Corel adds e-mail client to WordPerfect suite

By Joris Evers, IDG News Service |  Software

Corel Corp. on Tuesday will announce a small business version of its WordPerfect Office 12 suite that includes a new WordPerfect Mail e-mail client.

The e-mail client is based on Bloomba, which was distributed by San Mateo, California-based Stata Labs until that company was acquired by Yahoo Inc. last October. Bloomba was lauded by reviewers as being efficient and easy to use, but it lacked a high profile. Yahoo discontinued distribution of Bloomba after it bought Stata Labs.

Corel was in talks with Stata Labs before it was taken over by Yahoo and has now struck a deal with the Sunnyvale, California, Internet company to distribute Bloomba as WordPerfect Mail, said Richard Carriere, a general manager at Corel. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

WordPerfect Mail includes a spam filter, contact manager, shared calendaring and support for RSS (really simple syndication) feeds to help users keep up with new additions to Web logs and other Web sites, according to Corel.

The new mail client is part of WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition. The new bundle is aimed at businesses with up to 50 PCs, Carriere said.

WordPerfect Mail will not be part of the other WordPerfect 12 bundles, which include Standard, Professional and Home Edition. However, the e-mail client will be sold as a standalone product for a yet to be disclosed price, Carriere said. WordPerfect Office 12 was introduced in April last year and did not previously include an e-mail client.

WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition includes WordPerfect 12 for word processing, Quattro Pro 12 for spreadsheets, an application for presentations as well as a task manager and the Paint Shop Pro 9 graphics design tool. Corel also includes many templates and a 90-day trial of Symantec Corp.'s Norton Internet Security software.

The word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications are compatible with Microsoft Corp.'s competing products Word, Excel and PowerPoint, according to Corel, which claims that WordPerfect has over 20 million users worldwide. Microsoft officials last month said more than 400 million people use its Office products.

For users of many WordPerfect and Microsoft Office products, the upgrade version of WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition costs US$179. Without a previous product the WordPerfect bundle costs $349, Corel said.

WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition is available in English. Corel is evaluating the product in other languages, Carriere said.

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