A Java PDA? From Sun? Could be.

Summary:If you've followed any of my treatises on PDAs, then you'll know that my basic position is that developers will control where the PDA war heads which in turn means that it should be a two-horse race: .Net vs.

If you've followed any of my treatises on PDAs, then you'll know that my basic position is that developers will control where the PDA war heads which in turn means that it should be a two-horse race: .Net vs. Java.? I've said before that if?the anything-but-Microsoft (ABM) PDA consortium, and Palm in particular,?has any chance of competing against PocketPC, its "members" must unite behind a single development platform rather than, notwithstanding the cell-phone group, remaining bifurcated as they are now.? This is especially so on the enterprise front. That bifurcation has left many handheld enterprise application developers including me with one choice: .Net.??Thanks to the promise of Web services, it's not the proprietary choice it?once was.??But, if the ABM handheld folks were to unify on a platform, that unifying platform can be nothing else but the one with the largest and only growing (albeit slowly) development community behind it: Java.???

Unfortunately, even though it supports Java, PalmSource (the OS group for PalmOS-based PDAs) hasn't?plotted a course towards 100 percent?Java (though it could expedite the process if it wanted to by?acquiring handheld?Java OS provider Savaje).? Whether Sony's recent exit from the Palm-based PDA business, perhaps in favor?of a PocketPC-based offering was a wake up call?for PalmSource?or not remains to be seen.??But one company that apparently isn't leaving handhelds in the enterprise to chance is Sun.? According to a blog entry by Sun?marketing manager Mary Smaragdis, Sun Labs' principal investigator Steven Uhler is looking into the idea of a Sun-built enterprise PDA.? Nothing is known about the "investigation" and Smaragdis only speculates on the outcome.?

Topics: Mobility

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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