MetaCreations Drops the Other Shoe

For MetaCreations fans who've waited to hear what would become of their favorite programs, the suspense is over. But now the real waiting begins. Corel (800/772-6735, www.corel.com) and Adobe (800/833-6687, www .adobe.com) have walked away with most of the graphics applications that MetaCreations planned to sell, leaving Mac users to wonder if all of the programs have found Mac-friendly homes.

Adobe bought the 3-D graphics programs Canoma and Carrara, and Corel purchased Painter--a Macworld Eddy award-winning natural-media painting program. Corel also snapped up Bryce, Kai's Power Tools, and KPT Vector Effects.

Few would question Adobe's commitment to the Mac market. But Corel's track record has been less than reassuring. CorelDraw 9, released for Windows in May 1999, still isn't available in a Mac version. What's more, the company has a reputation for hyping projects that don't pan out. Development of an all-Java office suite fell through, and Corel President and CEO Michael Cowpland is under investigation in Canada for alleged insider trading.

Corel says it will continue to develop the MetaCreations applications and keep them as stand-alone products. It may also port the programs to the Linux platform: the company recently introduced a Linux-friendly version of its flagship office suite, WordPerfect Office 2000.

Regardless of Corel's commitment to the Mac, the company now faces a familiar challenge: working on code that was developed and modified over the years--without having the original programmers on staff.

MetaCreations will continue to support Bryce, Painter (including Painter Classic, Painter 3D, and Art Dabbler), and the KPT programs until June 20, 2000.

MetaCreations' other graphics application, Poser, was bought by Egi.sys, a German company that plans to turn the program over to its California subsidiary, Curious Labs (831/462-8222, www.curiouslabs.com).

July, 2000 page: 26

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