Comdex: Windows CE not ready for large-firm use

Gartner's Ken Dulaney told a Comdex seminar on the future of mobile computing that the leading IT consultants were advising large firms against deploying Jupiter class CE devices.

The problem is with CE's email system. "There are some very challenging things about CE and we at Gartner are not recommending it for our clients in these kind of email areas...you would think that Microsoft would do a good job of 'Outlook'. Well you cannot do offline Outlook without keeping your own directory. There is no concept of offline directories. You cannot synch your contacts appointments direct from the server...its not compatible with Windows -- it's partially compatible with Windows -- and when you send someone an email message we conclude that about 15% to 20% of the emails that you get you have to read the attached file to fully understand the email...there is quite a shock to the organisation when someone uses a CE device," said Dulaney.

Doubts were also cast on the potential solution of using a Web browser and HTML-based free email services, through the 'pocket' version of Internet Explorer which is part of the new CE offering. "The only thing that is certain about a network is that it is uncertain...the main thing that has to be done to laptops today is that the technology has to be developed to be less desktop-centric, and give us more capability to browse offline in cache." said Dulaney.

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