Several vendors have showcased the newest and coolest in mobile computing at the opening session of the first annual DemoMobile in San Diego.
Intel's vice president of the architecture business group, Frank Spindler, led off with Intel's road map in the mobile direction, talking about new Pentium speeds for notebook computers.
"Intel has traditionally not been a mobile computing company," Spindler said. However, as the total cost of ownership for mobile computers gets closer to that of desktop computers, that may be changing.
This month Intel will roll out the 333MHz Celeron processor. Celeron is Intel's value-priced processor for the mobile computer market. The processor will feature increased performance over 1998's release and 15 per cent less power consumption, Spindler said.
Also this year, Intel will be offering high-speed mobile Pentium II and Intel Celeron chips. In addition, the company will introduce mobile Pentium III processors with new performance levels, a 100MHz bus, and even lower power consumption.
A new initiative, Geyserville, will offer the best of both worlds, Spindler said. Users can expect 600MHz or greater mobile systems by the end of this year, he said.
A maximum performance mode will give users a level of performance that rivals that of desktops when using AC power. In addition, a battery optimisation mode will strike the best balance between performance and battery life.
Spindler also promised that IT professionals could see the first product initiatives of the Bluetooth initiative in the first half of 2000 in mobile PCs.
The show included several other announcements.
-- IBM (http://www.ibm.com) showed its WorkPad z50 Mobile PC Companion, a Windows CE device that offers e-mail (Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange), calendaring, presentation software, and note-taking and light word processing functions. The z50 offers 8 to 16 hours of rechargeable lithium battery life and a 131MHz processor. It has 16MB memory, expandable to 48MB.
-- PlusFactor Software (http://www.wesync.com) is offering WeSync, a set of applications for the Palm that enables group calendaring and sharing of contact information. Communities and content are hosted on the WeSync Web site. That site also offers useful contact information that can be downloaded for use on the Palm, such as the toll-free phone numbers of airlines.
-- Hyperoffice.com (http://www.hyperoffice.com) is offering a hosted service groupware collaboration suite. The service includes a very clean user interface with chat, calendar, task list, contacts capabilities; e-mail notifications; and reminders. The company also expects to release a server version of the product in the future that can run behind corporate firewalls.
-- UpShot (http://www.upshot.com) is offering what it calls Sales Force Automation (SFA) unplugged. Pointing to the failures of sales-force automation products that are based on a client/server architecture, this product uses the Web model to centralise SFA. The product offers several analytical tools and can help users manage their contacts and even send them individually addressed e-mail.