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TechRepublic/Gartner: Commentary: Corel faces uncertain future after departure of Cowpland

Aug 19, 2000, 22:31 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Le Tocq)

"The resignation of Dr. Michael Cowpland as chairman, CEO, and president is a watershed for Corel. Cowpland and Corel have been virtually synonymous since he founded the company in 1985. Corel's successes and failures have largely stemmed from decisions Cowpland made."

"More recently, Cowpland and Corel placed a large bet on moving its applications to Linux on the desktop. ... This strategy may have received its heaviest blow on 15 August 2000, when several large vendors--e.g., Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems--announced support for the Gnome Foundation's Linux desktop project. Key parts of this open source desktop are productivity applications that run on top of UNIX and Linux. The Gnome Foundation likely has further reduced whatever revenue opportunity Corel had in this area."

"In Gartner's opinion, these troubles and the exit of the company's dynamic leader, Cowpland, makes Corel a likely acquisition target. It retains its large base of WordPerfect users, which will prove attractive for any company looking to move those users to the Web and perhaps transition them to its own Web-based productivity services."

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