Corel Debuts Free WordPerfect Beta

Corel made a play for a piece of the Web 2.0 pie on Tuesday, releasing WordPerfect Lightning in beta, a free, compact version of its standard word processing suite that combines both online and offline functionality.

The company is referring to the product as a Google Writely, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft OneNote competitor rolled into one. At 16MB, the entire program can be placed on a USB stick or burned to CD to allow for maximum portability.

Online services would be provided by Joyent, which offers online services such as e-mail, calendars, address books, and file storage. In addition, users would be provided with 200MB of free storage.

"By blending desktop and Web applications in WordPerfect Lightning, Corel is taking a truly hybrid approach to computing, enabling users to maximize their productivity by making it simpler and faster to gather, organize and share critical information," office productivity manager Richard Carriere said.

Lightning is made up of four modules. Navigator, which helps users assemble and organize their content; Viewer, which can open documents in Word, PDF, and WordPerfect; and Lightning Notes, which is a small word processing and note-taking utility. Connector will contain the online services for the application, the company said.

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