August 2005

Pontifications on the future of the Tablet PC
Recently there's been a rash of Future-of-the-Tablet-PC assessments from a gaggle of assorted experts. Most interesting, perhaps, those of Ziff-Davis industry pundit David Coursey. Read his "Tablet PC IS Stronger Than Predictions Suggest." For a bleaker assessment, check out Ed Oswald's Tablet PC Platform in Trouble?" -- Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 by chb

Primerica uses 4,000 Palms for insurance applications
Palm reports that agents of Primerica Financial Services are using 4,000 Palm handhelds and smartphones to complete insurance application in clients' homes. Agents are using a Primerica-developed application named TurboApps to synchronize information and complete error-free insurance applications in much less time. -- Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 by chb

PhatWare releases Calligrapher 8.0
PhatWare Corporation, a leading provider of software products and professional services for mobile and desktop computers, announced the availability of CalliGrapher 8.0. The new rev of our favorite handwriting recognition software includes support for Windows Mobile 5.0, a tweaked reco engine, and a new soft input panel called Write Pad and a statistical analyzer that learns from errors. This and several other enhancements (new color selector, improved graphics, floating and attachable on-screen keyboards with autocomplete, user dictionary import and export, improved support for landscape screen layout and full-VGA devices, etc) make the US$39.95 (US$24.95 upgrade) a must-have for any Windows Mobile user. -- Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 by chb

Asia only: Diminutive Fujitsu Lifebook P1510 Tablet PC
How come our Asian friends always seem to get the coolest stuff first while we here in the good old USA have to wait, sometimes forever? Such is the case with Fujitsu's diminutive new LifeBook P1510. At about 2.2 pounds it is probably the lightest true Tablet PC convertible, yet it is powered by a 1.2GHz Pentium M753, uses the Intel 915GMS chipset, has a 60GB hard disk, both a CF Type II and a SD card slot, and 802.11a/b/g WiFi. Two battery options are available, with the bigger one packing a 56 Watt-Hour punch. The 8.9-inch TFT display is a "wide-format" 1024 x 600 pixel. The footprint is 9.1 x 6.6 inches, and the little thing is 1.45 inches thick. If you read Korean, there's a nice illustrated review at -- Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 by chb

Mitac Mio GPS-enabled PDA shipments soar
While everyone is singing the blues about the PDA market, Mitac reported a 60% increase in second quarter 2005 shipments of their Mio line of GPS-enabled devices, from 600,000 to 1.1 million for the April-June 2005 period. Mitac might well ship four million units this year, and they expect the worldwide 2005 market of GPS-enabled devices to be around 10 million. Interestingly, Mitac is hedging its bets by offering GPS units that are Pocket PCs (like the Mio168RS), CE.Net devices (like the Mio136), and proprietary (like the Mio269). For their US offerings, check -- Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 by chb

AMD introduces mobile superchip
Once again upping the ante for mobile performance, AMD introduced the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 4000+. The ultra-high performance chip joins the company's Turion 64 Mobile Technology as their primary weapons in the mobile space. The initial announcement mentions Fujitsu Siemens as a customer for the new chip which will debut in their new AMILO A1667G notebook, to be available in Europe shortly. [see press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 by chb

Rolling with the punches
Our friends over at Pocket PC Magazine have changed the title of their publication from Pocket PC Magazine to "Smartphone + Pocket PC." This is the second name change for the foremost publication in the Windows CE space. Founded in 1997, some four years after our more vertical market-oriented Pen Computing Magazine, the magazine initially went by "Handheld PC Magazine" after the platform Microsoft introduced in late 1996. In 2000, the name was changed to Pocket PC Magazine, in response to Microsoft's own name change of their primary Windows CE platform. We wish hardworking publisher Hal Goldstein best of luck in this new phase of his magazine. -- Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 by chb

Intermec leader in rugged PDAs
Forbes cites a Venture Development Corp. report which says that Intermec Technologies is the worldwide market share leader in rugged PDAs. The market is estimated to be just short of US$500 million. [see news item] -- Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 by chb

Will they or will they not?
Direct quote: CAMBRIDGE, MA, U.S.A. –August 11, 2005—SYWARE, Inc. announced today that it will provide a specific help desk for Palm OS users who will need to consider transitioning field PDA applications with the expected eventual transition to Windows Mobile. The help desk will go into action as soon as Palm OS officially releases a “Treo” version with Windows Mobile. Many current users of Palm OS will need to start preparing to move their existing or future applications to this new platform to continue to enhance their business mobility. SYWARE’s Visual CE Mobile Database and Application Development product and its integrated products for wireless synchronization and remote printing will allow this to take place without needing to hire new programmers to learn and use Visual Basic. SYWARE requires no programming to develop robust PDA applications on Windows Mobile PDAs. [see full release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 by chb

First WinMo 5.0 smartphones with BT and WiFi
Things just keep getting better in the Windows Mobile smartphone space. Qtek, located in Finnland (where else?) has released the Qtek 8300 and 8310, both running Windows Mobile 5.0 and including both Bluetooth and WiFi. With WinMo smartphones becoming so much more powerful so quickly, the question is only whether the big wireless carriers will be willing to push Microsoft-based products as opposed to more proprietary systems that they can customize for their proprietary service plans and offerings. -- Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2005 by chb

WeatherBug 6.1 available, and a MS Smartphone version
WeatherBug, a leading provider of weather information services who owns over 8,000 weather tracking stations and more than 1,000 cameras in important places, announced version 6.12 of its WeatherBug software and subscription service. The software offers digital forecasts, lightning maps, weather alerts, historical data, access to weathercams, storm maps, and much more. Of particular interest to mobile users is WeatherBug Wireless that brings extensive, and attractively presented weather information not only to most advanced mobile phones from all major carriers, but now also to Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphones. Screens include streaming current conditions, detailed 7-day forecasts, alerts, local radar, live cameras from all the strategically placed weathercams, and photos. If the weatherbug really bites you, you can even set up your own advanced backyard weather station with wireless transmitter. -- Posted Monday, August 15, 2005 by chb

General Dynamics to acquire Itronix
General Dynamics announced it will acquire wireless and rugged systems specialist Itronix from Golden Gate Capital. Itronix will become part of the General Dynamics C4 Systems business unit, which integrates secure communication and information systems and technology. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, General Dynamics C4 Systems specializes in command and control, communications networking, space systems, computing and information assurance for defense, government and select commercial customers in the United States and abroad. Mark Fried, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, said, “The acquisition of Itronix will allow General Dynamics C4 Systems to bring even higher value to our core Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security customers, and expand further into select commercial and international markets which increasingly are calling for rugged computing solutions to meet their mission requirements.” -- Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2005 by chb