Gartner: users will adopt wide range of handhelds

A variety of handheld devices and operating systems will continue to crowd the market over the next several years, with users carrying different wireless Internet devices for different functions, according to a Gartner Group Inc. study.

Gartner projects sales of 700 million cell phones, 30 million PDAs and 10 million pagers per year by 2004, with individuals commonly carrying three computing and communications devices beginning as soon as next year. The proliferation of portable devices, including PDAs, Web-enabled phones and WAP handsets, will force software developers to transform the way they write software and will create headaches for enterprise IS managers, said Ken Dulaney, vice-president for mobile research at Gartner Research.

‘Net apps latest casualties of 3Com

3Com Corp. didn’t surprise anyone with more bad financial results, but it did throw watchers for a loop with plans to dump its consumer ‘net appliance business.

With sales of LAN/WAN infrastructure products, carrier gear and consumer products in decline, 3Com is in major cost-cutting mode, and its Audrey ‘Net appliance and Kerbango Internet radio are two of the latest victims. CEO Bruce Claflin says 3Com will continue to restructure to save US$1 billion by the end of the company’s next fiscal year, which ends in June 2002.

3Com blamed the slowing economy in part for its exit from a consumer appliance market it so enthusiastically entered 10 months ago.

VeriSign issued bogus certificates

VeriSign Inc. acknowledged recently it had issued two digital certificates in January to someone posing as a Microsoft Corp. employee. The certificates bear the name “Microsoft Corporation.”

VeriSign said it began investigating the incident, which it blamed on human error, but that it was two weeks before the certificates were actually revoked. The holder of the bogus certificates could use them to digitally sign code indicating it was a product from Microsoft. There have not been any reports the certificates were used. Microsoft is testing a software update to address the problem.