Welcome to the new world: An inside look at Corel and Windows 8

Windows 8

Windows might have started out as as a twinkle in Bill Gates’ eye almost 30 years ago, but since then it’s gone on to become the most dominant operating system on the planet. Now, after a whole mess load of fanfare and an interesting last minute name swticheroo (so long Metro!), Windows 8 is finally here.

As a longtime Windows user, I have to admit that I was a little freaked out the first time I took Windows 8 for a test drive. After all, it’s a pretty radical departure from the familiar Windows desktop I grew up with, and for the first few minutes I found myself simply looking around for the Start menu. How do I open a new program? What kind of apps are built into the new interface? What’s a charm? What were these giant color tiles on the screen? What kind of illicit chemical substance had the Windows development team been huffing!?

After a little bit of trial and error though, I actually found Windows 8 to be an incredibly intuitive system. It’s fast, responsive and surprisingly easy to use. And, if you’re an old school PC-user like me, you can always switch back to the familiar Windows Desktop view. I also had the chance to try out a few Windows 8 compatible tablets, and for touch screen users, I’ve gotta say, the interface is rock solid.

So why did Microsoft create Windows 8? Why launch such a radically different operating system? To me, it isn’t just about creating something that looks pretty or tries to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it’s really a new way to address how technology is changing the way we work, play and communicate. And in that respect, I feel like the Powers-That-Be at Microsoft actually got it right.

Here at Corel, I’ve been part of a company-wide team that’s been slogging away for months getting ready for Windows 8. Our goal, however, is to be more than just Windows 8 compatible. Instead, we see Microsoft’s latest operating system as an opportunity for us to offer yet another choice for users to work the way they want. In fact, Windows 8 is really just one piece of the puzzle in our ongoing strategy to develop software and apps that integrate web, the cloud, social media, mobile devices and desktop computers.

Corel desktop software on Windows 8
So what can you expect to see from Corel in the months following the Windows 8 launch? Well, for starters we don’t want to leave anyone behind when it comes to our desktop software. That means if you’re an existing Corel user making the switch to Windows 8, you can still run the same Corel products that you ran on older versions of Windows. Of course, that’s not to say we’ll be completely ignoring new Windows 8 desktop products. In fact, in addition to having a ton of core products that are now Windows 8 compatible, we’re also creating all-new Windows 8 desktop products, like Painter Lite, a new streamlined Windows 8 version of our popular digital art software (shameless plug!).

Corel mobile apps for Windows 8
If you spend as much time as I do using a tablet or smartphone, the one thing you’re probably going to be most interested in is our apps. Corel has a number of Windows Store apps (formerly Metro apps, for anyone keeping track), coming out to coincide with the launch of Windows 8. In fact, I recently got my grubby little mitts on a copy of Corel Designs, a companion app for graphic designers that lets you use search and save images from iStockPhoto, fotolia and flickr, as well as our CorelDRAW and Painter communities.

If you’ve ever found it a massive pain in the nether region to try and convert a document to a PDF on your tablet, you’ll probably also dig the new PDF Document Writer. It lets you convert emails, images and documents into PDFs with a single tap on your Windows 8 Pro tablet screen. In addition to some of our initial Windows 8 apps, we’re also currently working away on a number of super-secret-we-could-tell-you-but-we’d-have-to-kill-you apps for our graphics, office productivity, digital media products and WinZip. Keep checking back on our apps page for more info.

For Corel, Windows 8 is an exciting time, but it’s really just the start of bigger plans we have in the works. Stay tuned, because there’s going to plenty more Corel apps for mobile devices and desktop coming out in the months ahead.

What do you think of Windows 8? Drop a comment below and let us know.

About Adam Volk

My name is Adam and I'm a copywriter with Corel’s Marketing Department. In a past life, I've been employed as a book editor, journalist and video game screenwriter. I enjoy reading, biking and cheesy 80s action movies. I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that I am a massive nerd.
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10 Responses to Welcome to the new world: An inside look at Corel and Windows 8

  1. Hugo says:

    I really like Windows 8, especially with my touchscreen notebook! However, WordPerfect X6 is not very touchscreen friendly. I would welcome it if Corel did something with WordPerfect when they release version X7 so that it will be easier to use with a touchscreen.

