First Looks: Corel Office for Java - by Christopher B. Wright

The Corel Office for Java pre-beta (at http://www.corel.com/) does run on the Netscape Navigator for OS/2 beta 2 release. I had read on the 'net that it didn't, but if you install everything correctly, it should run (albeit very slowly).

If you can patiently sit through the loading process (give yourself at least half an hour with a 28.8 modem) and don't mind waiting five minutes between mouse clicks, you get a marvellous display of Java technology in action. I'm not exaggerating about the loading times; Corel clearly warns testers before they begin loading the suite (GIF, 9.3k) that it will take some time and that they recommend at least a full ISDN connection.

So far, I've managed to run this Java application (GIF, 5.3k) from a machine running NT, a machine running the Mac OS, and my home computer running OS/2. Here's a rundown of interesting features:

Despite the incredible slowness and the sparseness of features, this is really, really cool and I hope Corel can pull this off quickly. If they can, it should open up the software market -- no longer would software companies be developing for platforms, they would be developing for one big market. Then it would be up to the Operating Systems themselves to attract users by their merits, not by what they can run.

Corel is not the only company betting on this strategy as a long term bet, but they may be one of the first out of the gate.


 * Corel Office for Java
by Corel Corporation
download from Corel's Web Page
MSRP: Free during beta period
Christopher B. Wright is a technical writer in the Northern Virginia/D.C. area, and has been using OS/2 Warp since January 95. He is also a member of Team OS/2.

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