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Corel’s Days Seem Numbered After Selling Out to Microsoft, Just Like Novell

Posted in Corel, Deals, GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Xandros at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corel used to be about GNU/Linux, but then Microsoft signed a deal with it

Corel was once a company boasting a GNU/Linux strategy. It was a promising leader with plenty of resources at its disposal. Then, a mysterious deal was signed with Microsoft and the company embraced things like .NET. Initially it had promised to keep its GNU/Linux direction alive, but the promise didn’t last. Over the years it become more and more of a Microsoft-oriented company. It spat out Xandros though.

Xandros later swallowed Linspire. We foresaw Linspire’s death several months [1, 2] before it actually happened [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Their deal with Microsoft ruined them on so many levels. We received information about these issues, albeit privately. Eventually it materialised and Linspire is no more.

Moral of the story: Microsoft deals kill. It’s a dance with the devil.

In this week’s news, one can now find that Corel trying to sell itself, just like Linspire.

Corel in Talks to Sell Itself After Vector Ends Buyout Offer


Corel, founded in 1985 by Michael Cowpland, earned acclaim for its CorelDraw graphics program in the 1990s. In 1996, the company paid $170 million to Novell Inc. for the WordPerfect word-processing software, which competes with Microsoft Corp.’s Word. Cowpland stepped down in 2000 after sales dropped.

Probably related to this: Corel withdrew a buybacks offer.

Corel Corp., the maker of WordPerfect and CorelDraw software, said Vector Capital Corp. is withdrawing its buyout offer so Corel can pursue alternatives to increasing shareholder value.


Corel, founded in 1985 by Michael Cowpland, won fame for its CorelDraw graphics program in the 1990s. In 1996, the company paid $170 million to Novell Inc. for the WordPerfect word- processing software, challenging Microsoft Corp.’s Word. Cowpland stepped down in 2000 after sales dropped.

There were some shuffles at the very top level of Corel recently and it’s never an encouraging sign of corporate health. For background on the history of Corel and Microsoft, consider [1, 2].

Eventually, just as Matt Asay speculated couple of days ago, Microsoft will throw Novell into the ashtray. Right now it only needs to get a job done. It exploits Novell in order to ruin other GNU/Linux vendors, as well as put software patents and Linux taxation in place.

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