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All aboard the palmtop bandwagon

Hitachi latest in long line to join PDA market

Hitachi will enter the intensely competitive PDA (personal digital assistant) market later this year with a product based on Microsoft's new Windows CE .Net operating system, the company said yesterday.

The prototype PDA was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Hitachi formed a special PDA development unit, called Net-PDA Venture, in November 2000, and the recently unveiled prototype is one of the first fruits of that development.

Windows CE .Net, also unveiled at CES, is the successor to Windows CE 3.0 and supports Bluetooth and 802.11x wireless connectivity technologies.

"Unlike Pocket PC, this OS is an embedded system," said Nobutoshi Yoshida, a spokesman at Hitachi's Net-PDA Venture unit. "That is why we decided to adopt the system because it will allow for various applications to be carried and for real-time streaming video, which is becoming popular in this broadband era."

Windows CE .Net will be compatible with Microsoft's future .Net initiatives and devices based on the OS will be able to access many of the .Net services that will appear on the web, he said.


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