Toshiba eyes July launch for Pocket PC PDA

The company is nearing design completion of its PDA, the first from the notebook market leader, which will be based on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform and Windows CE OS (operating system), the source said.

Further details, such as target price and international launch details, are still under consideration.

Toshiba introduced the world to the concept of mobile computing in June 1989 when it launched the world's first notebook computer, but since then, although its machines have gotten smaller, it has never deviated from the basic notebook PC form factor. The new PDA will be a test of whether Toshiba can translate its mobile computing leadership into new markets.

It will face stiff competition from a handful of companies, some already established and others that have more recently entered the market. Among them are Sharp, Compaq, Casio, Palm, Handspring and Sony. The latter three companies all have machines based on Palm's proprietary OS, while Compaq and Casio, like Toshiba, use Microsoft's Pocket PC and Windows CE. Sharp, which has its own OS, is planning to capture a greater market share by offering machines based on the open-source Linux OS.

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