Wireless gains market momentum

By Bob Brewin, Computerworld |  Hardware

Say "thank you" to corporate users, Microsoft.

The software giant's Pocket PC has gained enough momentum since its introduction a year ago that analysts predict that it will seriously challenge the hold rival Palm Inc. and its partners have on the handheld market. And it's Microsoft Corp.'s enterprise users who are largely responsible.

Analysts still expect Palm to maintain its lead for the foreseeable future; there are about 11 million units in the hands of consumer and business users today. But according to Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., the Pocket PC has made significant inroads in corporations, which buy them by the carload.

"The Pocket PC, especially Compaq's iPaq, seems to be capturing the hearts and minds of business decision-makers," said Bob Egan, an analyst.

Enterrprise users interviewed by Computerworld said the decision about which handheld to deploy depends on such factors as the application, the need to tie into back-end systems and the type of user.

The Handheld Wireless Battle

Both Palm and Microsoft see the diversity of wireless connections as key to the success of their rival handheld product lines.

Ed Suwanjidar, product manager at Microsoft

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