Palm-sized PCs and Handheld PCs
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia user Redhatter
In 1996, Microsoft announced a new category, Handheld PCs, which were more or less equivalent to today's netbooks; hot on its heels were the Palm-sized PCs (originally called just "Palm PCs" until the inevitable lawsuit from Palm Inc.). Both ran a version of the Windows CE OS.
In Palm, Microsoft encountered an OS rival that it couldn't beat, at least not in the short term, Palm-sized PCs never took off; they were, however, the ancestors to the Pocket PC platform. The Handheld PC had a somewhat more devoted following, but eventually the company dropped the idea of a Windows CE-based OS for computers.
Next page: Pocket PC/Windows Mobile