Corels latest WordPerfect Office upgrade provides a basic, less expensive alternative for organizations that dont want Microsoft Office. Loyal WordPerfect customers will not be disappointed, and the suite could gain new fans with its enhanced XML capabilities. Prices start at $299 for the Standard version ($149 to upgrade). More information can be found at www.corel.com/wordperfect.
PRO: Runs on Windows operating systems as far back as Windows 98 Second Edition; can publish documents in XML; file converter can change groups of documents into different file formats.
CON: Dearth of applications compared with Microsoft Office; no Linux support.
EVALUATION SHORT LIST
The WordPerfect Office 11.0 suite comprises the WordPerfect 11.0 word processor, the Quattro Pro 11.0 spreadsheet application and the Presentations 11.0 presentation maker. The WordPerfect Office 11.0 suite provides good cross-platform support, running on a wide variety of Windows versions, and enhanced XML capabilities.
IT managers looking for a basic alternative to a Microsoft Office 2003 Standard edition upgrade should consider WordPerfect Office. On the other hand, organizations needing an integrated e-mail client, desktop publishing applications and contact management should stick with Microsoft Office.
Penny-pinching enterprises can get more bang for their buck from free office suites such as Sun Microsystems Inc.s StarOffice, OpenOffice.orgs OpenOffice or CodeWeavers Inc.s CrossOver Office 2.0. Still, WordPerfect Office 11.0s list price of $299 (or $149 for an upgrade) should make it less expensive to acquire than Microsofts Office 2003 Standard edition (which had yet to be priced at press time).
Enterprises that require a relational database will need to purchase the WordPerfect Office 11.0 Professional edition, which is available through Corels business licensing program.
Compared with Microsofts Office 2003, WordPerfect Office 11.0 is less finicky when it comes to platform support. Office 2003 will require Windows XP or Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, whereas WordPerfect Office 11.0 runs on Windows operating systems as far back as Windows 98 Second Edition, as well as Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6a, ME, 2000 and XP.
Linux fans are out of luck, but Corel executives said they havent ruled out the possibility of porting the suite to non-Windows platforms.
The most promising part of WordPerfect Office 11.0 is its increased XML capabilities. This might not make any difference to smaller organizations, but enterprises with large data collecting and filtering needs will appreciate these enhancements. Users can now publish WordPerfect, Quattro Pro or Presentations documents to XML format and deploy that information to a number of devices.
Developers can also use the suite to create forms that retrieve information and send it directly to back-end databases using XML. The XML integration will also open XML-formatted files.