Corel Targets Netbooks with Home Office Suite

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Folks who’ve hopped on the netbook bandwagon have probably noticed the systems are a little under-powered—and lack the screen real estate—to handle mainstream office productivity suites. Software maker Corel hope to tap into that nascent market with Corel Home Office, a three-app suite designed to handle word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations on netbook-style systems. And, the suite is even available on a USB key, so folks with netbooks that don’t have an optical drive have a non-download option for installation.

"In talking with consumers and home based business owners, it became clear to us that they were seeking greater simplicity in their software," said Corel’s director of product management Jay Larock, in a statement. "At the same time, the growing popularity of netbooks and other mini notebook computers means that more users are focusing on a smaller set of core tasks. Corel Home Office addresses this segment’s specific needs by striking the right balance between features, price, and productivity—all in a unique package that is ideally suited to today’s portable computers."

Corel Home Office consists of Corel Wire, Corel Calculate, and Corel Show, handling word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, respectively. The apps feature wide file format support (including Microsoft Office) and can export PDFs for easy sharing. The programs also support 13 languages, and offer a wide range of customization options so users can manage and maximize their use of screen real-estate.

Corel is offering Home Office at a netbook-friendly price of $69.99. Corel Home Office requires at least Windows XP (Vista is fine) and a system with at least 256 MB of RAM; however, Corel also says the suite wants at least a 1,024 by 768-pixel screen, which is a bit bigger than the 1,024 by 600-pixel displays built into many netbooks. For the curious, a free trial download is available to test out.

[Update 18-June-2009: Corel says the system requirements initially posted for Home Office were incorrect; the suite is available for download or on a USB stick, but is not available from Corel on CD-ROM.]