PDA News – 20GB microdrives, Windows Treo, Cobalt smartphone?

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Hitachi says 20GB microdrives coming

Hitachi, the reigning king of tiny hard drives, has announced a new technological improvement that they say will increase microdrive capacities to 20 GB. It’s not specified when the new drives will be on the market, or what plans the company may have to introduce larger capacity drives in the near future.



Orange UK rejects Treo 650; possible Windows Treo sighting

NewsWireless.net, a UK-based technology site, happened to get someone inside the European telecom company Orange recently, and they came back with some very interesting tidbits.

The first part of the article talks about a conversation with Orange customer service supervisors. They mentioned that Orange had declined to carry the Treo 650 until PalmOne fixes bugs in the phone functionality–specifically, dropped calls, poor audio quality, and other known issues.

Where the article gets truly interesting, however, is in describing a scene at a hotel in London where a senior Orange officer pulled out what appeared to be a Treo 650, and turned it–to reveal a Windows based operating system. When others at the table produced camera phones to get a picture of the Treo, according to the article, the mystery machine was hurriedly returned to a pocket, implying that it isn’t yet meant for public consumption.



Asian company touts new smartphone design

Asian phone manufacturer Oswin Technology, part of the same parent company as handheld maker GSPDA, is touting a new smartphone design that they claim is compatible with five different operating systems. The phone, which went on sale earlier this month, currently runs on a variant of Microsoft’s Windows CE core, different from the traditional Windows Mobile systems. The company says that later this year, they intend to add versions running on Windows Mobile for PocketPCs, Palm OS Cobalt, and an OS called MXI that claims to allow users access to desktop applications from their mobile phone.

The machine itself, called the Axia A108, has a 320 x 240 touchscreen, tri-band 900/1800/1900 MHz GSM, class 10 GPRS, and a 1.3 MP camera.

The downside? Well, the suggested retail price is about US$900. Ouch. Of course, you can find the phone online through other retailers for the low, low price of just US$525. Double ouch. There’s also that threat, present when dealing with any kind of promises made about future products, that the promised new versions will never arrive. And even if the multiple OSes do show up, the company says that a user would have to send their device to Oswin in order to get a different OS installed. Still, it’s an interesting precedent, and may be adopted by other manufacturers trying to feel out what the smartphone market wants.




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