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Wireless wonders steal the show

PC World

June 28, 2000
Web posted at: 10:24 a.m. EDT (1424 GMT)

(IDG) -- It's called PC Expo, but this year the giant New York computer show will reveal more things tiny and shiny than things big and beige.

PC Expo will have a lot less to do with PCs and a lot more to do with handheld devices and wireless computing. The show will unleash a cavalcade of cool new computer gizmos--and, yes, some attractive new desktops.

Among the most-buzzed-about debuts: Transmeta will make a splash with its low-powered Crusoe processor, shown running inside a yet-to-be-seen Internet appliance made by Transmeta itself, as well as in portables from other vendors.

Sony Electronics plans to preview its much-anticipated personal digital assistant, based on software for Palm handhelds.

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Intel will publicly unveil its Dot.Station Internet appliance. This countertop terminal will be powered by Red Hat Linux and will let Net newbies surf the Web, exchange e-mail, and make phone calls.

And even business PC stalwart Dell Computer will be singing a new tune, privately showing a Digital Audio Receiver. The receiver lets you distribute music stored on your PC's hard drive to your existing home stereo equipment in other rooms, via phone lines. The product will be comarketed with digital music specialist S3. (As with Compaq, though, you won't find Dell on the show floor but at a nearby hotel.)

Handhelds Go Wireless

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Handspring has gathered its partners to show a bevy of hardware add-ons to the Handspring Visor device. Among them are Glenayre, with a wireless messaging module, and GeoDiscovery, with a Global Positioning System module called Geode and accompanying services that help you take advantage of knowing exactly where you are.

Handheld leader Palm promises to expand its wireless connections for current Palm users, and to demonstrate more than 23 Web services whose content is available to Palms with wireless communications capabilities.

There will be plenty of announcements about WAP services (the Wireless Application Protocol is a standard for grabbing information via mobile phones and other portable devices). Among them will be Infowave's FirstHand service, which lets you tap into Microsoft Outlook on a Web-enabled mobile phone. Novatel will launch wireless modems for PDAs while OmniSky, which provides wireless modems and service for the Palm V, is announcing a new service for Handspring.

Also front and center: the Bluetooth standard, which will offer short-distance wireless links between different types of devices later this year. Motorola and others will debut Bluetooth PC Cards and peripherals.

Microsoft will outline plans to merge its Pocket PC operating system with mobile phones. At the Pocket PC pavilion will be a truckload of products and services to support the new PDAs being sold by Hewlett-Packard, Casio, Compaq, and others.



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RELATED SITES:
Handspring home page
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