Microsoft today announced a version of Internet Explorer for handheld devices which it plans to extend to let users view Wap services.
Pocket Internet Explorer will ship pre-installed on Windows CE devices from Casio, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Siemens and Symbol Technologies expected to launch in May.
Previously Windows CE device users have had to rely on third party browsers to access the web.
No public announcement was made about whether or not the devices, dubbed Pocket PCs, would support Wap services. Greg Levin, Windows CE marketing manager at Microsoft, told vnunet.com exclusively that Wap support was still an option.
"I didn't say we wouldn't include Wap support. That's just not what we're talking about today. We might include it as a layer," said Levin.
Pocket Internet Explorer includes two noteworthy features: offline browsing, so internet or intranet information can be downloaded while the device is connected to a network and read later, and fit to screen, which rearranges web pages to fit Pocket PC screens.
Microsoft also previewed the first results of the Siemens/Casio partnership announced late last year. The companies have added Siemens GSM technology to Casio's Cassiopeia PDA. The prototype demonstrated today showed wireless internet access and telephony. By selecting dial in the address book, a call was made to a contact using a headset.
The finished product is due to ship in the first quarter of 2001.
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