It's tough to create a sustainable competitive advantage in the software
industry for any significant length of time these days. Competition is
fierce, imitation is easy and ingenuity abounds in this new information
WordPerfect is among a handful of outstanding software applications
that has experienced a long run of success, actually becoming an institution
in the software world. There was a time when the term "word processing"
actually seemed synonymous with WordPerfect and I never thought any application
could out pace this powerful program. But alas, Goliath flexed its global
marketing muscle and wouldn't rest until Word became the victor.
Whether Microsoft Word is actually a better word processor than Corel
WordPerfect always sparks a lively discussion among loyal users of both
products. Diehard WordPerfectionists are as fanatical a bunch as hardcore
Mac users...they're militant about their "Reveal codes" and would rather
fight than switch.
But in truth Word has overtaken WordPerfect as the word processing application
of choice for a clear majority of business users. In most offices, WordPerfect
is now the exception, rather than the rule, but for a few specific markets
most prominent of which is the legal field. Law offices continue to rely
on WordPerfect as their staple because this application has the muscle
to efficiently handle the complexities of legal documents such as Table
of Contents, Points & Authorities and Indices.
Realizing that its long-term run as the word processing leader is waning,
Corel has quite wisely recognized these faithful "niche" markets and developed
vertical applications that are industry specific. WordPerfect Legal Edition
7 is the first "legal" version of WordPerfect that comes bundled with features
that are unique to the law industry, making it the "all in one" choice
The integration of HotDocs 4.1 into WordPerfect Legal Edition is a powerful
enhancement to this program and must be appreciated by anyone who labors
over repetitive, routine documents. This application allows users to easily
create template, or boilerplate, documents then prompts the user for answers
to the variable questions. Unique documents are then generated according
to the user's responses.
HotDocs comes with a wide array of pre-formatted templates including
forms for state and federal courts, civil litigation, family law, real
estate, state planning, probate, bankruptcy and corporate formation. Users
can easily build their own templates.
Corel Amicus Attorney 1.7 is a database organizer that includes a calendar,
case manager, time entry program and telephone manager that all work in
concert with both HotDocs and WordPerfect for effective file management
and record keeping. Amicus Attorney runs in the background, tracking all
user actions, to streamline many administrative tasks.
Full Authority 5.5 is also integrated with WordPerfect Legal Edition.
This is a "smart" table of authorities generator that sorts legal cites
by cases, statutes, books, and law review articles. It also corrects punctuation
and abbreviation errors in citations. Additional enhancements for the legal
profession include Lexicon from Black's Law Dictionary, NexLaw 7, and CompareRite
In addition to the Legal Addition, WordPerfect offers a Medical Edition
that comes with Steadman's Electronic Medical Dictionary and a spell checker
with over 343,000 medical and pharmaceutical terms. The WordPerfect Construction
Edition includes Corel Visual CADD, 400 house plans and 7,000 CAD symbols.
WordPerfect Legal Edition 7 is 16-bit version that will run on either
Windows 3.x or 95 platform. The 32-bit version for Windows 95 is under
development. It's pretty clear that Corel has found the solution to creating
a sustainable advantage in this competitive field: Find a niche and fill