REDMOND, Wash., April 12, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced and celebrated the first anniversary of the Microsoft® Pocket PC at the annual Local Media Day. The event gives Seattle-based media a better understanding of Microsoft’s strategy and plans for the future and, on this particular day, the chance to mark the first year of the most up-and-coming device in the handheld marketplace.
With the release of the Pocket PC on April 19, 2000, Microsoft modified its approach to the personal digital assistant (PDA) industry and incorporated some important feedback from customers. The company found that customers’ expectations had not been met in key areas: simplicity of use, a rich feature set right out of the box, optimization and stability of performance, and enablement of new scenarios through the incorporation of standards and important partner developments. The response Microsoft has received from both customers and the market since incorporating the suggested changes has been tremendous. Today the Pocket PC continues to redefine the PDA category by offering customers the widest range of functionality on a mobile device and raising the bar for what a mobile device should do.
“Over the past year we’ve witnessed a sea change with regard to customer expectations for devices, validating Microsoft’s strategy that people want more than personal information management from their PDA,”
said Juha Christensen, vice president of the Mobility Group at Microsoft.
“As the mobile device industry sits poised to explode in terms of growth, Microsoft is really leading the charge as evidenced by the technology innovations we’ve pioneered and our steady growth.”
“A year ago we shipped the Pocket PC software, and competitors went so far as to criticize us for doing too much with a PDA; now they’re scrambling to add on the capabilities that we and our hardware partners enable right out of the box,”
said Ben Waldman, vice president of the Mobility Group at Microsoft.
“We’re thrilled with the past year and the progress we’ve made in step with our industry partners and look forward to maintaining this incredible momentum while pushing the technology envelope to meet our customers’ needs.”
The Pocket PC has realized several milestones over the past year since its launch at Grand Central Station, including the following:
Climbing adoption rate. The Pocket PC currently claims 16.5 percent of handheld use according to IDC. IDC is predicting that the Pocket PC will gain 38 percent of handheld use by 2004. In addition, according to Context, a market analysis firm in England, the Pocket PC has over 31 percent of European handheld use.
Developer momentum. The Pocket PC has seen a tremendous amount of interest from developers over the past year. The familiar Windows-based development environment makes it easy for programmers to write applications from scratch as well as port existing desktop applications over to the Pocket PC. Combining the development environment with the versatility and power of Pocket PC devices — which have up to 32 MB of RAM, extremely fast processor speeds and a multithreaded environment — makes Pocket PCs ideal for running the widest and most capable range of applications on a handheld device. More than 118,000 developers have received the Pocket PC software development kit in its first year, 40,000 of these within the past four months.
Key enterprise wins. Enterprise customers are realizing the benefits of the Pocket PC. For example, Aether Systems Inc. has recently launched Reuters MarketClip on the HP Jornada 540 and the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PCs. The financial application, a collaborative effort between Aether Systems and Reuters, provides real-time stock quotes and associated financial information and allows users to create and track their portfolios, set alerts, and request a wide range of market content. More information about enterprise customer wins is available at http://www.microsoft.com/mobile/enterprise/default.asp .
About Microsoft Pocket PC
Windows® Powered Pocket PCs, the next generation PDAs from Microsoft and industry partners, offer customers the best way to connect to their most essential information while away from their desk, yet are versatile enough to satisfy the personal needs of today’s busy mobile lifestyle. Pocket PCs already include a broad range of native business, personal productivity and entertainment applications, yet can easily be expanded to adapt to each customer’s changing needs through a continually growing number of industry standard hardware and software options.
Pocket PCs are available from many manufacturers, including Casio Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. The devices can be purchased at most major retail outlets, and prices range from $249 to $649.
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