Corel Taps Yahoo-Acquired Startup for E-Mail Application

Corel's WordPerfect Mail marks the reappearance of an upstart client called Bloomba, which was known for its search capabilities and which Yahoo had stopped selling after acquiring it.

An upstart e-mail client that largely disappeared after being acquired by Yahoo last year is reappearing—as WordPerfect Mail.

Corel Corp., the maker of a productivity application suite that competes with Microsoft Office among small businesses and consumers, plans to launch Tuesday its renamed version of Bloomba 2.0, the e-mail software now owned by Yahoo Inc.

Bloomba grew out of startup Stata Laboratories Inc. as an e-mail application focused on search and advanced features. After Yahoo acquired Stata in October, it shuttered sales and upgrades to the Bloomba software.

But Corel had already reached an agreement with Stata before the Yahoo acquisition to sell the Bloomba 2.0 application under its own brand, officials with Corel and Yahoo said.

Corel, of Ottawa, Canada, is calling its e-mail application WordPerfect Mail to match the name of its broader WordPerfect Office 12 suite. WordPerfect also is the name of its well-known word-processing application that once rivaled Microsoft Word in use.

"This is part of our overall strategy in the last few years to be back strong in the market as a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, and the piece missing was an e-mail client," said Richard Carriere, Corels general manager for office productivity.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about Corels efforts to reshape itself through WordPerfect Office.

Corel chose Bloomba as the basis for its e-mail client because of Bloombas advanced features and its support for e-mail standards and for importing e-mail and contacts from other e-mail clients such as Outlook, Carriere said.

Corel has not offered an e-mail client since it discontinued an application called Corel Central a few years ago, Carriere said.

Among its features, WordPerfect Mail provides search across e-mail inboxes, folders, calendars, contacts and attachments. It also supports reading RSS feeds, provides calendar and contact management capabilities and includes spam-fighting tools.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read an eWEEK Labs review of Bloomba.

A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed the deal with Corel but declined to provide details on Yahoos strategy for the Bloomba application. By introducing WordPerfect Mail, Corel, so far, is the only distributor of the Bloomba technology.

WordPerfect Mail is available as a standalone application for $69. It also can be purchased as part of the broader Corel WordPerfect Office 12 suite for as little as $29, according to Corel.

The WordPerfect Mail application first became available as a part of the WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition in April.

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