Upgrading Corel is cheap.

Question: I have a question regarding WordPerfect for Windows. I use Microsoft Office’s MS Word, but my preference is for Corel’s WordPerfect. Will I need to purchase the Corel Office Suite in order to use WordPerfect? The cost is around $300. I inquired at some computer stores and was advised that if I have Microsoft Office, I do not need to purchase the Corel Office Suite. I was advised that I can purchase the WordPerfect upgrade and that it will operate on its own. I do not understand this. All I need is WordPerfect and not the other programs in the package.
Will the WordPerfect upgrade operate alone? What are the ramifications of purchasing the WordPerfect upgrade only, as opposed to purchasing the whole Corel Office Suite? –B.B.

Answer: I think you’ve become entangled in a marketing net. I’m not sure whose, but here’s a stab at some help.

Microsoft Office is what’s called a software suite, meaning it’s a group of programs that are bundled together. It contains:

  • Word, a word processing program
  • Excel, for spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint for designing multimedia presentations
  • Outlook for e-mail, faxing and information management

Corel makes a competitive software suite called WordPerfect Office. It contains:

  • WordPerfect, a word processor
  • Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet program
  • Presentations, a program for creating, you guessed it, multimedia presentations
  • CorelCENTRAL, a personal information manager/scheduler

You don’t need one suite to run the other. So, if you want to use WordPerfect, you can install it on your computer and use it regardless of what other software is on that machine. The problem is that WordPerfect is not sold as a stand-alone product. You have to buy Corel WordPerfect Office to get it, even if you only choose to install just WordPerfect.

Corel wants to make it easy for you, though. “This reader is in a good position,” explained Jill Hiscock of Corel’s Media Relations Team. “Corel honors those users who use competitive products and they can then qualify for Corel’s special upgrade pricing.

That means if you already own a copy of Microsoft Office, Corel will sell you their suite for a discounted price: $159. If you need more information, you can call Corel’s customer service center at 1-800-772-6735.