In a move designed to bridge the gap between the offline and online worlds, Corel has incorporated several Web 2.0 capabilities in the first public beta of WordPerfect Lightning, a free version of the longstanding WordPerfect word-processing app.
WordPerfect Lightning, which offers many features similar to those found in productivity products from such tech heavyweights as Google and Microsoft, represents the first component of a new distribution and online services model for WordPerfect Office.
Consisting of both desktop and online components, this word-processing app offers built-in access to online services -- including collaboration and data storage -- enabling users to take advantage of Web technologies without having to rely on Web browsers to accomplish key tasks.
Footsteps of Giants
"It used to be that word processing began as a blank page," said Jay Larock, senior product manager for WordPerfect Office. But Larock pointed out that people are now working in a sophisticated content ecosystem, trying to leverage information from a variety of places.
Corel, which refers to WordPerfect Lightning as a word processor, notebook, whiteboard, and filing cabinet all wrapped into one, isn't alone in attempting to cater to harried users looking for better tools that can more effectively take advantage of the potential synergy between online and offline worlds.
Both Google and Microsoft have made forays into the arena in the past year. But Corel is stressing that its hybrid Lightning system offers a better alternative to both online-only services, such as those from Google, and desktop-bound applications, such as those from Microsoft.
Pieces of Lightning
Altogether, WordPerfect Lightning consists of four components: the Navigator, the Viewer, Lightning Notes, and the Connector. The Navigator is a central repository for the assembly and organization of content. The Viewer is an all-in-one document-reading tool for viewing documents in Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or Corel WordPerfect formats.
Lightning Notes, meanwhile, is a lightweight word processor and note-taking utility that acts as a universal container for ideas, information, and images.
Lastly, the Connector, powered by Joyent (www.joyent.com), is a suite of Web-based applications for teams and small businesses, providing individual users with e-mail, calendars, address books, and file storage. The Connector functions are hosted on the Web, enabling team members to share information and collaborate on projects.
WordPerfect Lightning is a 20-MB file available now as a free download from wordperfect.com/lightning.