IDC dismisses Microsoft's Win CE sales claim

Reports that products using Microsoft's Win CE operating system are outselling 3Com's Palm devices in France and Germany have been dismissed by US analyst firm IDC.

Microsoft began its Windows CE Developers Conference in Denver, Colorado on Monday claiming CE devices were outselling Palm products by as much as three to one. Alison McKenzie, research manager for European Smart Handhelds at IDC told ZDNet News: "This doesn't sound right. We've seen absolutely no evidence to suggest this is the case."

The CE operating system, which received scathing reviews from the technology press, is expected by IDC to capture at least 50 percent of the handheld market sometime in 2000 but McKenzie is not convinced by Microsoft's reported claim. "There are more CE devices coming out and the colour screens do make them more attractive even though they require more power. But the Palm is doing very well and I believe the Palm 5 will continue to outstrip other models. 3Com can't meet demand."

Microsoft and 3Com were invited to comment. Neither had spokespeople available at press time.

IDC Predicts by the end of 1999 that:

  • 3Com's Palm will hold 35 percent of the handheld market

  • CE devices (large and handheld) will hold 40 percent

  • Epoc and the others will hold 25 percent