Corel to enter PDA market with Java, NS, office bundle

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 3 Sep 96 13:58:03 -0400

Corel's PDA will sport a Java-enabled browser interface

By Kristi Essick
InfoWorld Electric

Posted at 4:28 PM PT, Aug 30, 1996
Corel Corp. will enter uncharted waters with plans to produce a hand-held PDA
which runs on Java and has Netscape Navigator for an interface.

A cross between a network computer and a PDA, the yet-unnamed Corel device
will act as a thin-client with no storage capability that lets users access
the Internet and download Java applets on an as-needed basis to run
applications, said Corel.

As a PDA, the device will offer functions for a personal address book,
calendar, and even a digital tape recorder. The applications for these
services will reside locally on the PDA, as will the browser and a fax and
e-mail program.

To support Internet access, the PDA will come with a 28.8Kbps modem and a
standard phone jack, as well as a separate connection for an Ethernet line.
Users will also be able to upload and download information to and from a
corporate intranet or database, said Steven Latham, product manager for the
Corel PDA.

Corel recently licensed Navigator for use in its Office Professional 7 suite
of productivity products bundled with Word Perfect, as well as for a video
software program called Corel Video. Corel is also among the vendors who
endorsed Oracle's Network Computer Reference Profile earlier this year.

While hardware design may seem like a shift for the software company, Corel
sees the move as a natural one considering the company recently began a
massive undertaking of rewriting all of its applications into Java components,
Latham said.

The first of these new Java-based programs to be available are Word Perfect
Presentation and Quattro Pro, which can currently be downloaded in beta from
the company's Web site at _

The entire WordPerfect Suite is due out in Java early next year, said Latham,
who said the PDA is really just an extension of Corel's plans to create
NC-ready applications.

The device will be able to plug into a docking station to function more like
a real PC on a network with the ability to support a keyboard, mouse, monitor,
and external CD-ROM and possibly a hard drive, said Latham.

"This is much more than just a PDA or just a network computer. It's got more
stuff in it than an Apple Newton or a U.S. Robotics Pilot," Latham said.

Corel is positioning the PDA for an initial price of $500, but Latham said
that the "price will only go down", citing as little as $300 as a possible
price. The PDA will be available in the second quarter of 1997.

Corel, based in Ottawa, Canada, can be reached at (613) 728-8200 as well as

Kristi Essick is a San Francisco-based correspondent for the IDG News
Service, an InfoWorld affiliate.