Corel Corporation on Tuesday announced the immediate availability of WordPerfect Office 2000, the latest version of its integrated office suite. Nearly two years in the making, WordPerfect Office 2000 delivers greater performance, increased compatibility, and lower prices than rival Microsoft Office 2000, which is due next month.

"Our expectations have been exceeded," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, CEO and president of Corel Corporation. "We have created a compatible, easy-to-use, high-performance package at an extremely modest price. I expect that the only people who will not want to purchase WordPerfect Office 2000 will be those who have not yet tried it."

WordPerfect Office includes the WordPerfect 9 word processor, the Quattro Pro 9 spreadsheet, Corel Presentations 9 for slide shows and drawings, the CorelCENTRAL personal information manager, and more. For this revision, Corel has even adopted Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications 6.0 as its common macro language.

Corel says that WordPerfect usage in the United States actually increased 10% last year to 22 million users, compared to 44 million for Microsoft Word. And the company is pricing its office suite nicely, with the Standard Edition going for $99 while the Professional version will cost $200.

In other WordPerfect news, Corel also recently announced that its Linux version of WordPerfect 8--which is available for free download from the Web--has surpassed one million download attempts. WordPerfect 8 for Linux, available as a 24MB download, is easily one of the most important releases for the open source operating system. And a version of WordPerfect Office 2000 will be available for Linux users late this year, Corel says