Microsoft and Socket Announce Availability of Microsoft Communications Kit for Windows CE and Distribution With Socket’s Digital Phone Cards

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 15, 1999 — Delivering on a vision of making information accessible any time, anywhere from a range of devices, Microsoft Corp. and Socket Communications Inc. today announced that the Microsoft® Communications Kit for the Windows® CE operating system is available immediately for distribution with the Battery Friendly TM Digital Phone Card Data Connection Kit from Socket. With this hardware and software combination, people can unite a Windows CE-based Palm-size PC or Handheld PC with a data-capable cellular phone and easily access e-mail, browse rich Internet content in color, and synchronize personal information while on the go.

“Socket’s Digital Phone Card makes innovative use of existing connectivity standards, allowing users of Palm-size PCs to access their information while on the go without adding an extra monthly bill,” said Rogers Weed, director of marketing for the Productivity Appliances Division at Microsoft. “The power efficiency and universal compatibility of Socket’s card combined with the color screens and Web-browsing capability available on the latest generation of Palm-size PCs offers mobile users an unbeatable solution for wireless connectivity.”

Easy Mobile Internet and Personal Information Management

Part of a range of mobile solutions from Microsoft, the Microsoft Communications Kit for Windows CE makes it easy to set up and enjoy full-color, mobile access to rich Internet content, including corporate or ISP-hosted e-mail, contacts, calendar and tasks, on a Windows CE-based Palm-size or Handheld PC. The Microsoft Communications Kit includes the following:

  • Microsoft Mobile Connection Wizard. The Mobile Connection Wizard makes it easier for users to set up a dial-up connection with an ISP or corporate network to access the Web, e-mail and their personal information by letting them enter their information into a single wizard on the desktop PC, which then transfers the settings to their Windows CE-based Palm-size or Handheld PC.

  • Web browser software for Palm-size PCs

  • Foliage iBrowser. This Web browser from Foliage Software Systems enables users to browse the Web from a Palm-size PC, either wirelessly or with a phone line. In addition, by using the HTML capabilities in Microsoft Office 2000, customers can now view any Office 2000 document on their device.

  • AvantGo. This leading Web-based information service from AvantGo Inc. provides free* access to the hottest Web sites, including, CNET, MapQuest, The New York Times and over 1,000 more.

  • Microsoft ActiveSync
    The latest version of synchronization software streamlines initial installation and makes it easier and more reliable to keep data up to date.

  • Bonus applications software

  • bTask from BSQUARE Corp. Users can navigate and close applications using bTask.

  • Primer PDF document viewer from Ansyr Technology Corp. Users can try this 60-day beta trial version to view PDF documents on a Palm-size PC.

  • “PalmGolf” from Zio Interactive Inc. The world’s only real-time 3-D golf game for Palm-size PCs, this game allows users to enjoy real-time 3-D golf games and simulations of real courses in the palm of their hand.

  • Games. New color versions of “Taipei,” “FreeCell” and “Space Defense” are among the games included in the Microsoft entertainment pack for the Palm-size PC.

  • Documentation. Easy-to-use documentation guides users through the setup of a range of mobile Windows CE-based Palm-size PC or Handheld PC scenarios, including connection to a corporate RAS or ISP via a standard telephone line, Ethernet card or digital cellular phone.

Battery Friendly Digital Phone Card From Socket Offers Universal Connectivity

The Digital Phone Card from Socket is a CompactFlash CF+ I/O card offering universal connectivity between data-capable cellular phones and mobile computers powered by the Microsoft Windows CE, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT® operating systems. The card fits into the CompactFlash slot of any Windows CE-based Palm-size PC or in any standard PC Card slot via a PC Card adapter included with the kit. Because conventional modems consume over 20 times more energy than the Battery Friendly card, Socket’s solution allows mobile users to stay wirelessly connected for significantly longer periods. Versions of the Digital Phone Card Data Connection Kit are now available for mobile phones from Ericsson (Telefonaktiebolagct LM Ericsson), Nokia Corp. and QUALCOMM Inc. with additional phone support expected.

“Socket is excited to include the Microsoft Communications Kit with our Digital Phone Card product line,” said Peter Phillips, director of product marketing for Socket. “We can now offer users of Windows CE a simple and efficient way to access in full color their e-mail, the Web and their corporate data any time and anywhere.”

Availability and Pricing

The Socket Digital Phone Card Data Connection Kit with the Microsoft Communications Kit for Windows CE will initially be sold online by MobilePlanet Inc., with plans for it to be distributed eventually by wireless carriers. To order the kit, customers can call (800) 675-2638 or order online at or . In support of the recently announced Web on the Go promotion from Microsoft, Socket is offering its Digital Phone Card Data Connection Kits for as low as $99. Information about compatibility with mobile phones is available at .

Windows CE-based Palm-size PCs are mobile companions that give users the freedom to work more effectively, wherever their business takes them. More information about Windows CE-based Palm-size PCs is available at .

About Socket

Socket Communications Inc. (OTC: Bulletin Board SCKT and SCKTW; Pacific Stock exchange SOK) develops and sells connection products for Windows CE-based computers and other devices. Socket’s products include the Battery Friendly family of plug-in cards for enhancing Windows CE-based computers by adding networking, bar code scanning and printing, data communication and wireless Internet connectivity. Socket’s products utilize the company’s low power chip technology, making them ideal for battery-operated mobile computers. Information about Socket’s complete range of products is available on the company’s Web site at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

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

Socket, Battery Friendly and Digital Phone Card are registered trademarks or trademarks of Socket Communications Inc.

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

©1999, Socket Communications Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

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