Who’s Got the Better Windows Office Suite?
Corel or Microsoft?
12 , 2000
The subject of this note is the never-ending question within desktop office
suites, " What's better, Corel's or Microsoft's?" Generally, this question
is answered from an emotional perspective, based entirely on the specific
administrator's and/or end users comfort level. There is no one correct
answer, both desktop office suites excel in specific areas and pale in
others. The contents of this note will pit the two systems against each
other in four specific areas:
- Product Functionality: Feature functions contained within the product
- Product Technology: Protocols, databases, and platforms
- Product Cost: Initial cost of training, implementation, and support
- Service and Support: Vendor support following purchase and implementation
Strategy and Trajectory:
TEC analysts began assessing the pros and cons of both office suites through
the construction of a detailed information repository with over 300 detail-level
criteria, arranged hierarchically in our proprietary software-modeling
tool, TESS. Each hierarchical category within the model is assigned a
value, which represents its priority relative to other categories, or
"weight". Figure 1 shows weights for the top-level categories in the Desktop
2000 Office Suite Model.
I Top Level Rating
II represents Product Functionality
versus Product Technology
functionality and product technology Microsoft's Office 2000 takes a slight
lead. This is primarily due to the advanced web based integration features
and integration with the standard Microsoft Windows desktop. In addition,
Microsoft Office 2000 includes an e-mail client (Outlook 2000), which
is lacking from Corel's offering. Corel excels in ease of use and reduced
training costs. Overall, both suites offer a plethora of features from
advanced desktop publishing to robust databases.
Corel WordPerfect Office 2000 takes the edge in enhanced accessibility
through the inclusion of Dragon Software's Naturally Speaking application,
which allows a user to "talk" to the application rather than type. In
addition, the Corel 2000 Suite includes a hardware component headset/microphone
combo intended for speech recognition.
III represents Product Functionality
versus Product Cost
WordPerfect 2000 Office Suite Standard is competitively priced at $299.95
(MSRP-USD) as opposed to Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business edition
priced at $349.95 (MSRP-USD). However, both Microsoft and Corel's top
of the line Office Suites are both $449.95 (MSRP-USD), eliminating any
price edge Corel may have had at the Professional Office Level. As can
be seen from the above graph, both suites perform well given their relative
IV represents Product Cost
versus Service and Support
maintains a slight edge in cost, while maintaining a very respectable
support rating. Microsoft's Office support takes the lead with its robust
web support, including an office software update page, a heavily production-tested
and experienced support system via telephone (albeit 80% outsourced) and
onsite support when entirely necessary. Corel offers web support but it
pales in comparison to Microsoft's site in terms of content and navigability.
Corel's telephone and onsite support offers trained professionals for
both on and off site support, none of which is outsourced.
Microsoft's Office 2000 has been shown as the winner, but only beat out
Corel's Office 2000 suite by 3.55% in our proprietary software-modeling
tool (TESS). However, neither corporate viability nor corporate strategy
was compared in this note; had they been Microsoft would have widened
their lead by approximately 25%.
suites offer a dizzying array of functionality, disparate office suite
interoperability and extra's to make almost any desktop user happy. So
why should a user go with one over the other? The answer is really quite
simple; most users don't have a choice. The majority (60%) of new corporate
and consumer based computer systems come pre-installed with Microsoft
Office small business edition, negating the need to buy an alternate desktop
what about the other 40%? Chances are that over half of those users or
corporations will choose Microsoft Office, simply because 'everyone else
has it'. Corel is an extremely good desktop office suite, easily rivaling
Microsoft's offering; unfortunately for Corel the proliferation of Microsoft's
desktop suite has made it the de-facto standard for corporations everywhere.
to the current and ongoing proliferation of the Linux O/S, Corel has packaged
a Linux version of they're office product. The additional Linux office
suite sales for Corel will improve their corporate standings and financial
viability, narrowing the gap between the software vendors ever so slightly.