REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced additional industry support for the handheld PC, the new category of companion devices for Microsoft® Windows® based PCs being developed from the Microsoft Windows CE platform. Formerly known by the code name
Windows CE is an open, scalable Windows operating system 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.
With today’s announcement, more than 50 leading hardware and software companies have now committed to developing handheld PC products based on the Windows CE platform. Microsoft expects hardware manufacturers and software vendors to announce the availability of handheld PC devices and associated software applications in November at COMDEX in Las Vegas.
Personal computer manufacturers Compaq Computer Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. join previously announced OEMs Casio Computer Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., LG Electronics Inc., NEC Corp. and Philips Electronics in developing and manufacturing handheld PC devices. In addition, ACE Technologies Inc., Agri-Logic Inc., Ararat Software Inc., bsquare development, GoldMine Software Corp., Joey Technologies Inc., LandWare, Nettech Systems Inc., RW Information Technologies Corp., SPYRUS and Xircom Inc. have announced their commitment to developing either software applications or hardware peripherals, and AT & T Wireless Services joins the list of companies committed to providing wireless messaging products and services for the platform.
The handheld PC, with Microsoft Windows CE, is designed to provide the millions of mobile professionals using Windows-based personal computers an affordable, easy-to-use mobile PC companion to keep their most important information up to date and close at hand.
Microsoft Windows CE provides an easy-to-learn user interface for the handheld PC that incorporates many elements of the familiar Windows user interface. It comes equipped with companion applications that work with the personal-information-management and productivity applications customers know and use every day, and provides 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 Windows-based development environment that ensures the emergence of a strong aftermarket for handheld PC companion applications.
“Microsoft is committed to making Windows CE an open, standards-based platform that enables handheld computing to expand to its full potential,”
said Craig Mundie, senior vice president of the consumer platforms division at Microsoft.
“The involvement of Compaq Computer Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., as well as these other leading companies, clearly illustrates the tremendous industry momentum that is building behind the handheld PC. We look forward to debuting these products next month at COMDEX.”
In addition to the firms mentioned, the following companies have committed to developing software applications, developing hardware peripherals, or providing communications solutions for the handheld PC platform: ACE Technologies, Advanced Recognition Technologies Inc., Agri-Logic Inc., AllPen Software Inc., Ararat Software, ARDIS Co., AT & T Wireless Services, BHA Computer Pty. Ltd., bsquare development, Communication Intelligence Corp. (CIC), Data Critical Corp., DataViz, EnBloc Corp., Equinox Solutions Inc., GoldMine Software Corp., Green Mountain Software Corp., iambic Software, Integra Technology International Inc., Joey Technologies Inc., LandWare, Metricom Inc., MicroBurst Inc., Motorola Inc., Nettech Systems Inc., Nimble Corp., PenVision Information Systems Inc., Physix Inc., Puma Technology, RadioMail Corp., RAM Mobile Data, Real World Solutions, Research In Motion, River Run Software Group, Roving Software Inc., RW Information Technologies Corp., SkyTel, Socket Communication Inc., SPYRUS, Symantec Corp., Syware Inc., VeriTest Inc., WorldPages Inc., Wright Strategies, WYND Communications Corp. and Xircom Inc.
The first handheld PC devices are anticipated to be commercially available before the end of the year, with prices for base configurations expected to start around $500.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
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