Microsoft's rebranded Pocket PC hand-held operating system (OS) will be more successful for resellers than previous versions of what it used to call Windows CE. But it will still not be as dominant as Windows on the desktop, analysts have said.
The OS will have a 30 per cent market share for PDAs and smartphones by the end of next year, according to analyst GartnerGroup.
On 19 April vendors including Compaq, Casio, Hewlett-Packard and Symbol will launch devices using the OS.
Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner, said: "Although it will gain in market share, CE will not be dominant in the hand-held market like Windows is in the desktop market. "Microsoft was beaten up by Palm and has shown a lack of vision in this space. It took Windows, shrunk it and expected it to be wonderful, but was too complicated," he said.
Dulaney said Pocket PC can be used as a business tool as well as for relaxation. The OS includes an MP3 player as well as a cut-down version of Microsoft Office.
Dulaney added that Microsoft will have more success with CE in the embedded market. "By the end of 2001, it will have a 50 per cent share of this market."
He said CE will become a supported OS in 90 per cent of firms by 2004, but that the use of hand-helds will push the total cost of ownership up by 10 per cent by 2005.
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