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Computex: Domination is the name of the game

Intel and Microsoft join forces to take on the PDA market

As if dominating the PC business wasn't enough, Intel and Microsoft have set their sights on the PDA market too — with what they hope is the killer combination of the Pocket PC operating system and Xscale processor.

Asus was one of the many manufacturers displaying an Xscale PDA running Pocket PC at its Computex showbooth in Taipei.

Its AD600 packs an immense amount of power into an incredibly small space. It offers a 400MHz processor, a claimed battery life of around six hours, and is less than 1cm thick.

This is all possible thanks to Xscale, in this case a 400MHz PXA250 model, which builds on the strength of StrongARM, Intel's previous chip.

A speed of 400MHz may seem like an incredible, or silly, amount of power to have in a PDA. But, while a fast chip may not be a must, it does have benefits such as allowing you to watching movies.

It's always been possible to watch movies on a Pocket PC device before, but dropped frames were always a problem. But they are a problem of the past on the AD600, which provides a much smoother image thanks to the fast Xscale processor. This isn't a killer app, but it is a welcome bonus.

It remains to be seen whether the Microsoft/Intel mix of multimedia operating system and superfast processor proves a winner on the PDA market, but it certainly brings something new to the table.

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