Dual-slot, dual-radio VGA PocketPC coming from Asus
Yes, you read that over-long headline correct. According to information garnered from an interview with an Asus marketing executive, and a little tease by the good folks at PROportable, Asus is working on a new PocketPC dubbed the A730. Built along the same lines as the A716, the A730 will feature built-in Bluetooth and WiFi, CompactFlash and SDIO card slots, and a 480 x 640 VGA screen. Add in a 1500 milliamp-hour battery, independent graphics processor, and Asus’ near-legendary speed and quality, and you may have a new Holy Grail of the PocketPC world. Assuming that it does not deviate from the A716’s form-factor, which it shouldn’t, the A730 will be 5.3 inches long by 3.0 wide and 0.69 thick–hardly tiny but still remarkable for its power. The additions will price the A730 $100 above the A716, for a retail price of $550.
When will it be available? The Asus exec says May/June, PROportable says June/July. Either way, I can’t wait.
E-Pass suit against HP to proceed
From The Register:
A US District Court has agreed that the word ‘card’ means any ‘flat, rectangular piece of stiff material’, paving the way for intellectual property company E-Pass to pursue its claim that HP iPaqs running Microsoft software violate its patent for a “multi-function card”.
I still believe that if this comes to actual arguments, E-Pass will and should be laughed out of the courtroom. You can’t patent the idea of a ‘multi function card’ any more than Microsoft could patent the word ‘Windows’.
Windows Mobile 2004 just a service pack?
Also in the aforementioned message discussing the A730, PROportable relates an interesting tidbit relayed from their contact at Asus:
Also, there is not supposed to be a new version of Windows Mobile coming out. There is supposed to be an UPDATE which will better support VGA screens, but that is all that Asus is tell me.
It’s uncertain how reliable this information is, since it has passed through at least two or three links. Also, it doesn’t jibe with much of what we’ve heard about the anticipated ‘Magneto’ OS update for 2004. Either the original plans have been scaled back, or there is some miscommunication occuring here. It’s possible that Microsoft is planning on releasing a VGA service pack for WM2003 to fill the gap between then and the release of the next major OS revision, but that is purely speculation.