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New Zaurus From Sharp

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Sharp unveils a new Zaurus. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. At a time when Palm is pushing its new Tungsten line to win more corporate customers... .and Dell is about to enter the PocketPC business... .Sharp is beefing up its Zaurus handheld looking for more of those same business customers. The company isn't releasing sales figures for its original Linux based Zaurus that came out in the spring, but it clearly trails devices that use the Palm and Pocket PC operating systems. Sharp mobile solutions group associate vice president Steve Petix believes, however, that the Linux operating system will give the Zaurus an edge... .

"I think we find ourselves in actually advantageous position because being the premier Linux and Java based mobile device in the market, we still feel very strongly that Linux and Java, in terms of their development ramp, it's just beginning to show the real capability of that platform."

The new Zaurus SL-5600, which will go on sale next month, has a 400 MHz Intel XScale processor... ..much improved battery life... .and both Compact Flash and SD card expansion slots. But can it go head to head with those Palm and PocketPC devices... .especially when some PocketPCs will be selling for under three hundred dollars?

"The fact that we're not a PocketPC doesn't require us just to react to that type of a price erosion scenario."

What Sharp is counting on... is the continuing growth of Linux ... to sell the handhelds. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.