Corel draws on Jasc's tools

Corel has strengthened its position in the graphics and imaging software market with the acquisition of Jasc Software, the company behind the Paint Shop family of products.

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, means Corel can provide a more complete solution in the graphics market. A statement from Corel says: "Corel can now provide users of graphics software a complete migration path from the most basic picture organising and sharing, to image improvement and retouching, all the way to advanced image editing and graphics creation."

With the purchase, Corel now owns the Paint Shop Pro, Paint Shop Pro Studio and Paint Shop Photo Album products. The company will continue to market and develop the Paint Shop family of products as stand-alone products and provide service and support for Jasc customers. It is anticipated there will be potential to later offer broader, integrated suites.

Meanwhile, existing Corel programs will work alongside the new products said Richard Dodd, Corel Australia marketing manager.

"CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT will remain key parts of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite package and will continue to fit the SMB/prosumer area of the market," he said.

However, Dodd said he did not see the need to go head-to-head with Adobe, a big player in the graphics market with products such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Illustrator.

"I think we tend to sit in an area of the market that Adobe aren't truly focused on," he said. "With the exception of their Elements products, most of their titles are geared solely at the professional user. While we do have products that have good penetration in this area (Painter IX), our core products such as CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 are much more SMB focused.

"CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 has huge penetration into trade-level design businesses like sign writing and screen printing and this is where we are focusing a lot of our energy," he said.

There are no plans to change existing prices of either Corel or Jasc products, Dodd said.

Corel itself was the target of a recent takeover. In August 2003, the Canadian-based company was acquired by US-based venture capital firm Vector Capital Group for $US124 million. At the time, Corel had been experiencing falling revenue for its mature products and less-than-expected revenue for its new enterprise-level products.

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