Jon "Maddog" Hall is again the new "emcee" for the proceedings today. That guarantees that everyone will be able to hear the introductions! He's a great speaker. I highly recommend any talk he chooses to give.
Announcement re attendance: yesterday, 1077 people registered and went through the door. These are end users, not including exhibitors, organizers, press, etc. There are over 60 exhibitors, making this the largest Linux show in the world. The opportunity is there to become the largest Linux show ever. Congratulations to the organizers.
Michael Cowpland, introduction. Before Corel, in 1985, he worked in the communications industry as a design engineer at Bell Research, so he is a "true geek". He holds a PhD in engineering.
"Once a geek, always a geek," Michael said as he began. It is clear that every new Linux event will set a new record. Corel had a "challenging" time competing with Microsoft over the past few years, but now they are profitable again and able to bring something to the Linux community. What we bring is 10 million Corel Draw users and 30 Million Wordperfect users. They will provide all Corel software on Linux.
They see Linux as *the* competing platform to NT. The Mac remains as a specialty platform. Corel is second only to Microsoft in applications. Microsoft has been putting on the price squeeze to users. The price for licenses for 12,000 users used to be $4.2 million, but now is $13.6 million. That is an increase of 221%. They no longer allow concurrent licensing or personal use. Fortunately, Linux is here to provide the competition that will force the price back down.
Corel Office competes well. It currently has 25% of the office suite market and holding, while IBM/Lotus is down to less than 3%.
There are tremendous efforts in new version to remain compatible with Microsoft, including Microsoft Visual Basic scripting. Corel still says Yes to concurrent and personal use licensing.
The Linux software will have the *same* functionality, including full compatibility between Linux and Microsoft files. All Corel Graphics apps will come to Linux as well. CorelDraw has 65% of the illustrator market.
How does Java fit in? It provides a multi-platform glue, allowing people to run applications on the server and provide them to all the clients. This can also help hold down licensing costs.
The Linux Corporate Momentum is here, with over 100,000 developers in 12 global centres, operating system support from Red Hat, Caldera, IBM [and others.] 1 million Apache installations are in place and the recent database applications just increase the energy.
This is very attractive to Corel. Linux is compatible with Risc chips and allows them to avoid the "Microsoft Tax". The Netwinder takes only 7watts of power yet has 250 MIPS. It has 1000 developers and runs roughly twice as fast as the Cobalt cube. Zaphod, demonstrated in the booth, has stacked 10 netwinders in a rack, 2000 MIPS. It is their own Beowulf. They will be putting 8000 MIPS in one bay soon. The Netwinder works well for this because it uses so little power, so it is easy to cool.
They Excited about the WINE application. They feel that any MS app will run in WINE before the end of the year.
The Linux version will be shipping in a couple of weeks. It is really a mini-suite, with powerful tables and graphics built-in. It will allow free downloads for personal use. You can register today for the download within a week or two.
The CDROM version will be selling for $49, while a server version will be slightly more.
Wordperfect 8 has a powerful desktop publishing layout, spreadsheet, built-in graphics, comprehensive file handling, SQL database connectivity and strong web publishing power, with the ability to publish to HTML.
He feels strongly that governments, education and others should promote Linux to combat the Microsoft monopoly; it is better than anti-trust. Promote it as the system of choice.
Do you expect to support voice recognition? Dragon company is what we rely on and they are very excited about Linux.
Will Corel actively support the WINE project? Yes. We are actively doing this, part of why it should be available in a matter of months.
What about the desktop environment? We will use KDE now but we plan to switch to GNOME in the future.
Will you support the same licensing for other Corel apps? Probably. It is the best way to get the most users quickly, then get the revenue from the commercial side. It is similar to our policy of free personal use for corporate clients.
What distributions will you support? We will definitely port to all the major distributions. The different architectures will be supported based on demand.
Who is OEMing the Netwinder? No one, it is only available from Corel.