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Microsoft toasts Bluetooth with a dram of 'Talisker'

Microsoft's latest operating system for handheld devices, released in beta yesterday will provide much needed support for the ailing mobile connectivity standard, Bluetooth.
Written by Ben King, Contributor

Microsoft's latest operating system for handheld devices, released in beta yesterday will provide much needed support for the ailing mobile connectivity standard, Bluetooth.

Codenamed Talisker, the OS is aimed principally at handheld wireless devices but should appeal to manufacturers of a range of other thin clients such as smart phones and internet terminals. Microsoft is aiming for a final release at the end of the year. Among the more significant new features of the system is native support for Bluetooth. With the persistent delays in the delivery of Bluetooth products, the wireless connectivity standard is beginning to look increasingly beleaguered. The announcement last week that the first release of Windows XP would not support Bluetooth was seen as a serious blow to the standard. XP will instead support the competing wireless networking standard, 802.11. However, the announcement that Microsoft is now to put Bluetooth at the core of Talisker will restore many people's belief in Bluetooth, which remains the best-supported wireless connectivity standard. Tony Lock, Senior Analyst at Bloor, didn't feel there was any evidence of truly compelling new functionality in Talisker. Windows CE is currently far behind Palm's rival, Palm OS, in the handheld networking market, and other systems such as Symbian, Java and even Linux are gaining market share. Lock said: "The winners in the market for embedded systems such as Talisker really comes down to who can provide the functionality device manufacturers need with the smallest footprint, [the amount processing space and memory they need]. This announcement doesn't tell us whether Talisker can deliver that." Following HailStorm, Tahoe, Whistler, and Wolfpack, Talisker is the latest in a series of increasingly strange codenames and takes its name from a remote bay on the Isle of Skye and a popular single malt whisky distilled nearby. Diageo, owners of the Talisker whisky brand, did not return our calls for comment by the time of publication.
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