New WordPerfect Office 11 suite slated for April

The latest version of Corel's WordPerfect Office productivity software suite will debut in late April with deeper XML integration and other features.

In an announcement Wednesday, Corel said WordPerfect Office 11 will also include an option to use the new "Classic Mode" for users who are familiar and comfortable with the former WordPerfect 5.1 version. The Classic Mode will have the familiar WordPerfect 5.1 appearance, with a blue screen interface and WordPerfect 5.1 keystrokes.

The new suite will also use the same file formats found in earlier Versions 6.1 through 10, allowing users to maintain file compatibility.

The enhanced XML authoring capabilities built into the newest version will allow users to directly publish to XML for the first time from the suite's WordPerfect, Quattro Pro or Presentations applications, according to Wendy Lowe, product manager for WordPerfect Office.

The suite will be sold in Standard and Professional versions, with the standard version retailing for US$299.99. The Professional version also includes the Paradox database application. Existing users can upgrade to Version 11 for US$149.99, while a special Academic Edition will be available to students or faculties for US$99.99. The company did not release a price for a stand-alone professional version of the suite.

Corel has been trying to increase its market share in the office productivity software segment that's now dominated by Microsoft's Office suites. Last August, Corel signed up hardware vendors Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer to offer many of their desktop and laptop computers loaded with Corel WordPerfect 10 word processing and Quattro Pro spreadsheet programs as part of a WordPerfect Productivity Pack.

Lowe said those earlier agreements have helped the company boost its market share but could not provide firm figures on the growth.

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Todd R. Weiss

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