Comdex: CE does GSM in Europe

CE devices will take advantage of the widespread use of GSM phones in Europe when they ship in volume next year. Hewlett Packard's Jornada 'notebook', based on the latest version of Windows CE and a 190 MHz StrongARM processor, is just one example.

CE devices will take advantage of the widespread use of GSM phones in Europe when they ship in volume next year. Hewlett Packard's Jornada 'notebook', based on the latest version of Windows CE and a 190 MHz StrongARM processor, is just one example.

The Jornada can talk directly to the GSM phone's contact and phone memory, enabling the user to enter new numbers from the keyboard. A major boon will be direct wireless emailing - using infrared linking from the Jornada to a GSM phone. Hewlett Packard says more testing is needed on infra-red but confirmed that IR will be available from day one.

Like other CE devices, Jornada features the CE 'pocket' versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, and Explorer. It will have a built-in 56K modem but don't expect speedy Web surfing with pocket 'IE'. I surfed a few pages of ZDNet UK and, whilst the pages were exactly the same as they would be on a normal browser it was slow, even over a LAN. A spokesman argued that he had tested it on 56K dial-up and found the speed acceptable.

Windows CE picked up an unexpected fan here at Comdex, though the support he expressed for CE was couched in typically anti-MS style. One Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, told a Comdex Q&A session that he believed the greatest threat to Windows 2000 was not Unix, not Linux, but Microsoft's very own Windows CE.

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