3GSM - HP to unveil wireless-enabled Jornada

Hewlett-Packard is to release a wireless-enabled addition to its Jornada range of PDAs (personal digital assistants) at the GSM World Congress in Cannes on February 19.

Details of the HP Jornada 928 WDA will be released at a news conference in Cannes, according to an invitation to the event sent out by HP's public relations agency.

Existing models in HP's Jornada range all run variations of the Windows CE operating system software from Microsoft.

Microsoft has been working to develop a new version of this software, integrating wireless telephony functions such as dialling numbers straight from the address book, maintaining logs of calls made and received, and sending and receiving text messages by SMS (short message service).

At the CES show in Las Vegas in January, Microsoft said devices using the software, then provisionally titled Wireless Pocket PC, will go on sale in the first half of this year. HP is among the partners that will manufacture the devices for use on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phone networks, Microsoft officials said then.

The standard configuration for Wireless Pocket PCs will be a 206MHz StrongArm processor with 32MB of RAM and ROM, Microsoft officials said at the CES show.

Wireless Pocket PC is the third flavour of Windows CE being developed for handheld devices going forward.

Of the other two, the vanilla version, Pocket PC 2002, includes no support for wireless telephony functions and is intended for standard PDAs.

For devices that will function more as phones than as PDAs, there is a slimmed-down version of the software, Windows-Powered Smartphone 2002. Better known by its Stinger codename, Smartphone 2002 has a keypad interface rather than a touch-sensitive display and stylus, and excludes the Pocket Word and Pocket Excel applications included in the standard Pocket PC configuration.

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Peter Sayer
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