Scrappy software maker Corel hopes business customers frustrated by Microsoft's controversial new licensing programs will be ready for a change.
The Canadian company, whose fortunes have zigzagged in recent years after a tough fight for financial survival, is offering businesses a free one-year trial of its WordPerfect word processing application. The hope is that a percentage that try the program will decide they can live without Microsoft's full Office package and switch to ala carte software, including WordPerfect.
"It's designed to position Corel and take advantage of a great deal of frustration that has been building up in the Microsoft customer base over the enterprise licensing program," said David Roberts, vice president of enterprise solutions for Corel.
Microsoft last year announced a drastic revamping of the licensing program under which businesses pay for multiple copies of the company's software. Under the new "Software Assurance" plan that went into effect Wednesday, businesses must sign up for multi-year contracts with annual payments and guaranteed upgrades to continue receive volume discounts. Analysts have estimated the plan could increase software costs by as much as 100 percent for businesses that don't upgrade programs often.