Corel kept its Linux game plan rolling last week, showing a glimpse of a CorelDraw 9.0 version for the open source operating system. The Canadian software maker previewed the pre-beta version of its popular graphics suite at the US-based Seybold Publishing 2000 conference. CorelDraw for Linux is slated to be available this fall, becoming the most powerful set of graphics tools available for the Linux operating system, says Corel. CorelDraw 9.0 includes the image editor Photo-Paint. Currently the open source program GIMP is one of the only graphics utilities available for the Linux operating system. However, Corel expects other companies will offer graphics programs soon. Pricing for CorelDraw and Photo-Paint will be similar to Windows versions, it says. Currently CorelDraw for Windows has a suggested retail price of £395 plus VAT and £229 plus VAT for an upgrade. GIMP, an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is free. CorelDraw 9.0 for Linux supports competing file formats from Adobe and MetaCreations, bragging 65 import and export filters. CorelDraw 9.0 for Linux will meet advanced demands such as color separation and video animation, the company says. "We don't expect designers to abandon the Mac or Windows operating system," says Meredith Dundas, Corel communications manager. "CorelDraw for Linux will just be another tool for them." The program on display here at Seybold looked identical to its Windows counterpart. Dundas says the program at its current stage of development offers 95 percent of Windows features. Its biggest technical challenge, Corel says, is working with third-party developers of CorelDraw plug-ins. CorelDRAW is being made to run on the Linux operating system using Wine, a Linux option aimed to let Windows programs run unchanged on Linux machines. Over the past year Corel has focused much of its energy on Linux software development. Last week it announced plans to merge with software development toolmaker Inprise and become a Linux powerhouse. In January it shipped a desktop version of Linux. Also that month it released a beta version of its WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux.