PocketPC set to rival 3Com's Palm

Microsoft officially launched the PocketPC, its much-anticipated rival to 3Com's successful Palm operating system, earlier this...

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Microsoft officially launched the PocketPC, its much-anticipated rival to 3Com's successful Palm operating system, earlier this week. Cliff Saran reports

The Pocket PC, announced in January, is Microsoft's attempt at a fully-fledged personal digital assistant with built-in office productivity and communications applications.

A variant of Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, Pocket PC provides versions of MS Pocket Word, Excel and Outlook. In terms of communications and Internet access, Pocket PC devices support e-mail attachments and a pocket version of Internet Explorer for Web browsing.

To tie in with the launch, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has revamped its Jornada handheld family with the introduction of the HP Jornada 540 Series.

Sally Lawlor, UK Jornada business development manager for HP, said, "The new 540 Series has a better user interface than our existing 420 and 430 models."

Lawlor said the Pocket PC specification provides the latest Jornada with several advancements over its predecessor. The 540 includes handwriting recognition which does not require users to modify their handwriting according to Lawlor.

HP is planning to offer Bluetooth wireless connectivity by July 2000. When the Jornada 540 starts shipping in early May, HP plans to offer a wireless application protocol browser available for free download from its Web site, for Web browsing using a mobile phone.

The competition:Palm and Psion

  Palm Psion
Top selling model Palm V Series 5mx
Price About £206 About £330
Size 114 x 79 x 10 mm 170 x 90 x 33mm
Weight 114g 354g
Memory 2Mbyte 16Mbyte
Operating system Palm OS Epoc
Reasons why people buy it (according to manufacturer) infra-red beaming, hot synching, replying to e-mails, storage capacity, size Instant on weight, price, size, design

This was first published in April 2000



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