  2. R. Longmire says:

    One strength of WordPerfect is that ALT F3 still does what it did in the DOS version. I believe Microsoft made a big error is this radical change of the UI. It might be cool for those drinking the Redmond kool aide, But if you run a business and think in terms of lost productivity due to UI changes – what a waste of clock cycles and dollars. Most of the most productive people who actually do billable hours work and data crunching still interface via QWERTY and 10 key and a pointing device. Touch screen might be cool to look up data, surf the web and by tunes, but it is basically a consumer interface, not a producer interface. The consumer market is big! And can not be ignored. But what I see of Win8 and the marketing, I think my organizations (I serve on two school boards) are going to look to LINUX and MAC. I do not like the MAC GUI – I think it looks like someone smoking dope and playing with an etch-a-sketch designed it. BUT, it has UNIX under the hood. The pink unicorn double rainbow safariland GUI, as goofy as I think it is, seems pretty consistent release to release. If I have to transition administrators and staff to something radically different form the XP and Win7 GUI why not go with a company that supports real users with some consistency. The problem is it makes it harder to use WordPerfect. But, Win8, unfortunately, looks like it is going to force a change for my organizations. If I had to make the call this week we would be ordering MACs. I am going to have to make the call for administration, teachers and students in the next several months for what we will need institutionally next year.

    Most real work is produced with a word processor, a spread sheet, and a database. All the pretty pictures in the world float on top of real work. I’ll bet most of the work done on WordPerfect still is done with a QWERTY keyboard and still prints out on paper as some point. Try PRODUCING contracts and personnel policy manuals with a touch screen interface!!

    Yeah, yeah, Microsoft has the market. But so did GM when they produced the Vega to compete with the funny little cars from little upstart company called Toyota.

    Hey – How about WordPerfect for MAC (followed by Unix/Linux release).

    • Adam Volk says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I agree that Windows 8 can be a little intimidating at first. Let’s face it, the product isn’t perfect and – as I pointed out in my blog – it is a pretty radical departure from past versions of Windows. That being said, I do think it addresses a growing technological shift in that more and more users are moving away from desktop products and looking for software that integrates directly with mobile devices. Love it or hate it, Windows 8 is here to stay and we can’t ignore the fact that millions of users are currently making the switch to Microsoft’s new OS.

      That being said, as you pointed out, we can’t overlook the consumer market or users using older versions of Windows and Corel products. Shiny new Windows 8 tablets and smartphones are all well and good, but people will always need reliable word processors, spread sheets and databases that are designed for users who want to sit down at a desk and get the job done. That’s why Corel doesn’t want to leave any of our existing users behind. WordPerfect Office X6 for example, is our latest version and is completely compatible with Windows 8, but it also works just as well on Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista.

      All that to say that we plan on developing future products that will run on Windows 8, but we also have a huge user base that still using older versions of Windows, and we plan on continuing to support those users as well. That means that the school boards you work with can continue to use WordPerfect without the need to upgrade to Windows 8. Also, speaking of schools, have you checked out our Academic version of WordPerfect Office X6? It’s designed exclusively for students and educators. Plus, we also offer volume-licensing pricing, which means you can stretch your school board’s budget a little further. You can find out a little more about it here.

      Thanks again for your great comments. Windows 8 or not, I hope you and the school boards you represent will continue to use WordPerfect and Corel products in the years ahead.

  3. “Welcome to the new world: An inside look at Corel and Windows 8 | Corel Blogs” was indeed a incredibly pleasant post,
    . Continue publishing and I will continue to keep reading!
    Thanks for the post ,Marlon

  4. Valley says:

    What happened to Corel Wordperfect Suite 8? Was something wrong with it??? Or, is X6 Home and Student edition essentially the same product, but with the bugs fixed? 0_0

  5. Zach says:

    Do you know if Corel will be updating “Corel Paint it! touch” for Windows 8?

    Thanks! Zach

  6. bj says:

    wordperfect viewer for windows phones or windows RT… come on Corel, catch up!

  7. KDB says:

    Any recent news on this front? Any office productivity apps coming to the Windows Store?

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