The Osborne Encore was developed by Vadem Inc., a consulting company od Santa Clara, California, which offered the design to Osborne Computer Corp (OCC) for production. At that time, after launching the Osborne Executive, Osborne Corp. had serious financial problems.
It was an MSDOS based computer with a built-in modem. The keyboard had four 'icon' keys which called small programs located in ROM : the "phone" key called the communication software, the "clock" key called a calendar, the "disk" key booted the system and the "calculator" key called a small electronic calculator.
The LCD screen could display only 16 lines, so only a few MS-DOS programs could be used (the lower 9 lines were invisible). When it was conceived, the Encore had a 25 lines LCD screen, but the size was reduced to save production costs.
Morrow Design Co. also licensed the technology from Vadem and released a improved machine called Pivot. Zenith, in turn, licensed the technology from Morrow and sold a similar machine featuring a 25-line CGA display, the Z-171.
Osborne's relationship with Vadem involved manufacturing and system support. Vadem engineers made extensive changes to the original version, mostly improving its IBM compatibility, which gave birth in 1985 to the Osborne 3, the last Osborne computer sold in USA.