CorelDRAW and the Mac

February 9, 2007

Recently there have been a few users in the CorelDRAW newsgroups asking when Corel will release a native version of CorelDRAW X3 for the Mac. In order to fully explore this question, we need to understand the past success or failure of CorelDRAW releases on the Mac.

CorelDRAW 6 was the first version issued for the Mac and it did not do well at all. Given that version 6 was also one of the poorest releases on Windows, it isn’t a good test. Corel also released native versions of CorelDRAW 8 and CorelDRAW 11. Corel’s research shows that less than 1% of CorelDRAW 11 users were using the Mac version. Yet the cost to develop for an additional platform was enormous.

So forget about your preference for platform. If you were the CEO of Corel and you had to decide to spend a huge amount of money to develop for platform that you know won’t sell, would you do it? From a business standpoint, the answer is quite simply no. Sure there are things Corel could do that might improve sales. Even if they doubled the sales of previous versions, there would be a huge financial loss. If I had to venture a guess, I would think would need to be at least ten times as high for Corel to break even. I just don’t see that happening.

Parallels Desktop for MacThat leaves two scenarious for Mac users who want to use CorelDRAW. The first is to run the native version of CorelDRAW 11. As time passes, it becomes more outdated, but it is a native version. What I feel is the best choice is to use Parallels to run the Windows version of CorelDRAW X3 on the Mac desktop. Yes, this does require a Mac user to have a copy of Windows XP (or soon Windows Vista). It also means that other Windows software can also be run in addition to CorelDRAW X3.

I do realize that this isn’t the solution that Mac users would prefer. It is just the business reality that exists.

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8 Comments

  1. Tom H.

    I think a strong business case could be made for a Mac version even if less than 1% of Draw users were using the Mac version.

    The question isn’t how many were using Draw at that time, but what the market looks like at this time. The Mac platform is rapidly gaining ground and the alternatives to Illustrator are totally insufficient.

    Also, many cross platform shops and offices are reluctant to use anything that limits users to a single platform… we certainly are.

    Is it a gamble? Sure, but it’s a gamble worth exploring beyond the user base of Draw 11, IMHO.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    The only thing keeping me from switching to a Mac is no CorelDraw X3. I do not want to be forced to use Illustrator which, in my opinion, is so inferior to CorelDraw.

    Reply
  3. Dale

    It’s interesting that Adobe doesn’t find Corel’s arguments convincing. I have used the Mac and Windows versions of version 11, and unfortunately the Mac version is not as well done as the Windows one. Part of this is due to bad design decisions on Corel’s part. For example the Help in Adobe is done in HTML, hence viewable by a browser, and appears essentially identical on the two platforms, while Corel has different systems on the two machines, and the Mac help version is inferior. Likewise more typefaces are available in Windows. I don’t see how Corel can be taken seriously in the professional market without supporting the major platform used by graphics professionals. Having switched to a Mac, I will never go back to the flaky and visually ugly world of Windows, and have to switch away from Corel to other software. The price of a version of Windows and the Parallels software is effectively aded to the price of the Corel suite,

    Reply
  4. Brenswa

    I’m a self-taught Corel user, and have been working as a Graphic Designer in the Promotional Products industry for seven years.

    I started with Version 8, and have worked with every version released since. I must say that X3 is proving to be excellent. Having only ever used PC’s (I was almost computer illiterate when I started!), I would like it if someone could explain just what are the real benefits of designing on a Mac platform?

    Dale made a comment related to the article “CorelDRAW and the Mac”, saying – …”Having switched to a Mac, I will never go back to the flaky and visually ugly world of Windows”. unfortunately, that simply doesn’t explain to me anything except that Mac’s are a bit like pastry & better to use ‘cosmetically’.

    I don’t really care if the pc interface is ‘visually ugly’, but I do care that I’m giving my clients the best work I can produce.

    Many designers I have dealt with (especially in Government Departments)use Mac’s, and almost laugh when I tell them I’m using Corel on a PC. For some reason they are seemingly ‘brainwashed’ into thinking that “Quark express” is the real deal! Most are now using Illustrator & Indesign, however they don’t seem to be able to tell me what the differences are between PC’s & Macs that make my use of Corel on a PC laughable.

