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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

News from NET and COM '99

  • 3Com Develops Palm OS Japanese Version
  • February 10, 1999 (TOKYO) — 3Com Japan KK announced a version of its Palm OS for portable terminals that lets users process or input Japanese data.
    3Com did not reveal the release time for the operating system, but it is expected to be on the market as early as March 1999.

    3Com also plans to localize tools to improve the development environment.

    However, the Japanese version of Palm OS won’t be loaded onto the Palm Pilot or Palm III portable terminals that already have been released in the market. It will be embedded in products released by hardware vendors that are OEM partners.

    The Japanese version was developed based on the Palm OS 3.0 in English.

    The specifications of the Japanese operating system are the same as OS 3.0. The operation is pen input and button navigation. There is a synchronous function for exchanging data with a personal computer, infrared communication functions and data management software.

    There are three methods for inputting Japanese characters: (1) software keyboard, (2) handwriting, and (3) a personal computer.

    Data input from a personal computer is done via a “HotSync” synchronous data function that transfers data such as a schedule list or memo to a terminal.

    Since the first Palm product was released in the United States in 1996, more than 2 million units have been sold. Sales have risen sharply since 1998, and are expected to surpass 3 million units soon.

    “The Palm series was also introduced in Europe in 1998, and it is already enjoying the top market share of 40 percent there,” said Patrick McVeigh, vice president of Palm Computing at 3Com in the United States. “In Japan, we are going to have user friendliness, multi-application capability, open development environment, and other features as our weapons for expanding market share.”

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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