RedOffice is one of the “distros” of OpenOffice.org, along with Go-OOo, Lotus Symphony, OxygenOffice, NeoOffice, EuroOffice, and probably some others.
RedOffice is developed by a company in Beijing and specifically addresses the Chinese-language market.
More than just translating and cloning OOo, however, RedOffice has introduced a well-designed new user interface for their version of the suite.
Johannes Eva analyzes RedOffice’s user interface innovations on his blog. Its biggest departure from the standard OOo is (no, not that it only comes in Chinese, but) its persistent tool palette column on the left side of the document window. Eva calls this a “vertical ribbon”, but since I do not like the MS Office 2007 ribbon, I’ll stick with the older term “tool palette” instead.
He’s impressed also by the included templates which are displayed in the palette, and the live preview of each template when you mouse over each one’s icon.
Eva concludes his review impressed and inspired by the application:
RedOffice 4.0 beta new UI is really intuitive and useful. The “Live Preview” function is great and should definitively be adopted in OOo after 3.0. Though slower than OOo 3.0 beta, RedOffice runs at an acceptable speed on my old hardware.
I have to agree with his analysis. To see more of it, and all the screenshots he took of RedOffice, hop on over to the original RedOffice UI post.
[From RedOffice Offers OOo User Interface Ideas]