Corel Corporation has announced plans to release a new modular digital imaging platform code-named

Corel Corporation has announced plans to release a new modular digital imaging platform code-named “Alta”. Representing the first hybrid product offering from Corel, Alta combines the speed, power, and security of desktop software with the connectivity and rapid enhancement cycle of Web-based applications. The first release from this new platform will be a free download that will be available by autumn 2006.

A press statement relased by the company states:

‘Once customers install the free version of Alta, they will have the tools they need to easily organise, enhance and share their digital photos and video clips. In addition, they will be able to add new functionality by upgrading additional components as they need them. This will provide customers and partners with unprecedented control and flexibility in customising their digital imaging and photo management software.

The Alta platform will also benefit Corel’s partners. It will enable them to create a centralised hub incorporating digital imaging software and services for their customer bases. These partners will add a variety of new and popular online services to Alta, thus creating a comprehensive digital imaging ecosystem for their own consumers. From these partner sites, consumers will be able to quickly and easily manage, share, store and print all of their digital photos and videos from a single trusted source.

Webshots (www.webshots.com), a leading photo-sharing community and a property of CNET Networks, Inc., is a key partner that will be incorporated into the Alta digital imaging ecosystem. With the addition of Webshots, consumers will be able to process photo prints and photo gifts as well as share their images with Webshots’ active photo sharing community for free.

“Corel’s Alta platform provides a valuable tool in today’s photo sharing landscape, allowing users to customize and seamlessly share their photos and videos with Webshots’ vibrant community worldwide,” said Amy McDonough, Director of Paid Services, Webshots.

By widely distributing modular versions of its award winning software, Corel is further expanding its distribution channels and establishing a broad base to upsell and cross sell consumers on additional functionality and complementary services. Over time, Corel plans to offer modular versions of other select products from its existing software product families.

“A key aspect of Corel’s strategy is to expand our distribution channels and take advantage of new business models made possible by the growing importance of OEM and Internet channels,” said Corel Chief Executive Officer David Dobson. “With our expanded strategy, customers will have easier access to their Corel software applications at any time and from anywhere”.

“Corel is building on its strong position in full-featured desktop software, to lead the way to a new paradigm that provides greater convenience and flexibility for users,” said Alexis Gerard, President of Future Image, an imaging-focussed market research and consulting firm and host of the 6Sight Future of Imaging executive conference. “We expect the Alta platform to represent an important step forward in ease of use and accessibility. It will empower consumers to easily and inexpensively individualize the way that they find, edit, store and share their digital photos and videos. It will also empower partners to customise such solutions for their own customers,” said Gerard.

Alta will be available via Corel’s websites as well as through multiple online and partner channels beginning in autumn 2006.