Sun's chief technical officer, Eric Schmidt, has panned Microsoft's new Windows CE operating system for handheld devices, calling it an "extension of their Windows monopoly".
"If you really believe you want to run Windows-style applications on your PDA, best of luck to you," Schmidt said after a keynote address in Atlanta at Networld+Interop yesterday. "I don't think it makes any sense."
Asked when Sun would formally launch its entry into the network computer market -- the company has been demonstrating a prototype Internet access device since early this year -- Schmidt says that the prototype will not become a commercial product. Customers like the concept, he says, but Sun has not formally announced an NC product. However, it will do so by the end of the year, he says.
During his speech, Schmidt pushed Sun's approach of writing programs in its Java language that can be run on any Java-enabled machine. But Schmidt seems to downplay expectations of early success for the first crop of NCs. "I'm trying to be careful to not overhype a new category," Schmidt says. Sun expects the machines to be most successfully marketed to corporate customers, where cost is an issue, he says.