Israeli Firm's Software Program Makes Computing Global
TAKING a step ahead of United States computer giants, a small Israeli company will next week launch a multilingual word processing program designed to make the communications revolution truly global.
``Accent,'' which can work in five alphabets and 32 languages simultaneously, is the brainchild of two brothers, Robert and Jeff Rosenschein. Kivun, the company they founded five years ago, is one of the fastest-growing of a crop of young Israeli high-tech businesses.
``We have developed a globalized word processor to satisfy the need for international communications,'' says Robert Rosenschein, Kivun's president. He says that puts his program far ahead of software coming out of what he calls ``the American mindset, oriented to only one language - English.''
In tune with moves toward peace in the Middle East, the company plans to launch the first Hebrew/Arabic program in the spring, in a special ``peace edition'' of Accent. Accent, marketed as ``one world'' technology, is designed for use with ``Windows,'' Microsoft Corporation's graphical user interface for IBM computers and their clones, which has become a world standard. But Windows, as well as Microsoft's word processing programs such as ``Word for Windows,'' are only available in English or localized translations, such as French, German, or Italian.
KIVUN'S new product, due out in Europe next Monday, gives the user a taste of its intentions the moment it is booted up: The installation instructions come in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Finnish.
Its menus and helplines are in eight languages, its ``spellchecker'' in 17 languages, and it has 44 keyboards with onscreen maps to accommodate everything from Finnish to Greek. With an ability to switch in and out of languages and alphabets in the same document, ``it is more than a word processor, it is a language solution,'' says Jonathan Medved, Kivun's executive vice president.