Microsoft demos Pocket PC 2002

Microsoft Corp. plans to unveil its new Pocket PC operating system, which the company claims was designed around the requests of business customers, at the Demomobile 2001 conference.

The Pocket PC 2002 operating system, which will begin to show up on PDAs (personal digital assistants) on Oct. 4, features improvements based on “the top 30 customer requests,” said Ed Suwanjindar, product manager with Microsoft’s Mobility Group. Among the flashier improvements are the inclusion of Microsoft’s instant messaging software and the ability for users to customize the startup page, but Microsoft also made some improvements which might not seem so obvious, such as the ability to view contacts in an address book organized by company names, Suwanjindar said. Other features of the new operating system include handwriting recognition built into the operating system, which users had to load separately in previous versions and an option allowing users to send a voice response to e-mails, in the form of a .wav file.

Red Hat unveils embedded Linux

Red Hat Inc. has announced it will soon unveil its Embedded Linux Developer Suite, which will be marketed toward developers who need a standardized open-source platform for faster creation, deployment and testing of target software components for embedded devices.

The suite will combine new versions of Red Hat’s embedded Linux platform, development tools, runtime technologies and support services into a single package, the company said. The software will provide developers with a wide range of capabilities for different device requirements, Red Hat said. The suite targets developers working with the chip architectures MIPS developed by MIPS Technologies Inc.; SuperH, jointly developed by Hitachi Ltd. and STMicroelectronics NV; X86 Intel Corp.-compatible processors; Motorola Inc.’s PowerPC; ARM/StrongARM developed by Arm Ltd., and XScale, developed by Intel.

Gates: spend on research during downturn

Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.’s chairman and chief software architect, told attendees at the recent Future Forum in Redmond, Wash., that companies should continue to invest in long-term research through the current economic downturn.

Microsoft’s two-day Future Forum is an event to detail its research efforts. Citing his own company’s experience, Gates said: “Research has more than paid off for us.”