Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Canadian Computer Company Sweeps Graphic Software Market

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Canadian Computer Company Sweeps Graphic Software Market

Article excerpt

IT was pure theatrics. Rocket engines roared, belching smoke but no flames as the huge model looked like it was slowly lifting off. The launch, which took place indoors, was all part of a spectacular promotion by Corel Corporation, a computer graphics company in Ottawa.

Corel Corporation is the maker of CorelDraw, a series of computer graphics programs that have captured more than 50 percent of the computer graphics market worldwide.

"There are more than a million users of CorelDraw in over 50 countries around the world," says Michael Cowpland, the company's chairman and founder. Mr. Cowpland was speaking to a packed house at the National Arts Centre, a concert hall in Ottawa that the company rented for the evening. Soaring sales

Last year, Corel Corporation had $140.2 million in sales and a profit of $27.8 million. In the first quarter of this year, profits were $4.7 million with revenues of $37.5 million, up 81 percent over the same quarter last year.

The evening was billed as an awards night for graphic artists from around the world. Stephen Arscott of Toronto won the top prize, worth $100,000 (Canadian; US$72,200). Mr. Arscott, who also won last year, used the money and his 15 minutes of fame to start a small advertising agency.

Other winners came from the United States, Germany, Britain, and Bulgaria. It was an evening patterned on the Academy Awards, with an envelope and a statue being brought out for each category.

There probably should have been an award for best promotion of a new product. Corel used the event - with its captive audience of journalists from top computer magazines and hundreds of computer suppliers and dealers - to launch its latest upgrade, CorelDraw 5.

Like many new computer programs, CorelDraw 5 packs a lot of functions into one package. In addition to drawing, it offers desktop publishing (Corel acquired Ventura, a desktop publishing program last year) and complex photographic editing. It also includes a library of 100 photographs and 22,000 images and icons that can be dropped into any text or drawing.

The package is large, taking up well over 50 megabytes of space on the hard drive of personal computers; by comparison, Wordperfect 6 takes up 31 megabytes of hard-disk space. …

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