Palm OS v Pocket PC 2002

Summary: Should you buy a Palm OS or a Pocket PC handheld? First you need to know which OS does what. Our feature comparison chart will show you.

With all the flash of Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system, one might easily assume that it's the far superior handheld OS. But we wanted to really compare the features of Pocket PC 2002 and Palm OS 4.0 to see exactly what you get with each.

How does Palm OS (left) stack up against Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002? Check out the table below for the details.
The contest isn't quite as one-sided as you might suspect. Pocket PC has the clear lead in multimedia, but Palm's OS works with more operating systems and PIMs (personal information managers), and has a vast library of third-party software to supplement many of its shortcomings. As with many things, your particular priorities will ultimately determine which OS is a better match for you. As you read through the chart below, keep in mind that we are comparing the operating systems -- not specific handheld devices. So although the Palm OS supports a screen resolution of only 160 by 160 pixels, Sony offers devices with 320 by 320- and 320 by 480-pixel displays, and HandEra sells a 320 by 240 model.
Palm OS versus Pocket PC 2002
Feature

Palm OS 4.0

Pocket PC 2002

THE BASICS
Address book yes yes
Calendar yes yes
Note pad yes yes
Email yes yes
Task list yes yes
Calculator yes yes
Handwriting recognition Graffiti, on-screen keyboard Character Recognizer, Transcriber, on-screen keyboard
PC CONNECTIVITY
Works with PCs yes yes
Works with Macs yes no
Desktop PIM included Palm Desktop Outlook 2002
Synchronisation software HotSync Manager 4.0 ActiveSync 3.5
Syncs with Outlook requires additional software (usually provided with handheld) yes
Syncs with Lotus Notes requires additional software (not usually provided with handheld) requires additional software (not usually provided with handheld)
MOBILE OFFICE
MS Word document support third-party software available Pocket Word
MS Excel document support third-party software available Pocket Excel
MS PowerPoint document support third-party software available third-party software available
Adobe Acrobat document support third-party software available third-party software available
Voice recorder no yes
MOBILE INTERNET
HTML browser third-party software available Pocket Internet Explorer
WAP browser third-party software available Pocket Internet Explorer
Offline browsing browser third-party software available (AvantGo) Pocket Internet Explorer
Instant messaging client third-party software available MSN Messenger
VPN client third-party software available yes
Terminal client third-party software available yes
Macromedia Flash support no third-party software available
ENTERTAINMENT
MP3 playback support no Windows Media Player
Video playback third-party software available Windows Media Player
HARDWARE SUPPORT
16-bit colour support yes yes
Screen resolution 160 x 160 pixels 320 x 240 pixels
Processor 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ 206MHz Intel StrongARM SA-1110
SOFTWARE SUPPORT
Number of third-party applications on Download.com 1,840 386
SECURITY
Password protection yes yes (2 levels)

Topics: Mobile OS, Reviews, Software

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