NEC is preparing a next generation CE.NET PDA and it will be powered by applications from BSquare. BSQUARE has gained fame for their PDA reference design, but they also have a high powered reference design software package to go with it.
BSquare’s Power Handheld Reference Design Application Suite offers a state-of-the-art graphical user interface and applications that run on the Microsoft(R) Windows(TM) CE .NET v4.2 operating system. Business applications include bBackup(TM), bSpreadsheet(TM), bFax(TM), Calculator, Voice Recorder, and Ink Writer for manual input using a stylus pen. The suite also includes Personal Information Management (PIM) applications such as Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and World Clock.
“NEC strives to offer users the best mobile solutions that enhance enterprise field deployment and achieve ROI for their company. BSQUARE’s Power Handheld software package demonstrates the excellence in handheld device software development and integration that can help us reach those goals,” said Larry Miller, vice president and general manager, NEC Solutions America. “The Power Handheld software takes advantage of the high-resolution color screens found on most mobile devices today, and it leverages such sophisticated features of Windows CE .NET 4.2 as Pocket Outlook Object Model. The advantages of integrating this software package into mobile Internet products will provide a significant competitive edge in the marketplace.”
The big question though, is what are NEC’s goals? The Mobile Pro P300 was one of the more powerful PPC’s when it was released in late 2001. NEC also released the Handheld PC Mobile Pro 790, back in June of 2001 which is still being sold for $950. There were others, but none of NEC’s models caught on very well. Business has not been any better recently as NEC pulled out of Japan entirely in early April.
We do know that NEC is prepping another Handheld PC for release very soon. The NEC 900 HPC looks to pick up where the MP790 left off. It’s not immediately clear if today’s announcement has anything to do with this unit or something else NEC has going on. Either way, NEC’s direction is quite cloudy and only time will tell if deals like this will help them clear the air.