November 28, 2000

Applix gives up on the Linux desktop?

Author: JT Smith

- by Robin Miller -
Applixware is arguably the most stable and mature Linux office suite
available, but it will no longer be aggressively marketed as a desktop product,
according to VistaSource marketing vice president R.J. Grandpre. [Updated] 1725 US EST -- letter from VistaSource PR person appended... VistaSource is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Applix
(NASDAQ: APLX) that was formed specifically to market
Applixware products
.

Despite a recent price cut for the Applixware Office package from $99 per copy to $49, it couldn't compete in the marketplace with Sun's
StarOffice,
which costs nothing. And with KOffice -- also free -- rapidly becoming mature and stable enough to
be useful for everyday work, it was time for Applix to
throw in the desktop towel. "We typically come out on top when compared to StarOffice," Grandpre says, "but it has been impossible to
differentiate ourselves enough to get people to pay for Appplixware when they can get [other Linux office suites] for free."

Future Applix products will concentrate on the serverside marketplace. An online demo version of the next generation of "Web-enabled"
Anyware
Office
, which works on any operating system, is scheduled to be available through the VistaSource Web site
"in a couple of weeks," says Grandpre. A current version is available now; Grandpre says the new one will incorporate a "smaller and more
stable Java applet that will be surprisingly fast to download and run through all but the slowest connections."

Adobe has apparently withdrawn its plans to release a
commercial version of Framemaker for Linux, but this may be a result of the beta version's poor reception by testers rather than lack of
faith in Linux.

Corel's relationship with Linux is also in doubt; but this may reflect
Corel's internal problems rather than problems with the Linux.
software marketplace.

But, Grandpre speculates, the current lack of a solid market for commercial Linux applications may not last. "It could come
full circle in two or
three
years," he says, with commercial Linux desktop applications becoming "hot" again as the operating system increases its penetration of the
home and office desktop marketplace. The market could also turn upward as more end users who are accustomed to buying shrinkwrapped software, rather than downloading free,
GPL-licensed
applications software, start using an increasingly user-friendly Linux as their everyday desktop operating system.

the following is a reponse to the above story from Allison Antalek of VistaSource, Inc.

It is the belief of VistaSource, Inc. that some of the statements made
in this article are incorrect, and some of the quotations made by RJ
Grandpre were taken out of context. To correct some of the statements
made in this article, please note the following:

* VistaSource is not "throwing in the desktop towel." VistaSource will
still produce and sell its desktop product through traditional and
online retailers and through its own online store. VistaSource has also
committed to future releases of Anyware Desktop (formerly Applixware)
and will continue to provide the same quality product and level of
service to its existing customers.

* The real news is the change of focus from a company that focuses on
desktop applications to one that is forging the way server-centric and
web-based applications. This shift in focus was announced on August
15th, 2000 at Linux World in San Jose. For the complete release which
further describes this strategic shift, please visit:
http://www.vistasource.com//news/press/pr_966348464

* Active development continues for BOTH Anyware Desktop (Applixware) and
the server version, Anyware Application Server. Both products are
recognized as integral components of the VistaSource product mix.

Thank you for your attention and promptness in correcting this matter.

Regards,
Allison Antalek
Marketing Communications
VistaSource, Inc.

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