DOJ Picks WordPerfect

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Justice has inked a five-year deal with Microsoft competitor Corel, worth up to $13.2 million, for more than 50,000 licenses of Corel's WordPerfect office suite, Corel announced this week.

The DOJ, which sued Microsoft in a monopoly-busting case that started in the mid-1990s, used WordPerfect before Monday's announcement, but Corel trumpeted the new deployment of WordPerfect Office 12 as reaffirming the software suite's number two position in the market, "despite hype around open source solutions," which includes OpenOffice.org.

The DOJ had previously signed a deal to get 35,000 copies of WordPerfect in 1999, according to Corel spokesperson Mike Kaplan.

Corel, in a press release, highlighted WordPerfect Office 12's flexible licensing agreements as a reason that the office suite's install base is growing by about 1 million users per quarter, according to the company's numbers. Each license provides a user with home and laptop privileges, giving employees licensed to use WordPerfect Office 12 at work the ability to use the same copy non-concurrently at home or on their laptops.

Showing Its Support

The DOJ decided to buy WordPerfect again largely because it remains the "tool of choice for the legal arena," says Mary Aileen O'Donovan, program manager for the DOJ's Justice Management Division. "We do what our customers require."

The DOJ also uses Microsoft Office software in external communications with people outside the legal profession, she says. O'Donovan praised Corel for understanding the DOJ's enterprise needs and for its licensing flexibility.

Corel, based in Ottawa, Ontario, is a private company and doesn't disclose sales figures. The company reports WordPerfect Office 12 has more than 20 million customers worldwide. In the first quarter of its 2005 fiscal year, Microsoft reported revenue of $2.56 billion in its Information Worker group, which includes its Office products.

WordPerfect Office 12 is compatible with popular file formats, including Microsoft Office, PDF, HTML, and XML, and allows customers to share files created in WordPerfect Office with users of other office productivity tools.

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