NEC adds to line of Pocket PC 2002 OS handhelds

As is increasingly the case at trade shows, handheld devices took centre stage at Comdex, with companies, including Microsoft,...

As is increasingly the case at trade shows, handheld devices took centre stage at Comdex, with companies, including Microsoft, NEC and Palm, revealing their mobile plans.

NEC announced details of a handheld device based on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system, which is aimed at the corporate market and will include secure digital and compact flash memory slots, the company said.

The Pocket PC 2002 specification was released last month and Compaq, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard have already announced devices based on it.

Palm licensee Handspring is unlikely to follow suit, despite analyst speculation that the handheld device maker is open to using other operating systems. In his speech, Handspring co-founder Jeff Hawkins called on Palm to step up its innovation and suggested Pocket PC 2002 was not a viable long-term alternative. "I do not think it represents the future," he said.

Hawkins demonstrated the forthcoming Handspring Treo phone/PDA, which incorporates wireless telephone and SMS messaging with organiser, e-mail and wireless Web browsing in a compact device.

Treo uses PalmOS, which Palm announced at the show would be upgraded to version 4.1 of the operating system, but said it was delaying the release of a Bluetooth enabling add-on module because of the shortage of Bluetooth-enabled devices.

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