Corel has released a free public beta of WordPerfect Lightning, a word processor that blends a desktop-based application with online collaboration and storage features.
WordPerfect Lightening has a "Notes" tool to save text and images from the Internet, in addition to a "Viewer" that can handle the portable document format (.pdf), WordPerfect and Microsoft Corp.'s Word documents. It also has a "Navigator" to organize files.
If users are not at computer running the WordPerfect Lightning desktop application, they can use Lightning's online site to access files stored by Corel.
Users get 200 M-bytes of storage space to back up data such as e-mails, contacts, bookmarks and documents, in addition to a calendar and free e-mail.
WordPerfect Lightning is one of a wave of applications integrating desktop applications with online features for greater access and easier collaboration. In March 2006, Google bought Upstartle, a company that created the online word processor Writely.
Free offerings such as Writely and WordPerfect Lightening are seen as a challenge to Microsoft's Office programs, which dominate productivity applications and brings the company much of its revenue.
With WordPerfect Lightening, Corel is offering a free trial version of its WordPerfect Office X3 productivity suite, whose standard edition retails for AUD$569 (the Upgrade AUD$289 and the Student & Teacher version AUD$189).