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Future of handheld PCs tied to accessibility of desktop computer data from the field, special PCCA meeting finds; commencing search for solution.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 22, 1996--With more than a half-dozen advanced handheld personal computers (HPCs) running under Microsoft's new Windows CE operating system introduced this week at COMDEX, participants in a special meeting of the Personal Computer and Communications Association (PCCA) agreed that there are two major challenges that must be met if the full potential of these devices is to be realized.

The special PCCA meeting, held in Las Vegas on opening day of COMDEX, drew some 75 people from about 50 of the major players in the wireless-data-communications field.

Attendees agreed that the chief obstacles to growth in the HPC industry segment are (1) the inability of wireless datacomm users to connect back to their own desktops or local-area networks and (2) lack of enabling handheld synchronization software for wireless networks.

As a result of the meeting, plans are now under way for a PCCA delegation to convene with Windows CE developers at Microsoft in December to discuss enhancements that would support synchronization of HPCs with their users' desktop systems.

Additionally, PCCA is creating an e-mail reflector to facilitate the interchange of information and to support the establishment and operation of a formal committee.

Subcommittees will address identified problem areas and develop solutions where no existing technology or applications suffice. To participate, interested parties can e-mail: bobv@outlook.com

``Industry analysts project sales of between 700,000 and 1,200,000 handheld PCs in 1997,'' noted association co-founder and President Andrew M. Seybold, editor in chief of The Outlook on Communications and Computing. ``This represents a healthy beginning, but unless these two problems are solved, the market may never be one in which it makes sense to compete for share.

``There is no time to waste. The solution must be found quickly so that the excitement generated by these promising new devices does not dissipate among the early adopters who typically drive markets for new devices. We prefer not to reinvent, and if we can identify parts of solutions that already exist, we are that much closer to the overall solution.''

The meeting included presentations by James Hobbs, vice president of BellSouth Mobile Data; Len Kapner and Gilbert Hoxie, management consultants/principals of The Pacific Group; and an informal discussion by a key member of the Windows CE team.

As of Monday, Nov. 25, meeting minutes and slides will be posted on the PCCA Website: http://www.outlook.com/pcca. PCCA is actively soliciting the participation of any companies and individuals who have a present or potential interest in the viability of wireless data communications.

Founded in 1992, the Portable Computing and Communications Association is a nonprofit trade association that focuses on the convergence of the two industries. Its charter is to enable, develop and promote the adoption of software and hardware standards for interoperable mobile computing and communications.

Membership is open to all companies and individuals with an interest in these disciplines.

CONTACT: Personal Computer and Communications Association

Bob Venter, 408/338-0924

or

Victor Wortman Co.

Vic Wortman, 310/393-6281
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Date:Nov 22, 1996
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