Microsoft Corp. on Thursday will start shipping Pocket PC 2002, the latest version of its handheld operating system, which is geared toward corporate users.
The new OS, which the company unveiled at the DemoMobile trade show last month, will be incorporated into handheld devices from Hewlett-Packard Co., Compaq Computer Corp., Toshiba Corp. and a slew of other licensees.
"There are going to be 20-plus licensees of Pocket PC by the end of the year," said Ken Dulaney, vice president of mobile computing and storage at Gartner Group, in San Jose, Calif.
New to Pocket PC 2002 are the ability to do instant messaging and support for the 802.11 wireless LAN protocol, according officials at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash. Applications include Pocket Outlook, Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and Windows Media Player 8 for Pocket PC.
Of course, an operating system is only as good as the applications that support it. In that vein, Microsoft is making a point of sharing its launch announcement with several companies that have built applications for Pocket PC 2002.
- My Doc Online Inc. will introduce a wireless service for Pocket PCs that enables wireless document management and file sharing, expanded file storage, and fax capability.
- iConverse Inc. will join Microsoft in announcing that developers can use the iConverse Mobility Platform to build enterprise-specific applications for Pocket PC 2002.
- Changepoint Corp. will announce a wireless client, geared toward mobile sales forces, that uses Extensible Markup Language to provides wireless connectivity and remote synchronization to various data.
- Fonix Corp. will announce text-to-speech software for the Pocket PC.