Most pundits agree that Windows 95 will emerge as the desktop platform of the future. And according to International Data Corporation (IDC) figures, Windows 95 could reach an installed base of more than 30 million users by the middle of 1996. Why, then, has Novell released WordPerfect 6.1 for DOS?

Well, for starters, the Computer Technology Index reveals that more than 65% of PCs in use today run on 386 processors or even slower chips. This helps explain why there are still 45 million DOS-only computer users and some 105 million users of DOS and Windows 3.11, according to a 1995 IDC report. And according to Novell's market research, 70% of small businesses continue to use DOS-based applications.

Novell's new version of WordPerfect offers the same familiar blue screen, but some new features from WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows have been added. For example, you can now edit tables in the document window instead of having to go into a separate table-editing mode. And a graphical-user-interface (GUI) mode lets you see the document exactly as it will be printed. "There's still a thriving DOS market, and we plan to give that market what it wants," says Bill Reynolds, product manager for WordPerfect for DOS.

Another reason not to chuck that old 386: you don't have to miss out on the Web. Download a copy of DosLynx (, a text-based Internet browser for DOS, and you can browse the Web ASCII style.

-- Joshua Macht