WORDPERFECT: THE DEATH WATCH CONTINUES

Corel has announced a couple of bundling deals for slimmed down versions of the WordPerfect suite. Hewlett Packard is installing WordPerfect on all of its Pavilion computers, and Dell is including WordPerfect on its budget Dimension model. In each case, WordPerfect is replacing the Microsoft Works suite. Here’s an article about the bundling deals.

Should WordPerfect users take heart – are there signs of life in the moribund patient? These deals will provide some much-needed revenue for Corel, and anything’s possible – but I wouldn’t make too much of it. Manufacturers are trying to shave the last few pennies off computers that are already discounted within an inch of their life, so it makes sense to include the cheaper suite from Corel. Most consumers buying low-end systems don’t pay any attention to the software bundled with a computer until they get home. They’ll simply be irritable that Word isn’t installed and they’ll go out and buy a copy. Not a big gain for Corel.

In any case, Corel is still struggling to stay afloat, suffering from losses, slow growth and a lack of direction. Corel’s shares have been under a dollar since June – half of their price at the beginning of the year, and down from $30 in December 1999. The company has received a de-listing warning from NASDAQ. Still looks like a death watch to me.