At this week’s DEMO Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., Chinese software developer Evermore Software LLC introduced the English-language version of its Evermore Integrated Office, or EIOffice. The company is hoping to garner attention from customers that might otherwise consider Microsoft’s seemingly ubiquitous Office application suite.
Microsoft Office exists as discrete applications — at least on the Macintosh side, those applications include Entourage, Excel, PowerPoint and Word. EIOffice, which was developed using Java, has a different design: All text, worksheets, graphics, audio, video and slides are available in one uniform file format, and one “binder” stores all related content.
The advantage to EIOffice’s design is that synchronizing a project comprising different components doesn’t require linking or embedding — instead, EIOffice relies on a technology called Data Object Oriented Repository System (DOORS). It’s a product design philosophy that may strike some old-school Mac users as familiar; conceptually, it’s a little bit like Apple’s defunct OpenDoc concept.
To achieve compatibility with existing Microsoft Office installations, EIOffice also imports and exports .xls, .doc and .ppt files. .pdf, .rtf and .txt formats are also supported.
The software was developed using Java and presently runs in Windows and Linux. Evermore Software said that Mac OS X and Solaris versions are now in development.
Rather than selling the software outright, Evermore Software leases EIOffice 2004 licenses for US$99 annually or $249 for 3 years. The lease covers version upgrades and technical support during the lease period.
Look for EIOffice 2004 to be available in May, 2004.