Motorola Plans to Make Pocket PCs

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Motorola has announced an alliance with Microsoft that will lead to it releasing a line of Pocket PCs and smart phones running both versions of the Windows Mobile operating system.

Windows Mobile The first fruits of this alliance were announced today: Motorola’s MPx200, a clamshell-shaped handset running Windows Mobile 2003 for Smart Phones. But Motorola has never released a Pocket PC before.

Unfortunately, no other details are available on Motorola’s handheld-related plans at this point, including when the first model will be released, what features it will have, and what it will cost.

“We consider this alliance with Motorola to be a tremendous milestone for our Windows Mobile platform and a major win for customers, operators and developers,” said Pieter Knook, corporate vice president of mobile and embedded devices at Microsoft.

CMP Media LLC has an interview with Ed Suwanjindar, Microsoft’s mobile device product manager, in which he says that Motorola is aware that too many Pocket PC models offer the exact same features and that the company intends to shake up the Pocket PC platform.

Motorola used to be an important part of the handheld world, as it made the Dragonball line of processors that were at the heart of all Palm OS devices. But with the release of Palm OS 5, most Palm OS licensees swiched to chips made by other companies. And no Pocket PC could be based on a Dragonball processor.

Last year, Motorola announced the i.MX family of processors, which are ARM-based processors comparable to Texas Instruments’ OMAP line or Intel’s XScale line. Handhelds running i.MX processors can run the latest version of Palm OS, Symbian OS, or Microsoft Windows CE/Pocket PC. However, at this point, the only Palm OS licensee who is using an i.MX processor is Garmin in the iQue 3600. And no Pocket PC licensee is currently using it. Still, it seems likely that Motorola will use its own processors in its upcoming Pocket PCs.

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