    It is also frustrating to see so few jobs for Graphic Designers who are experienced in Corel. Adobe has really taken the foot-hold in Australia, but I think Corel is simply the best program, regardless of the platform.

    Keep up the great work guys,

    Brendan D.
    Australia.

    Reply
  5. Brenswa

    I’m a self-taught Corel user, and have been working as a Graphic Designer in the Promotional Products industry for seven years.

    I started with Version 8, and have worked with every version released since. I must say that X3 is proving to be excellent. Having only ever used PC’s (I was almost computer illiterate when I started!), I would like it if someone could explain just what are the real benefits of designing on a Mac platform?

    Dale made a comment related to the article “CorelDRAW and the Mac”, saying – …”Having switched to a Mac, I will never go back to the flaky and visually ugly world of Windows”. unfortunately, that simply doesn’t explain to me anything except that Mac’s are a bit like pastry & better to use ‘cosmetically’.

    I don’t really care if the pc interface is ‘visually ugly’, but I do care that I’m giving my clients the best work I can produce.

    Many designers I have dealt with (especially in Government Departments)use Mac’s, and almost laugh when I tell them I’m using Corel on a PC. For some reason they are seemingly ‘brainwashed’ into thinking that “Quark express” is the real deal! Most are now using Illustrator & Indesign, however they don’t seem to be able to tell me what the differences are between PC’s & Macs that make my use of Corel on a PC laughable.

    It is also frustrating to see so few jobs for Graphic Designers who are experienced in Corel. Adobe has really taken the foot-hold in Australia, but I think Corel is simply the best program, regardless of the platform.

    Keep up the great work guys,

    Brendan D.
    Australia.

    Reply
  6. anartist

    I want to bring up an issue relating to development costs. MACs OS is essentially Linux, Corel has (or only HAD at this point?) experience with Linix (I have a version of Corel for Linux), so development work for the MAC would not be wasted as it could conceivably be easily used for Linux, which, at present has nothing comparable to CorelDRAW. 2 small markets, but both are growing.

    Reply
  7. anartist

    In response to Brenswa, I have to agree. I was trained in school using MACs, but disliked Adobe Illustrator compared to Freehand. And when I started working in the field I was using CorelDRAW, since version3.
    Right from the get go Corel was easier to use, better designed for the user (less mouse clicks) than Adobe Illustrator, I prefer Adobe Photoshop, but I am getting up to speed on PhotoPaint, and it is OK. Corel is the superior program. MACs do )or did?) have an edge with regards to colour calibration being integrated with the OS, but it hardly matters these days as other OSs have caught up. MAC users seem to be stuck on their ‘superior’ OS and software, but it is just a tool people, get over it. Use what works best.

    Reply
  8. k__mears

    As a systems administrator supporting groups using both platforms, I can pinpoint the Macintosh advantage, and it has less to do with the individual software applications than the OS.
    I spend over 70% of my support budget on the 25% of the machines running on Windows. Yet our typical mac has has 2-3 times as many applications loaded and running. This is simply a matter of the stability of the mac OS, it’s near immunity to virus attack, and it’s integration of so many functions within the OS. OS features like Quick Look preview function and the pdf integration into OS X required no additional software purchases or support, and provided a real benefit to our productivity.
    To the individual user, the consistent user interface between mac programs makes using multiple applications easier, requiring much less support.
    While we are forced to occasionally work with Corel documents, I generally use a copy running on Parallels on a Mac to convert it to an Illustrator version so we have a version for the future use of our graphics staff (we have the CS suite on all graphic systems). I am not a great fan of Illustrator, having used Freehand for many years – easily the best postscript illustration application yet created – but it’s advantages include great pdf support (a prerequisite for us, and most graphic shops these days) and good integration into the other tools available.
    If Corel had a cross platform version – with exact file compatibility between the versions (something they have blown before), adhered to the de facto standards in menu and shortcuts, AND had complete pdf integration and support, it might stop being looked at like another ‘publisher’, and becoe a major player in the graphic arts field.
    Given their past record, however, I can’t see it happening.
    Corel will be around as long as there are shops that do not need integration with the rest of the graphics market and cannot afford CS, or have too much invested in the few vertical applications supporting only Corel. I don’t expect to be buying any future copies of Corel, but if I do, it will be running on Parallels on a Mac.

    Reply

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