BrightBytes™: iPAQ h3800 Upgrade, RIM, Spb Benchmark, and More

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HP Offers Windows Mobile 2003 Upgrade for iPAQ h3800 Series

When Hewlett Packard first released information on upgrading its current handhelds to Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, it wasn’t clear whether the iPAQ h3800 series would be included. HP has posted a FAQ on its site and it is now clear that there will be one for these models. It will cost $29.95.

It was already known that those who purchased an iPAQ h5450 or iPAQ h3900 series handheld between May 23, 2003 and September 23, 2003 will get a free upgrade. Those who purchased an iPAQ h5450 or iPAQ h3900 series model before May 23 must buy the upgrade from HP for $29.95.

The same page makes it fairly clear there won’t be an upgrade for the h1910. It says, “The H1910 product line only has a 16MB ROM which does not fit Microsoft Pocket PC 2003 Premium version.”

Microsoft has posted on its website a FAQ on upgrading to Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC. This answers questions like “Why upgrade your Pocket PC 2002 to Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC?” and “How much do upgrades cost?”

RIM Revenues Up, Losses Down

Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry line of wireless handhelds, had revenues of $104.5 million during its most recent financial quarter, up substantially from $71.6 million in the same quarter last year. It had a net loss of $8.2 million, or 11 cents a share, less than the 14 cents a share it lost in the equivalent quarter a year ago.

As always with RIM, the costs of litigation have a major impact on its bottom line. Excluding those, the company lost only $700 thousand, or 1 cent per share.

Spb Benchmark 1.0 Debuts

Spb Software House has released Spb Benchmark 1.0, a benchmarking tool for measuring Pocket PC performance. This combines real-world performance and battery tests with synthetic performance tests to give an accurate representation of how well a Pocket PC performs in everyday, realistic tasks. Among its six categories of tests are one of the file system, graphics, built-in applications, CPU, and more.

Spb Benchmark is free for members of the media or those who review Pocket PCs for an enthusiast site. It is also free for end users who want to learn more about their Pocket PC’s performance using this tool. For business users who will derive benefit from Spb Benchmark (OEM, ODM, enterprise user evaluating Pocket PC deployment, etc.), it must be purchased for $495.

PalmSource Schedules European Developer Conference

PalmSource has announced that its European Developer Conference is scheduled to take place in Munich Germany, on September 22 and 23, 2003. This will include presentations from senior PalmSource executives, Palm OS licensees, strategic partners and other industry leaders. There will also be labs and networking events offering new and experienced developers access to “hands-on” information and advice on how to take advantage of the Palm OS platform.

The company is taking registrations now. The cost is 250 euros, but those who register now can do so for 150 euros.

Zire Wins IDEA2003 Gold Award

The original Palm Zire has won a Gold award in the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition, co-sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek magazine.

“The Palm Zire impressed with its attention to detail and its elegant simplicity, particularly for an entry-level product,” said Juror Jim Couch, IDSA, principal, Substance Design Group, Ltd. “The Zire’s appearance conveys a quiet, calm, Zen-like aesthetic that is normally reserved for products selling at twice its cost. Simplifying the user interface, reducing its thickness, size and weight, and incorporating a power source that can go as long as a month on a single charge all contributes to making the Palm Zire highly desirable.”

Beiks releases ARM-optimized version of BDicty Dictionary Reader

Beiks LLC has released a version of its BDicty Dictionary Reader for Palm OS that takes advantage of the ARM processor that drives Palm OS 5.x devices. BDicty is the first dictionary reader optimized for ARM, resulting in the fastest searches available for any Palm OS dictionary application.

It is available in two versions, Light and Pro. Both versions can open and work with any of the lexicon data files designed for BDicty, but the Pro version includes high-level features such as faster speed and the ability to access a BDicty dictionary from within other applications. The Light version of BDicty is free while the Pro version costs $10.

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