Idea: Zorin - Enterprise (Corel + Zorin)

Coming from the early days of computing, I had the pleasure to work on all three platforms (Windows, Apple OSX, Linux (Corel) ) in a commercial light. Today the world of office productivity suites, Microsoft Office has long been the reigning champion. Its ubiquitous presence in workplaces around the globe has made it the default choice for businesses, institutions, and individuals alike. However, in recent years, there has been a growing demand for alternatives that offer comparable functionality without the high costs and vendor lock-in associated with Microsoft's suite. A potential alternative is the combination of Corel Office and Zorin OS, which together present a compelling and competitive rival to Microsoft's dominance (Zorin Enterprise).

Some key advantages I can think of off the top of my head are:

  • Corel Office with Zorin OS would be more cost-effective since Corel a more affordable alternative with a one-time purchase model, which I believe would be attractive to small to medium sized businesses.
  • Corel Graphic Suite and Office (Wordperfect) are by far some much easier to use and very user focused.
  • Zorin OS would have been the natural choice as a base for Corel Linux (back in the day) and would have really taken the market by storm. Linux was not that advanced back then, and there was no support models in place, but the idea was spot on in my mind.

The integration of Corel Office with Zorin OS offers a compelling alternative to Microsoft Office, providing users with a cost-effective, privacy-focused, and feature-rich productivity solution. By leveraging the strengths of both Corel Office and Zorin OS, users can enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive office suite without being tied to a single vendor. As businesses and individuals continue to seek alternatives to Microsoft's offerings, Corel Office integrated with Zorin OS stands out as a competitive rival that challenges the status quo and empowers users to take control of their productivity tools.

I believe there is value to have Zorin OS and a partnering Office suite company like Corel work together to create a integrated enterprise focused version of Zorin, with strong focus on seamless integration with the office suite, and a support package for small to medium enterprises. I know people can do it on there own, but there are almost always issues, and upgrades are problematic with libraries. As a business I would pay to have the foundational pieces OS and Office as a package.

Thoughts anyone?

Why is it more compelling than, say, LibreOffice?

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LibreOffice surpasses all other Office Suites, even MS Office, when it comes to Language support - it beats MS Office hands down. The other consideration is accessibility. Sadly, only LibreOffice matches this criterion in respect of Screenreader (Orca) compatibility.
I think the issue with LibreOffice is a complex Menu bar and when I was in lockdown, having to modify documents for students with low-vision, LibreOffice documents saved as MSOffice ones just did not show up correctly. I just wish that SoftMaker Office would work with Orca. This was the Office Suite of choice and fortunately I got a great deal on their 2018 version in November 2019 for under £25 - and that allowed me to install on any combination of 5 machines, e.g., 3 GNU/Linux OS machines, 1 Windows PC, 1 Mac - If I had these, but could be any combination. Their ribbon layout is so much more functional than MS have and they do offer what I term an MS Office 2003 layout for those who prefer that. I always upgrade to the latest version. For those new to the suite it costs £79 as a one off. They also offer a NX version but this is a rental which I always avoid. I too prefer one-off payments and happy to pay upgrade features. I needed to use both SoftMaker Office 2018/2021 and LibreOffice in certain circumstances (LibreOffice Writer for compressing embedded images in documents (now present in SoftMaker Office 2024), and recovering images created with Inkscape from a corrupt pdf using LibreOffice Draw when I had a failing hard drive back in 2021 working on a Mock Exam paper for Advanced Science (Physics), and using LibreOffice Writer to determine font spacing in TextMaker, as LibreOffice uses pts, TextMaker uses %, so I had to create a document in LibreOffice Writer, then open that in TextMaker to establish % setting for future document modification.


@zenzen, while both Corel Office and LibreOffice are powerful office productivity suites, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some reasons why some users might prefer Corel Office over LibreOffice:

  • User Interface: (as mentioned by @swarfendor437) Corel Office often receives praise for its user-friendly interface, which some users find more intuitive and visually appealing compared to LibreOffice. Corel Office's interface is reminiscent of Microsoft Office, making the transition smoother for users accustomed to Microsoft's suite.

  • Compatibility: Corel Office has excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats, ensuring that documents, spreadsheets, and presentations created in Corel Office can be seamlessly opened and edited in Microsoft Office and vice versa. While LibreOffice also supports Microsoft Office formats, Corel Office may offer more precise rendering of complex documents due to its focus on compatibility.

  • Integration with Other Corel Products: The idea lends to deeper product integration with Corel and well other Corel products such as CorelDRAW or Corel Painter, integrating Corel Office into their workflow can offer additional synergies and efficiencies. Corel Office's integration with other Corel products may provide a more seamless experience for users who utilize multiple Corel applications.

  • Technical Support: Corel, as a software company, provides technical support for Corel Office, including troubleshooting assistance and software updates. While LibreOffice has a large community of users and developers who contribute to its development and support, some users may prefer the reassurance of dedicated technical support provided by a company like Corel.

  • Additional Features: Corel Office offers certain features or functionalities that are not available in LibreOffice or are implemented differently. These features range from advanced formatting options to specialized tools for specific tasks. Users with specific requirements may find that Corel Office better meets their needs in this regard.

Again the idea is a bit biases to Corel products but it has been my experience that businesses usually want to be able to get support for office products since many have specific needs or smaller IT shops that which would require deep knowledge of the open source products they offer their organization.

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I don't intend switching from SoftMaker, but curious to know if Corel Writer (or whatever the Text Processor is called) can export to .epub like SoftMaker and LibreOffice? On an international basis I doubt that Corel Office can match the languages supported by Libre Office.

Those are some very good points. Not everyone's needs are the same and there may be a case to be made about using a more compatible and/or feature-rich solution.

However, I wouldn't want to see Corel available only for Zorin OS, Ubuntu or some other specific distribution. If it's available for Linux, it should be available for all distributions so that everyone can purchase and use at their own discretion. And in that case, there would be no reason why Zorin OS, or any Linux distribution, should include it by default.

While I'm not opposed to the idea of having proprietary software available in Linux, vendor lock-in is a thing, and one that I'm very wary about. I think LibreOffice, or something similar, is a better fit as the default option.