ZDNet:  News | Downloads | Tech Update | Prices

CDW.  Computing Solutions Built for Business.

The week in reviews
December 13, 2001

Xbox for gaming dummies
December 10, 2001

The week in reviews
December 6, 2001

An all-in-one that actually does it all
December 3, 2001

The week in reviews
December 3, 2001

More Hits & Hype

Digital Cameras
Graphics Cards
CD-RW Drives
All Hardware
Graphics Software
Office Suites
All Software
Free newsletters

Get the latest product news, shopping tips, and rebate info delivered straight to your mailbox.

Hits & Hype
Buyer's Alert

More newsletters

Microsoft jumps in the all-in-one game 
By John Morris & Josh Taylor
November 12, 2001

While much of the focus has been on the yet-to-be launched Stinger phones, the company's been plowing ahead with a Pocket PC/phone combo.

Ever since details about upcoming products from Palm and Handspring unexpectedly appeared on the FCC's Web site, the industry has been buzzing about PDAs with integrated wireless. Details about Microsoft's impending foray into the all-in-one communicator space had been a bit less forthcoming…until now.

Microsoft had previously announced its plans for two lines of handheld/phone combos; one would primarily be a Pocket PC with phone functionality, while the other would be a phone with PDA functionality. Early prototypes of the latter, dubbed "Stinger", looked promising, but final products have yet to see the light of day.

But, despite Microsoft's emphasis on Stinger, it turns out we're much closer to seeing a full-blown Pocket PC device with an integrated GSM radio for voice and data. The first fruits of that effort, a PDA called the O2 xda will be shipping in Europe in Q1 2002. But Microsoft and its hardware partners are also working with HTC--the company that manufactures the Compaq iPaq and Toshiba e570 Pocket PCs--on models for the U.S., and based on what we saw, it looks like real products may not be far off.

Like most PDAs with integrated wireless, the new Pocket PCs will support rich calling features such as dialing directly from a Contact record (with one touch), caller ID, and 3-way calling. But what was more impressive about this version is the integration with the PIM data in Pocket Outlook. For example, if you start to take a note while on a call, all of the details about the caller are automatically dumped into the header of the note. Unfortunately, the current version of the software doesn't take the next logical step of attaching the note to a given contact, but hopefully the company will address that before the products begin to ship. We did like the fact that SMS messaging was integrated into the existing Inbox, rather than requiring a separate application.

No word yet on which companies will be producing wireless versions here in the U.S., when they will be available, or how much they'll cost. But the specs are basically set: 206MHz StrongARM processor, 32MB RAM, 32ROM, and an SD slot--all in a device that is actually slightly smaller than most of the current Pocket PCs. That ought to turn a few heads.

In related news, NEC announced its long-awaited Pocket PC, which doesn't vary wildly from the current slew of PPC devices. On the plus side, the MobilePro P300 ($599 street) incorporates both SD and CF card slots and ships with a 16MB SD card, but the device only contains 32MB of RAM (many other Pocket PCs include 64MB), and has what is arguably the flimsiest-feeling protective cover we've seen in a long time.

See Also:
This week's most popular handhelds
For more handheld reviews, buying advice, and help with Palm OS and Pocket PC PDAs, visit the ZDNet Handheld SuperCenter.

E-mail this story!
Printer Friendly

 Sponsored Links
UltimateTV  Get $100 off the power of Digital Video Recording.
Great Buy!  NEC AccuSync 70 CRT monitor
LGE  What is Digital home-network?
Great Deal  Buy a Dell™ for the perfect gift!
Books  Free Shipping at Barnes & Noble.com!
save on hp  save on hp's reliable, powerful, Intel®-based netserver

 Everything Intel    Find Out More
Great Deal   Buy a Dell™ for the perfect gift! - Dell Small Business Center
Shop Now!   Gateway Home Computing Center - TOSHIBA
Shop Now!   Gateway Business Center

 Featured Links
Best Buys  Shop Smart for scanners, digital cameras, monitors & more!
FREE $5  Buy it New or Used at eBay's Half.com.
FREE!  Tech Advice and 100's of Downloads for IT Pros!

 Magazine Offers
HolidayDeal  Try Computer Shopper FREE ($3.99 value) & Get 2 FREE CDs

Services: CRM Update | Face-Offs | eBusiness Info | Price Drops | Applications | Hot Products | Tech Jobs

      CNET Networks: CNET | GameSpot | mySimon | TechRepublic | ZDNet

About CNET Networks 

About Us | Support | Your Privacy | Service Terms | How to Advertise | ZDNet Jobs
Copyright © 2001 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. ZDNet is a registered service mark of CNET Networks, Inc. ZDNet Logo is service mark of CNET Networks, Inc.