level computer for consumers. HP, on the other hand, has Corel bundled into its entire Pavilion line of home computers, which number 69 different makes. Dell has the WordPerfect Suite pre-bundled on certain Dimension and Inspiron computers.

Corel officials aren't particularly worried about the limited presence they have in Gateway computers, and on entry-level machines to boot. For the company, it's a foot in the door.

"This alliance enables Corel to introduce a whole new group of customers to the unique benefits of our productivity solutions," said Steve Houck, Corel executive vice president for strategic relations, in a statement Tuesday.

The Corel WordPerfect Productivity Pack includes the WordPerfect (word processor) and Quattro Pro (spreadsheet) programs, and every instance of those two applications found in a computer means one less with Microsoft Office applications.

The company has been making huge strides in recent months to cut into Microsoft's dominance in the PC application business, in addition to cutting deals with manufacturers.

In August, Corel launched a licensing deal with companies, striking right at the heart of Microsoft's subscription-based fees. Where Microsoft Office will be charged on a per-user basis, Corel's WordPerfect Suite doesn't require volume commitments or an annual fee to upgrade.

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