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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • NEC, HP Debut Handheld PCs with New Japanese Windows CE
  • February 26, 1999 (TOKYO) — NEC Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd. on Feb. 22 unveiled handheld PCs with the Windows CE H/PC Pro operating system.
    Microsoft Co., Ltd. of Japan earlier announced two versions of the Windows CE operating system in Japanese, an OS for mobile terminals.

    The two products unveiled by Microsoft are: (1) “Windows CE Handheld PC Professional Edition, version 3.0,” (Windows CE H/PC Pro) for handheld PCs; and (2) “Windows CE for the Palm-size PC version 1.2” (Windows CE for the Palm-size PC) for Palm-size PCs. Both products are based on the Windows CE 2.11.

    Many electronics companies have announced that they will use the Windows CE H/PC Pro. They are Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Compaq Computer K.K., Sharp Corp., Hitachi Ltd., HP Japan, Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC.

    Casio and Compaq Computer have expressed interest in using the “Windows CE for the Palm-size PC” for their products.

    NEC on Feb. 22 unveiled two models of its Mobile Gear line, the MC-R700 (see photo on the left) and the MC-R520, which come with Windows CE 2.11 (Microsoft Windows CE, Handheld PC Professional Edition, version 3.0).

    The MC-R700 has a 9.4-in. color super twisted nematic-liquid crystal display (STN-LCD) with a backlight, and it is designed to display 800 x 600 dots, NEC said. Another model, the MC-R520, succeeds the MC-R510, which was launched in October 1998. Like the earlier model, the MC-R520 comes with an 8.1-in. LCD (640 x 240 dots).

    The MC-R700’s display monitor is a touch-panel type featuring an attached pen. Five icons on each side of the screen accommodate users as a set-up tool with the touch of a pen. Users also can assign frequently used applications to the icons, for shortcuts. NEC said that the model can display 65,536 colors.

    The prices of the MC-R700 and MC-R520 are 155,000 yen (US$1,275) and 110,000 yen (US$900), respectively. Both models will ship on March 15, according to NEC. The monthly sales target for the MC-R700 is 5,000 units and that for the MC-R520 is 11,000 units.

    “While the market for handheld PCs in the range of 100,000 yen appears to have stabilized, user needs for low-end PCs and palm-size PCs are unclear, and thus we are clarifying details on features and prices,” said Yoichi Kataoka, an NEC vice president.

    HP Japan also announced the addition of the Jornada series to its Windows CE-based mobile PC line (see photo on the right). The company now has two lines of mobile PCs, the LX series and the Jornada series.

    The LX series has a compact size and portability, while the Jornada series, which is aimed at business users, features a larger LCD screen and keyboard.

    The new Jornada 820 is priced at 148,000 yen (US$1,220). It is scheduled to be available on a retail basis at the end of March.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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