Welcome to AsiaBizTech Web Site

 




Advanced Search


(Nikkei BP Group)



(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

















  • 3Com Seeks Top Share with Palm Series in Japan, VP Says
  • February 25, 1999 (TOKYO) -- U.S.-based 3Com Corp. released a Japanese language version of the Palm operating system in February, and it seeks a large share of the market.
    In the United States, the Palm series of mobile information terminals have obtained a market share of 78 percent in a short period. And in Japan, the series has been supported by certain groups of users, after some users volunteered to localize the operating system into the Japanese language.

    Nikkei Personal Computing, a magazine published by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., interviewed Mark Bercow, vice president of Palm Computing Inc., a subsidiary of 3Com. The interview focuses on the strategy for entering the Japanese market.

    Nikkei Personal Computing: What do you regard as the most important factor in entering Japan?

    Bercow: When we started our business in the United States and Europe, the markets for mobile information terminals or PDAs were not yet mature. On the other hand, in Japan, our competitors were already successful in their businesses.

    As a latecomer, what matters will be how we make known Palm's strong points to general users. Because Japanese users easily accept digital information, I would like to quickly obtain a large market share in Japan.

    Nikkei PC: Does Palm plan to release any products based on a Japanese language version of the Palm OS?

    Bercow: Initially, we will enter the Japanese market through a licensing business for the operating system. The first group of Palm-based products to reach the market will be those made by our partner company. However, we may later introduce our own products in Japan.

    Nikkei PC: Sharp Corp.'s Zaurus line of mobile information terminals as well as Windows CE-based products hold significant market shares in Japan. Do you think that Palm will have a chance to compete effectively with them?

    Bercow: Our Palm OS has an excellent operability, high connectivity to personal computers and networks, and an open platform. Windows CE is hard to operate, while the Zaurus platform is somewhat closed.

    Nikkei PC: However, the Palm OS appears to be more closed than Windows CE.

    Bercow: It may seem that way if you compare the two operating systems by the number of developers. However, we are extending more assistance to developers of the Palm OS, and the number of such developers is increasing.

    Nikkei PC: What about the compatibility with the Japanese language environment (J-OS) developed by users?

    Bercow: On the development of the Japanese language version of the Palm OS, we sought cooperation from developers of J-OS. Even though the compatibility is not yet complete, we are reinforcing our support of such developers so that they can make a smooth transition to the new Japanese language environment.

    Nikkei PC: What about plans to release versions for languages other than Japanese (in which one character requires two bytes)?

    Bercow: Currently, we don't have such plans. However, if we take advantage of our experience in developing a Japanese language version of the product, developing an OS for the Korean and Chinese markets and for elsewhere in Asia may not be so difficult.

    Related story: 3Com Develops Palm OS Japanese Version

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)



    <Visit News Center for more Asian news.>



    Copyright © 1997-99
    Nikkei BP BizTech, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Updated: Wed Feb 24 15:09:39 1999 PDT