Japan’s Fujitsu to Launch PDA in 2002

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Japan’s Fujitsu to Launch PDA in 2002

October 5, 2001 3:21 am EST TOKYO (Reuters) – Fujitsu Ltd, Japan’s largest computer maker, said on Friday it planned to launch a personal digital assistant (PDA) handheld computer in early 2002 using Microsoft Corp’s Pocket PC platform. The company said in a statement it would market the product worldwide beginning in the first quarter of next year. That would make Fujitsu the fourth major Japanese electronics maker to tap into the fast growing — and crowding — PDA market. No detailed specifications for the PDA were announced, but Fujitsu said it would be targeted at businesses and consumers who want “superior multimedia features.” Rival Toshiba Corp began selling its “Genio” handheld computer aimed at business users at the end of last month and NEC Corp, Japan’s biggest personal computer maker, has promised to unveil a PDA by the end of the year. While the Toshiba and NEC models use Microsoft’s operating systems, Sony Corp began selling last year a PDA named “CLIE” based on Palm Inc’s operating system, which is more common worldwide. Dominant U.S. software maker Microsoft, for its part, unveiled on Monday its latest PDA operating system, intended to compete with Palm. The software firm said on Thursday that PDAs with its Pocket PC 2002 operating system, which was upgraded to target business users, would begin shipping soon. “The most notable use of PDAs is by companies,” said Shinichi Ata, president of Microsoft Japan. “Although Internet-enabled phones are becoming more common and used by companies, we are hoping to provide them with functions not readily available (on mobile phones).”

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