A Web phone is still a phone

MSN Mobile, (mobile.msn.com/) Yahoo Everywhere, (mobile.yahoo.com/wireless/home) Excite Mobile, (mobile.excite.com/) and AOL Anywhere work with the portal that appears on your PC. Through MSN Mobile, you can access Hotmail, your MSN calendar, your address book, and your Expedia account. Yahoo offers instant messaging and alert services.

Combining the Web and mobile devices gives unified messaging new appeal. OfficeDomain, (www.officedomain.com) OneBox, (www.onebox.com) and other services aggregate your e-mail, voice mail, and faxes at one site accessible from a PC or wireless phone.

Shop on the Go

E-commerce, or "m-commerce," as it's being called in the mobile world, is rapidly rolling out on Web phones.

Interactive mobile services are suited to both impulse- and comparison-shopping, says Scott Goldman, chief executive officer of the WAP Forum.

For example, you could carry your Web phone into a stereo store, and then surf to IQOrder.com, (www.iqorder.com) and enter the UPC number of a tuner that catches your eye. The service may send you to Web stores that charge less for the same product, arming you with comparative pricing ammunition.

Can you browse a bookstore by Web phone? Sure. Amazon (www.amazon.com) offers one-click shopping on its wireless Web site, and lists recommended titles for easy picking. BarnesandNoble.com (www.bn.com) is also accessible by Web phone, most easily through its prime placement in the AT&T PocketNet (www.attws.com/personal/explore/pocketnet/index.html) shopping channel.

Pushing Into Corporate Data

Mobile business users are clamoring to be able get through firewalls to Reach corporate e-mail and data via mobile phone, and the tools are appearing.

For $40 per month, the BlackBerry system from Research In Motion (www.blackberry.net) offers unlimited access to Microsoft Exchange on its paging devices. Research In Motion also plans to support Lotus Notes.

InfoWave is developing an interface to Exchange for the upcoming Compaq iPaq Pocket PC, (www.compaq.com/products/handhelds/) targeted at mobile professionals. But you'll need an add-on modem PC Card developed by Sierra Wireless, which brings the cost close to $1000 for the device, not including services.

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Cameron Crouch

PC World
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