Corel Corp. got clobbered several years ago when it tried to beat Microsoft Corp. in the PC software market. Today, after being revamped top to bottom and recently relisted as a public company, Corel faces an equally formidable competitor: Google Inc.
Google has developed a competing portfolio of graphics, digital imaging and productivity software. Not only does the Internet search giant have a much more powerful brand than Corel, but its business model is tough to beat. Google gives its software away free over the Web.
Once one of Canada’s best-known technology companies, Corel was never able to compete effectively against Microsoft’s Windows franchise that still dominates the personal computer industry today. But the Ottawa company thinks it has found a way to prosper against Google and other companies offering free Web-based services that are increasingly supported by ads.