Re: History, history
WordPerfect was dominant on MS-DOS. The original devs hadn't a clue about Windows and were very, very, VERY late to Macs. When they did make it to Windows, they charged more than Microsoft did for Word. When they made it to Mac, they charged 150% more than Microsoft did for Word for Mac. Seriously.
They then wondered why sales were so bad.
Novell bought them, cut prices (you read that correctly, Novell actually CUT PRICES. Be still, my heart.) but couldn't stop the bleeding.They offered cheapish, for Novell, upgrades ($50 at first, to move to v3.2 for Mac...) but that didn't help much, and they started (horrors!) giving away free upgrades. Of course, you'd have had to have paid for a copy in the first place...
Corel bought the mess; I'd suspect that the boyz at Novell. talked very fast and got the Corel reps very drunk, but that can't be, Novell, like WordPerfect Corp before them, was run by upright, uptight, Mormons who don't drink _coffee_, much less alcohol. However they managed it, though, the boyz at Novell sure saw the Canadians coming and escaped back to Utah leaving the dumpster fire on Canadian soil.
Corel then tried to salvage things. On Windows, they tried to rebuild. They encountered formatting problems. For some reason, many, but not all, .DOC files would have odd formatting problems, such as being entirely bold and italic. No, I'm not joking. This particular problem _still crops up_, or at least did up to WP X8, the last version I tested. And WP X8 does it to .DOCX files, too. Sometimes. Ah, guys, y'all can't blame Microsoft for this, it's been TWENTY YEARS and multiple MS versions, and the boyz at OpenOffice and LibreOffice and Apple and many many more manage to handle .DOC and .DOCX files without this kind of problem... There's a fix. Well, two fixes: the one Corel likes, and the much simpler one I like: don't use WP.
On Mac, Corel went full-on shotgun to foot. Remember how Novell had given away free upgrades? Well, that was good to WP 3.2 for Mac. WP 3.5 was Corel's first version (I think, it's been a long time) and it was a pay upgrade... which had serious bugs. WP 3.5e (yes, 'e'...) stomped most of the more prominent bugs... for a price. Yes, there was a pay upgrade to the bug fix of the pay upgrade. Corel wanted essentially full price to go to WP 3.5, plus another $50 to go to 3.5e. And, no, you couldn't go directly from WP 3.1 or 3.2 (Novell) to 3.5e, you _had_ to get 3.5 first, despite the known problems, and then upgrade to 3.5e, or you could just buy the full retail 3.5e package with no upgrade discount. (And don't even _think_ about upgrading from WP 1 to 3, WordPerfect Corp versions, you _have_ to buy the full retail package, no upgrade discount for you...) The sonic boom you might have heard was the sound of users hauling ass to Microsoft, Apple, Nisus, others, anything other than WP. If they were going to pay full freight, why would they pay full freight for massively buggy software from Corel when they could pay less for fewer bugs and better customer service from Apple and Microsoft and Nisus and others? (Things are bad when Microsoft offers a better 'user experience' than Corel did...) After a bit someone at Corel panicked, and overreacted: they stuck an updater which would take WP 3.2 to 3.5e on a free CD in one of the Mac magazines (MacAddict) _and_ they put that updater, for free, on.their website. Oops. Too late. Corel had so obliterated their reputation on Mac that they literally couldn't _give_ WP away. Corel walked away from the Mac market and hasn't been back. It'll be interesting to see how Parallels of Mac is treated. If Corel does a WP, again, I see a lot of new business in VMWare's future.