Microsoft might dominate the office productivity space, but competitors continue to gain ground by producing lower-price alternatives that work well in enterprise environments.
The WordPerfect Office 12 productivity suite does just that, and newcomers are sure to applaud Corels efforts to provide smoother integration and a similar look and feel to Microsoft Office.
WordPerfect Office 12 offers compelling reasons for companies to climb off the Microsoft bandwagon—chief among them, a lower price and the option for an interface that is similar to Microsoft Offices. However, these new compatibility options probably wont be enough to motivate current WordPerfect 11 users to upgrade, especially if they havent experienced problems sharing documents with Microsoft users in the past.
Available now, WordPerfect Office 12 costs $299; the upgrade costs $150. WordPerfect Office 12 Professional, which includes the Paradox database, is priced at $349, or $199 for the upgrade.
In my tests, WordPerfect 12 exchanged data almost seamlessly with test machines running Microsoft Office 2004. The only exceptions were heavily formatted Word documents, where paragraph indentations did not display true to form in the WordPerfect word processor.
WordPerfect 12 is armed with a new work space manager, which lets users make the WordPerfect word processor, Quattro Pro spreadsheet and Presentations (the PowerPoint equivalent) programs look like their Microsoft Office counterparts.
When a document was first opened, the suite prompted me to choose between working in the programs native interface or in "Microsoft" mode, in which the menus, tool bars and keyboard layout almost exactly match those found in Microsoft Office—a feature I found handy.
More information can be found at www.corel.com.