Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Pocket PC

The Pocket PC is "a handheld device that enables you to store and retrieve e-mail, contacts, appointments, play multimedia files, games, exchange text messages with MSN Messenger, browse the Web, and more." [1] More specifically, a Pocket PC is a device capable of doing those things above which runs Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. In order to be classified as a Pocket PC, the device must also include in ROM a software suite specfied by Microsoft that runs on Windows CE to make the operating system more PDA-friendly.

The most current combination of the Windows CE OS and Microsoft's software suite is called Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC. This system comes bundled with scaled-down versions of many popular desktop applications, including Microsft Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, Windows Media Player, and others. Windows Mobile runs on top of Windows CE, a special version of Microsoft's windows operating system that has been re-designed for use on limited platforms such as PDAs, sub-notebook computers, and integrated devices. The most current version of Windows Mobile runs on top of Windows CE.NET 4.2. Past Pocket PC operating systems include Pocket PC 2002 (launched October 2001) and Pocket PC 2000 (launched April 2000), both running Windows CE 3.0 underneath.

Pocket PCs are manufactured and sold by several different companies; the major manufacturers include HP, Toshiba, ViewSonic and Dell. In Mid-2003, Gateway and JVC announced that they too are releasing Pocket PCs. Prices in 2003 ranged from around $800 USD for the high-end models, some of which are combined with cell phones, to $200 for low-end models. A $100-$200 model is rumored to be released in 1 year or less.

Before Pocket PCs were released, there were other windows based machines of the same form factor made by HP, Philips, and others called Palm-size PCs. These devices ran Windows CE 2.0-2.11 and had an interface that was nearly identical to the then-current desktop version of Windows, Windows 98.