WinFax (also known as WinFax PRO) is a Windows-based software product designed to let computers equipped with fax-modems to communicate directly to stand-alone fax machines, or other similarly-equipped computers.
The product was created by developer Tony Davis at Delrina in 1990, and soon became the company's flagship product. Delrina started out by producing a set of electronic form products known as PerForm and later, FormFlow.
In 1990 Delrina devoted a relatively small space to WinFax at that year's COMDEX, where it easily garnered the most attention of any Delrina product being demonstrated at that show. This interest convinced Delrina of the commercial viability of the product. The rapid acceptance of this program in the market soon overtook that of the initial forms product in terms of revenues, and within a few years of its launch, WinFax would account for 80% of the company's revenues.
Several versions of WinFax were released over the next few years, initially for Windows 3.x and then a Windows 95-based version. Versions were also created for the Apple Macintosh ("Delrina Fax Pro") and DOS ("DosFax"). The Windows versions were also localized to major European and Asian languages. The company made further inroads by establishing tie-ins with modem manufacturers such as U.S. Robotics and Supra that bundled simple versions of the product (called "WinFax LITE") that offered basic functionality. Those wanting more robust features were encouraged to upgrade to the "PRO" version, and were offered significant discounts over the standalone retail version. All of this rapidly established WinFax as the de facto fax software. By 1994, almost 100 companies were bundling versions of WinFax, including IBM, Compaq, AST Research, Gateway 2000, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.
WinFax PRO 3.0 was launched in November 1993 for Windows 3.x machines. This was followed by a version for Macintosh systems. This version of this product saw long life as a "non-PRO" version that was bundled with various fax modems by the end of its product cycle.
The release of WinFax PRO 4.0 in March 1994 brought together a number of key features and technologies. It introduced an improved OCR engine, introduced improvements aimed specifically at mobile fax users, better on-screen fax viewing capabilities and a focus on consistency and usability of the interface. It also included for the first time the ability to integrate directly with popular email products that were beginning to emerge in the marketplace, such as cc:Mail and Microsoft Mail. It was soon followed by a networked version of the same product, which allowed a number of users to share a single fax modem on a networked system. This version of the product was also bundled with a grayscale scanner manufactured by Fujitsu, and sold as WinFax Scanner.
In 1994 the firm acquired AudioFile, a company that specialized in computer-based voice technology. The company created a product called TalkWorks, which enabled users to use certain fax/modems as a voice mail client. This program would later be bundled with subsequent versions of WinFax and the CommSuite 95 product.