Corel Ship Date Drawn Out

For a little more than a year, Corel has been on a mission to polish its image among Mac users. Whether beefing up its presence at Mac trade shows or pushing out a slew of updated applications, the Canadian software maker has tried to shake its reputation as a developer that gave the Mac platform short shrift.

But a Mac update to one of Corel's biggest applications won't ship when the company originally thought. The release of CorelDraw 10, an OS X-native application slated to ship in July, has been pushed back until this fall. While product delays happen all the time, Corel's track record might raise some questions about its commitment to the platform.

Corel says it moved the ship date back to produce a more-stable and feature-rich version of CorelDraw. And Corel spokeswoman Meredith Dundas stressed that Corel remains committed to the Mac platform.

"We have a full lineup of products for release this summer and have been consistently releasing Macintosh products [such as] Bryce 4.1 in August 2000, Painter 6.1 in January 2001, and beta previews of KnockOut 1.5.1 and Bryce 4.1 for Mac OS X in January 2001," Dundas says.

Normally, delaying a product's ship date by a few months wouldn't be considered a big deal. Still, news of the delay is unlikely to sit well with Mac users, some of whom think of Corel as the company that stopped developing WordPerfect for the Mac. Adding to their distrust, Corel never released CorelDraw 9 for the Mac, instead focusing its efforts on Carbonizing version 10. Meanwhile, Corel has pushed ahead on the Windows side; CorelDraw 10 for Windows has been shipping for several months.

Corel insists that CorelDraw 10 will be worth the wait. "We have been developing steadily for OS X and realize that to create the most stable, professional, and feature-rich application for our customers, we need to add more development time," Dundas says. "We are committed to releasing solid applications for the new Macintosh OS X and will be dedicating additional time to ensure our Macintosh users are as impressed with the application as users of the Windows version are."

To that end, the OS X-native version of CorelDraw will feature several elements not available in previous Mac releases. CorelDraw will include improved support for Photoshop, Illustrator, FreeHand, PDF, Painter, AutoCAD 2000, and Flash files. Version 10 will also have a publish-to-PDF feature, a Web image optimization feature, as well as the ability to create rollovers and compact vector graphics.

Corel's other Mac plans remain unaffected. Bryce 5 and Painter 7, both of which will run natively in OS X, are due out this summer. Both of those applications are available as preview releases right now. OS X-ready versions of KnockOut 2, and KPT 7 will ship in the fall.

If Corel delivers on its promise of a feature-rich, Carbonized version of CorelDraw 10, it will mark a major turning point for the company's relationship with the Mac community. In the meantime, it appears that Mac users will just have to be patient.

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