CE Goes to Work
-- by Jim Forbes
With an installed base approaching 40,000 units and new connectivity and personal productivity application programs beginning to appear, Windows CE is gaining acceptance among users and developers. Next stop: corporate America.
Large-scale adoption in the enterprise market is probably still a long way off, but some of the pieces are falling into place. While OEMs such as Hewlett-Packard aim releases like the new 300LX (pictured) at large companies, developers such as Symantec are following Microsoft's lead and directing some of their research and development efforts toward Windows CE.
Staying in contact
This spring, Symantec released pcAnywhere CE, which allows CE owners to dial up their desktops or notebooks, initiate various actions on either platform and easily transfer files from one machine to another. Symantec is also working on a CE version of ACT, its best-selling contact-management program. For its part, Microsoft will soon have a customized version of its own entry in this market, Outlook, at a store near you. And both companies are set to offer file utilities that facilitate data transfer between your CE hand-held and your desktop.
Of course, this is still a small market: Michael McGuire, a senior analyst with research firm Dataquest, estimates there are about 2 million hand-helds in use. But McGuire believes this could climb to 5.3 million units by the year 2000. "Microsoft's position in the hand-held market isn't so much about technology as it is about legitimacy," he said.
In other words, the fact that the Redmond giant is developing hand-held products ensures that the technology will enjoy a whole new level of respect.