Microsoft has confirmed that hardware manufacturers want to build devices larger than palmtops to run its Windows CE handheld operating system.
That could threaten notebook manufacturers such as IBM, Toshiba and Apricot. Although they aim to differentiate their offerings by releasing high specification units with all the bells and the whistles, these models are too complex for many users' needs. Jon Magill, vice president of mobiles at Microsoft US, said today that many end users want systems that fit between the palmtop and the fully-fledged notebook, which in his words, ?occupied a briefcase?.
He said: ?There?s been a resurgence of interest in that space. Many of our OEMs have indicated they want a platform where they can basically touch-type, but without overheads.?
He refused to say whether or not NEC, one of Microsoft?s CE partners, was readying such a device, as reported in the US press.
One of the advantages of such a platform, Magill said, was that it would be lighter and more powerful than either the Newton, or earlier, doomed platforms, like Hermann Hauser?s EO. Any such device could also use an operating system with which most corporate users are familiar, he speculated.
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