REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that over 40 leading hardware and software companies have committed to developing products for a new category of mobile companion devices for Microsoft® Windows® based PCs called handheld PCs, or HPCs, based on Microsoft’s new Windows CE platform. Formerly known by the code name
Windows CE is an open, scalable Windows platform for a range of communications, entertainment and mobile-computing devices that can communicate with each other, share information with Windows-based PCs, and connect to the Internet. Microsoft expects hardware manufacturers and software vendors to announce the availability of HPC devices and associated software applications in November at COMDEX in Las Vegas.
The following computer and consumer-electronics companies have announced their commitment to developing and manufacturing HPCs: Casio Computer Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., LG Electronics, NEC Corp. and Philips Electronics. Microsoft has completed the software and has begun the release process to enable the manufacturers to bring their products to market. The various 32-bit RISC microprocessors for the first HPCs will be supplied by Hitachi Ltd., NEC Electronics and Philips Semiconductor.
In addition, the following companies have announced their commitment to either developing software applications, developing hardware peripherals, or providing communications solutions for the HPC platform: Advanced Recognition Technologies Inc., AllPen Software Inc., ARDIS, BHA Computer, CIC, Data Critical Corp., DataViz, EnBloc Corp., Equinox Solutions, Green Mountain Software, iambic Software, Integra Technology, Metricom, MicroBurst, Motorola Inc., Nimble Corp., PenVision Information Systems, Physix Inc., Puma Technology, RadioMail Corp., Real World Solutions, Research In Motion, River Run Software Group, Roving Software Inc., Skytel, Socket Communications, Symantec Corp., Syware, VeriTest, WorldPages Inc., Wright Strategies and WYND Communications.
HPCs have been designed to provide the millions of mobile professionals using Windows-based personal computers an affordable, easy-to-use mobile PC companion to carry their most important information when they are away from their personal computer. Handheld PCs running Microsoft Windows CE provide an easy-to-learn user interface incorporating many elements of the familiar Windows user interface, come equipped with companion applications that work with the personal-information-management and productivity applications customers know and use every day, and provide seamless information synchronization with Windows-based PCs. Standard communications support is also built into Windows CE, enabling users to access the Internet for sending and receiving e-mail or browsing the World Wide Web.
Moreover, Windows CE provides a standard development environment that ensures the emergence of a strong aftermarket for HPC companion applications. The Windows CE development environment has been designed to take advantage of the expertise that thousands of software developers already have with Windows programming interfaces and tools. Familiar off-the-shelf tools and a comprehensive subset of Win32®
APIs means the Windows CE platform will enable developers to use their existing skills and will make Windows CE the most complete handheld development platform available today.
“We are excited about the broad industry support we’ve seen for Microsoft’s new Windows CE platform for HPCs,”
said Craig Mundie, senior vice president of the consumer platforms division at Microsoft.
“One of Microsoft’s greatest strengths has been its proven ability to create viable product platforms and then enable third parties to build products around them. Our goal with Windows CE is to create an open, standards-based platform that will enable handheld computing to expand to its full potential. This impressive list of endorsements is compelling evidence that Microsoft is significantly lowering the hurdles for OEMs, hardware manufacturers, software developers, and, ultimately, customers to adopt Windows-based handheld technologies and solutions.”
The first HPC devices are anticipated to be commercially available before the end of the year, with street prices for base configurations expected to start around $500.
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