DOJ Drops Microsoft Office for Corel

Corel has won a 50,000 seat contract with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to license its WordPerfect Office 12 suite. Corel is crediting the "flexible" terms of its enterprise licensing program and the strength of its feature set as the primary reasons for overcoming objections and closing the sale.

WordPerfect 12 is billed as a feature-rich and value-priced alternative to Microsoft Office, but can coexist with the market leader, having built-in compatibility modes to support Microsoft's document formats.

The WordPerfect Office suite tackles word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and contact management. Corel's new Workspace Manager enables users to adjust the user interface to their own custom designs or clone the familiar layout of Microsoft toolbar and menu items. Users can also choose to work within pre-designed Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect 5.1 Classic backgrounds.

Last April, WordPerfect received an across the board update and compatibility enhancements to work better with Microsoft Office and received added support for an assortment of widely used file formats including PDF, HTML and XML. Corel has included Microsoft Office file support along with new compatibility toolbars that assist users to work with Microsoft Office documents.

Corel's enterprise grade licensing grants individual users nonconcurrent home and laptop privileges, and enterprise customers also receive customized support solutions from Corel. Support services cover product maintenance and customer training, as well as expertise for third party technology integration and customized XML solutions.

"The DOJ chose WordPerfect Office 12 because, quite simply, our users require it to do their job. In the courts, or among attorneys, it's the tool of choice for the legal arena," said Mary Aileen O'Donovan, Program Manager for the Justice Management Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

With Microsoft holding roughly 90 percent market share, many analysts say that WordPerfect's primary competition is other alternative productivity suites including Sun's Star Office and the OpenOffice.org open source software package.

To encourage broad adoption as a Microsoft Office alternative, Corel has relaxed licensing requirements and cut prices for teachers and students with a special WordPerfect Office 12 edition. Non-profit organizations also qualify to purchase the low-price SKU.

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