Proxim has launched wireless Lan connectivity for Compaq's new Aero mini laptop device, giving corporate users real time secure wireless access to information stored on enterprise servers.
Compaq launched its latest incarnation of the Aero - a mini laptop device running Windows CE, to add to the palm PC and handheld PC versions - at Microsoft's Windows CE Developers Conference in Denver,Colorado this week.
According to Compaq, the addition of wireless Lan connectivity means corporate users can gain remote access to critical email and information stored on the network.
Ben Williams, director of Compaq displays and peripherals, commented: "With the new Aero 8000 and Proxim's wireless technology, we are able to deliver to customers a flexible, secure, long lasting device for people who are away from their desks to access the information they need to make important daily decisions."
Rangelan2 is certified and complies with the Openair wireless standard set by the Wireless Lan Interoperability Forum (WLI) a non profit organisation of more than 25 leading wireless vendors working towards better interoperability among members' products.
Earlier this week, Compaq told VNU Newswire it is currently in negotiations with several content providers about providing streaming content for its CE devices, as well as developing its own Alta Vista portal for mobile computing users.
Discussions are also underway with many of Europe's mobile phone operators that use Compaq infrastructure about providing services for Windows CE users.
"There are quite a few things coming up," said Gernot Radl, business development manager for Compaq's handheld products in the Emea region. "Eight out of 10 of the biggest GSM providers across Europe are using Compaq infrastructure to run their networks. We can make sure they have the right links with content providers."
But Compaq isn't going to rush out sophisticated mobile data services until the networks can support them, said Radl.
"It will be a slow evolution of this kind of service. It is important not to put too many things in place at once. It doesn't make any sense to try running video streams over GSM," he said.
Compaq's strategy echoes the recent moves of Hewlett-Packard, which has made a number of partnership announcements with content and service providers.
Microsoft this week reported a swell in demand for Windows CE devices in Europe, but Compaq says it is not focussed on shipping large numbers of its new Aero 8000 device. Instead, it wants to provide services, including information, to corporate customers who use the devices as part of a bigger corporate wide computing strategy.
"We're not in the business of shifting boxes at the moment, but shifting solutions," said Radl.
Compaq's Aero 8000 weighs 2.9 pounds, has a 10 inch SVGA screen and up to 13 hours battery life. It also includes a smart card port for authentication, encryption and ecommerce - for example charging up a phone card via the Internet.
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