Microsoft Announces Pocket PCs for Japan

TOKYO, July 13, 2000 — Following a highly successful debut in the United States in April, Microsoft today announced the upcoming launch of the Pocket PC in Japan. Pocket PCs are small, powerful devices that not only store essential calendar and contact information, but also come equipped with powerful applications that let you take your important work with you. People who carry Pocket PCs can read and reply to email, edit Word and Excel documents, listen to digital music in MP3 and Windows Media formats, play games, and access the Web from just about anywhere.

“After such incredible demand for Pocket PCs in the U.S., we’re very excited about being able to offer the Pocket PC to Japanese customers, too,”
said Rebecca Thompson, product manager in the Microsoft Mobile Devices Division.
“There are so many device-savvy customers in Japan that we think they will take well to the expandability and multimedia capability of Pocket PCs.”

The Japanese version of the Pocket PC is localized for a Japanese character set and user interface (UI), and features two Japanese on-screen keyboards and natural character recognition, enabling a Japanese user to write fewer strokes. The device makes an
“educated guess”
at the character the user is writing, displaying the suggestion for the user to accept or reject. The Japanese version of the Pocket PC supports both the Japanese and Roman character sets and has additional features such as games, music and multimedia.

“Not only does the product fully support the Japanese language, but slight contextual changes have been made in applications such as Pocket Outlook to reflect Japanese cultural and business preferences,”
Thompson explained.
“Microsoft has had years of experience localizing our software, and we understand the needs of users in many countries.”

Squeezed into the compact frame is a robust bundle of software. In addition to Pocket versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Word, Excel and Outlook, Pocket PCs feature a financial calculator, Ethernet drivers, special security features, imaging software and more.

Like their American counterparts, Japanese version Pocket PCs are built with expansion slots that provide unmatched options, allowing consumers to add a modem, keyboard, digital camera, or additional storage for games, files, or music. As part of the launch in Japan, Microsoft partners announced Japanese Pocket PC support in the form of additional localized software and add-ons such as, an online stock trading application, navigation software and a PHS CompactFlash wireless data card that works with
— an economical, mobile hands-free telephone system that is extremely popular in Japan. And of course, the Pocket PC is fully Internet-capable, enabling users to maximize the power of the Web.

Microsoft has worked with a wide range of hardware and software partners to ensure that the Pocket PC is the most versatile and useful device of its kind. Specifications for Pocket PCs sound more like desktop computers than handheld devices — 32MB of RAM, up to 206MHz processors, 16-bit color screens displaying more than 65,000 colors. Both Hewlett-Packard and Casio have committed to producing Japanese versions of the Pocket PC.

“We believe that Japanese customers are always looking for the most cutting-edge devices,
“Thompson said.”
Pocket PC is the next generation PDA, and I think Japanese customers will be thrilled about a device that offers so much more than an organizer.

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