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Microsoft and Industry Partners Put Personality in Pocket PCs
Great Games, Web Sites, Music and Books From Rapture Technologies, AltaVista Shopping.com, Columbia TriStar Interactive, Supersoni.com, Slate and Others Let Users Make the Most of Their Free Time
NEW YORK - April 19, 2000 - Today at the Pocket PC launch event in New York's Grand Central Station, Microsoft Corp. and industry partners showcased the unprecedented capabilities of the Pocket PC, responding to customer feedback by delivering products that are much more than just powerful personal information managers. Highlighted at the event were new services and content for the Pocket PC from ActiveSky Inc., America Online Inc. (AOL), AtomFilms, Audible Inc., AvantGo Inc., BSQUARE Corp., Columbia TriStar Interactive, Digital Entertainment Network Inc., Ilium Software, Laridian Inc., MediaBay Inc., MSN™ Mobile, oppsdreams software inc., Rapture Technologies Inc., Sierra Imaging Inc., Siscosoft Corp., TeleType Co., ZIO Interactive Inc. and others. The demonstration-packed event showed that Pocket PCs make it easier than ever for users to take fun with them wherever they go with powerful hardware and software to enable robust gaming, rich Web content and integrated music and electronic books applications.
"Pocket PCs are excellent business tools, but let's face it - people don't work 24 hours a day. Ultimately, these products are very personal, so we designed the Pocket PC to be as versatile as their owners are," said Ben Waldman, vice president of the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft. "We are thrilled to see such a diverse group of talented artists, developers and Web content and service creators providing Pocket PC users with more options than any other PDA to help them make the most of their time - whether at work or play."
Premier Gaming Platform
Pocket PCs are surprisingly powerful mobile devices, with advanced hardware and software that take advantage of powerful 32-bit processors ranging up to speeds of 206 Mhz and an abundance of memory. The Pocket PCs' game APIs enable developers to easily write exciting, colorful games for the Pocket PC. With an easy, direct approach, the APIs give developers quick access to the Pocket PC hardware, which includes a photo-quality screen, a stereo audio subsystem and standard hardware buttons. The real-time operating system enables Pocket PCs to keep up with the games, music, sound and color changes just as the developer intended.
"'Cubicle Chaos' and 'Fire Drill' rock on the Pocket PC! We looked at other platforms to take these games mobile, but none of them had the power, great color and stereo sound we needed to capture the immersive experience needed," said Jeff English, vice president of Research and Development at Rapture Technologies, developer of five games for the Pocket PC Expansion Pack. "The Pocket PCs' game APIs made developing easy, and we didn't have to compromise on performance. Now 'Cubicle Chaos' and 'Fire Drill' can be played by people wherever they are."
The Web the Way You Want It
Pocket PCs with Pocket Internet Explorer browser software raise the bar in bringing innovative Internet technology to mobile devices, enabling customers to view any Web site either online or offline and provide the richest browsing experience of any device in its class. In addition to Shrink-to-Fit capability, which dynamically resizes a Web site for viewing on a small screen, Pocket Internet Explorer includes integrated AvantGo software, providing seamless, free* access to AvantGo's entire service of optimized content sites. Without having to download anything extra, Pocket PC customers can immediately have access to the Web - right out of the box. In addition to AvantGo, the Pocket Internet Explorer home page is anchored by content from leading companies, including Amazon.com Inc., the MSN network of Internet services, the New York Times, and Sony USA, putting Pocket PC users only a tap away from a daily dose of their favorite news, games and shopping.
"Sony's content shines on the large, full-color Pocket PC screens, so we are very excited to be an anchor site on the Pocket Internet Explorer home page," said Tim Chambers, director of Production and Technology, Columbia TriStar Interactive. "Pocket PCs make great devices for customers to use to get the Sony AvantGo channels they love - from our online version of 'Jeopardy,' to the Soap City Daily Dose channel, to channels with the latest TV, movie and music news. And with the ability to view content both offline and while connected, customers can now view Sony content any time, anywhere."
In addition, leading content providers including Altavista Shopping.com have announced plans to target the Pocket PC platform to bring optimized information and services to mobile customers.
"Our goal is to empower consumers to make smart decisions during their shopping process," said Michael G. Rubin, vice president and general manager of AltaVista Shopping.com. "With Pocket Internet Explorer and AltaVista Shopping.com, consumers can be informed while on the go, in their local mall or wherever they happen to be, making it even more convenient to shop smarter."
Are You Listening?
The Pocket PC ships ready to entertain with an integrated Microsoft® Windows Media™ Player, enabling customers to take their favorite Windows Media or MP3 music anywhere without needing a separate player. Pocket PC users can enjoy any of hundreds of thousands of digital music tracks anywhere and the hottest new music in Windows Media Format, which offers CD-quality music in half the file size of MP3 audio format.
"Putting the Windows Media Player into Pocket PCs really plugs Microsoft into the current digital media download revolution," said Bill Schacht, co-founder and CEO, Supersoni.com. "Now, music fans can download music by great artists such as the Eurythmics, Big Pun, Maysa and Clawfinger from Supersoni.com onto their mobile devices and take it with them where ever they go. With twice the music storage and same quality as MP3, coupled with the security record that companies are looking for, the Pocket PC is sure to be at the top of the lists of music fans and record executives alike."
Pocket PCs are also among the first portable devices supported by the upcoming Windows Media Player 7, the first fully integrated digital media experience for PC users, enabling consumers to enjoy a full range of digital media including playback of CD audio, downloaded audio and video, jukebox capabilities for CD recording, and media management. Using the built-in portable device music transfer, Pocket PC customers will be able to transfer their digital music to CompactFlash cards or directly onto devices with one click.
The Microsoft Reader electronic book software delivers an on-screen reading experience that, for the first time, approaches the convenience and quality of text printed on paper, with Microsoft's breakthrough ClearType™ display technology. Microsoft Reader also includes integrated Audible.com content, enabling customers to access spoken-word content right out of the box. In addition, a CD with nearly 30 classic book titles is included.
Barnes & Noble Inc. and the Slate® online magazine have each announced investment plans to create Microsoft Reader content. Barnes and Noble will create an online eBook superstore (barnesandnoble.com) that will provide millions of customers with access to thousands of eBook titles through Microsoft Reader. And Slate will be the first magazine available in eBook format to be offered daily.
"One of the comments I hear most often from readers of Slate is, 'I love Slate, but I don't like reading it while sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen,'" said Michael Kinsley, editor of Slate (http://www.slate.msn.com/). "With the new Pocket PCs and the Microsoft Reader, our readers will now be able to enjoy Slate anywhere they can read a paper magazine - and even some places they can't."
About Pocket PCs
Windows-powered Pocket PCs, the next-generation personal digital assistants (PDAs) from Microsoft and industry partners, offer customers the best way to connect to their most essential information while away from their desk. Yet they are versatile enough to satisfy the personal needs of those living today's busy mobile lifestyle. Pocket PCs already include a broad range of native business, personal productivity and entertainment applications yet can easily be expanded to adapt to each customer's changing needs through a continually growing number of industry-standard hardware and software expansion options.