Toronto-based Corel Corp hopes to challenge industry giant Microsoft in the business software arena with its WordPerfect Office 2000 software suite. Corel wants its product to be the preferred alternative to Microsoft's looming Office 2000. Both products are due for release in the second quarter, although Microsoft is likely be the first to launch - in March or April - a move that may give it an upper hand as offices replacing machines for year-2000 compliance may not want to put off purchases in anticipation of Corel's release. Corel chief executive Michael Cowpland was quoted in November as saying that WordPerfect Office 2000 would be out at the same time as, or slightly sooner than, Microsoft's product. However, Corel spokesman Kany Chan last week said Microsoft's lead time may be as much as three months. 'We believe that users would like to have options' apart from Microsoft Office 2000, she said. 'What we are offering is the best alternative in terms of value, performance and price.' In the United States, Corel had 9 per cent of office-suite software revenues from January to October last year, although it had a 19.2 per cent share of units sold, according to Techweb.com. WordPerfect Office 2000 will include Corel's WordPerfect 9 word processor and Quattro Pro 9 spreadsheet program, and also Internet publishing features such as the Trellix 2.x Web authoring and presentation tool. Trellix allows users to publish rich hypertext documents to intranets or the Internet without knowing hypertext mark-up language. WordPerfect Office 2000 will come in three versions - the standard edition, standard edition with integrated Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-recognition software, and an enterprise edition. Corel would not give prices, but they are expected to be lower than comparative Microsoft products.