Sanyo to market Windows CE device

Sanyo early next year will ship a handheld PC based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.

Sanyo early next year will ship a handheld PC based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, a Sanyo official has told the IDG News Service.

Sanyo will market the unit under its own name. It is now deciding final details of the device such as whether to use a processor from NEC or one from Hitachi, the two processor choices offered by the Microsoft's Windows CE specification, says Yukinori Kuwano, managing director and general manager of Sanyo's R&D headquarters.

"They are basically the same so it really depends upon the price," he says.

Demonstrated at last month's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, the first generation of Windows CE devices from companies including Hitachi, NEC and Casio are aimed at mobile workers who need companion systems to their desktop PCs, but don't need full-blown notebook PCs.

Kuwano is concerned that Sanyo will have difficulty differentiating its device from the pack of others, echoing some analysts who say the strict specification laid out by Microsoft has left little room for vendors to innovate.

The basic configuration calls for a weight of less than 500g in a "pocketable" clamshell form factor, a 32-bit RISC processor, at least 4Mb of ROM and 2Mb of RAM, a QWERTY keyboard, one Type II PCMCIA slot and a 480-by-240-pixel, two-bit-per-pixel monochrome touchscreen LCD.

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