Microsoft Announces Plans for Wireless Communications Kit For Windows CE-Based Palm-Size PCs

NEW YORK, June 22, 1999 — Building on the vision of making any-time, anywhere access to information a reality on a range of devices, Microsoft Corp. today announced at PC Expo plans for a wireless communications kit for the Microsoft® Windows® CE operating system-based Palm-size PCs (P/PCs). By integrating Palm-size PCs with data-capable digital cellular phones, the kit will enable customers to access their e-mail, browse rich Internet content, and synchronize personal information manager (PIM) information along with content and information services from AvantGo Inc., all on their P/PC. Microsoft plans to work with Socket Communications Inc. (OTC: Bulletin Board “SCKT” and “SCKTW”) on a key component of the kit, the integration of Socket Digital Phone Cards for streamlining the attachment of digital cellular telephones to P/PCs.

Customers will be able to use the wireless communication kit to get full wireless access to their existing applications via their choice of P/PC and a variety of cellular telephones they already carry for voice communication purposes. The solution will enable customers to receive wireless updates to their calendar, contacts and to-do list, send and receive full e-mail messages with attachments, and download predetermined Web information with one quick telephone call. In addition, the solution will enable a full online experience by allowing customers to work in a connected mode to access Web sites or make live, interactive queries to do things such as look up a restaurant in a city they are visiting or get real-time directions. The kit is expected to be distributed via carriers in North America this fall for under $100, and Microsoft expects it to be rolled out worldwide eventually.

“The latest color-enabled Palm-size PCs are changing the way people look at mobile devices, increasing users’ expectation for what information they want available to them while away from their desk,” said Jonathan Roberts, general manager of the Productivity Appliance Division at Microsoft. “By enabling access to their existing e-mail account and Internet-standard Web content – on or offline – we help ensure that they don’t need to compromise when it comes to information access in their business or personal lives. With the proliferation of data-capable digital cell phones, we see the wireless communications kit for the P/PC as the next step in giving people access to their information any time, anywhere.”

“We look forward to working with Microsoft to expand the connectivity options available to users of Palm-size PCs,” said Mike Gifford, founder of Socket Communications. “Bell Mobility of Canada has demonstrated the viability of our Digital Phone Card technology, and trials are now underway with U.S. and international carriers. The value-added software included in Microsoft’s wireless add-on kit for Windows CE will further enhance the usability of the system.”

“AvantGo is excited to work with Microsoft to help enable the wireless communications kit, which we believe will be invaluable to business professionals and consumers on the go,” said Stuart Read, vice president of marketing at AvantGo. “The kit will enable on-demand wireless synchronization of all AvantGo content and information services using commonly available handsets, allowing individuals to post business transactions or keep hundreds of Web pages
up to date with one brief phone call.”

The wireless communications kit is expected to provide the following:

  • Premier offline Internet content from that has been optimized for the Palm-size PC to take advantage of the unique color screens

  • Real-time Web browsing with the AvantGo Web Client

  • Easy-to-use setup wizard, which runs on the PC and identifies the customer’s existing e-mail addresses, sets up the dialing properties and Internet settings and installs the software

  • ActiveSync TM technology 3.0, new updated synchronization software technology

  • Socket Digital Phone Card

  • Step-by-step instructions for installation and use

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

The information contained in this document relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. This document is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this document or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, Windows and ActiveSync are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. If you are interested in viewing additional information on Socket, please visit the Web site at .

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