Vendors plan their wares for Windows CE

The jury is still out on how Microsoft's new scaled-down Windows operating system, called Windows CE, and the hand-held computers it runs on will fare in the market.

The jury is still out on how Microsoft's new scaled-down Windows operating system, called Windows CE, and the hand-held computers it runs on will fare in the marketplace, but many of its 600 registered software developers apparently think it has a corporate future.

Symantec has in development two programs, code-named Walkabout and Gulliver, that will be geared to that market, according to a source familiar with the project.

Gulliver is a scaled-down version of Symantec's pcAnywhere program, which allows users to access their desktop remotely. Network administrators will be able to view and control their console from a hand-held device using the Windows CE OS and the Gulliver product, the source says.

At the same time, Walkabout is intended for an outside sales force currently using Symantec's Act program.

MicroBurst's Virtual Courier software package, included in a hand-held unit from Philips Electronics, allows connectivity to Microsoft Exchange and Lotus cc:Mail.

The program allows users of the Philips Velo 1 to access their LAN-based cc:Mail, Microsoft Exchange Client, or Microsoft Mail.

Windows CE includes versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Internet Explorer, and it also has email capabilities.

Microsoft invited hardware vendors to share the spotlight at the OS's Comdex launch.

A number of devices were introduced:

* GP40M, by LG Electronics USA, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, has two models priced between US$500 and US$700; they will ship by the end of the year.

* Velo, by Philips, comes in three models. They will ship by the end of the year and range in price from US$500 to US$699.

* HP Palmtop PC, by Hewlett-Packard, in Palo Alto, California, comes in two models, which will ship in the second quarter of 1997 and be priced between US$500 and US$700.

* MobilePro HPC, from NEC, is shipping two models priced at US$499 and US$649.

* PC Companion, by Compaq, is shipping now in three models, priced at US$499, US$599 and US$699.

* Hitachi Handheld PC is shipping in two models priced between US$500 and US$700.

* Cassiopeia, from Casio Computer, is shipping in two models, priced between US$500 and US$700.

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