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It's Not a Palm...and Not a Pocket PC

Techstination feature for Wednesday, February 27, 2002

It's not a Palm... and it's not a PocketPC. A new handheld from Sharp. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With Palm and Pocket PC devices slugging it out for dominance in the PDA market... .Sharp is introducing a pretty sharp looking new Zaurus. Sharp VP Steve Petix...

"Well what we have is what we feel is a breakthrough product concept in the PDA category. The reason why we feel that it's a breakthrough product concept is we feel we've achieved a new level of functionality and ease of use and power in handheld computing that currently hasn't been available in the market. The first aspect of the product that is different or new is that it's based on a Linux operating system."

That allows a variety of new applications for corporate customers and consumers... .but what seems to be attracting the most interest... is the slide open built in mini-keyboard on the device.

"It also has tremendous expansion capabilities. There's a compact flash slot at the top of the device, as you can see I'm using an 802.11 card here today as well as an SD slot on the side for memory storage."

With an Intel StrongARM processor and 64 megabytes of memory, it ranks up there with the most powerful PDAs. The only question is whether Sharp... which is a leader in the handheld market in Japan... can develop a following in the U.S... .as an alternative to the Palm or PocketPC platforms. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.