Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Once upon a time, some believed Corel could compete with Microsoft to bring life to a new generation of personal computers.
That was about 25 years ago, and it's hard to imagine that whatever Corel cooks up now makes Bill Gates nervous. Corel's advertising slogan might be, "Dare to be a distant (and fading) No. 2!"
The obvious question: With Microsoft controlling all but a sliver of the personal computer software market, who needs Corel?
Probably no one, despite a sharp business strategy of going after first-time computer buyers in emerging markets. This plan may be undercut by distribution of software on the Internet and growth of open source code--the major challenge to Microsoft's Windows operating systems--that allows users to develop and swap software at little or no cost. Companies such as Red Hat thrive by providing database and collaboration tools to Linux users. Red Hat's 2005 sales increased about 56% over the year before, and net income jumped about 224%.
Corel doesn't offer such explosive growth, and its sales are uneven. Worse, the its accumulated deficit may yet crush the company. Current stockholders, including executive officers and directors, are using the initial public offering to cash out. There is little here for the individual investor, and it might be wise to skip the company's planned IPO.