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February 20, 2003--In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES- Bluetooth Applications: An Update - Exchange 2003 Mobile & Wireless Features: An Update
2. ANNOUNCEMENTS- Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show! - Try Windows & .NET Magazine!
3. INSTANT POLL- Results of Previous Poll: 802.11b Requirements on the Road - New Instant Poll: Third-Party Applications on Your PDA
4. RESOURCE- Event Highlight: CTIA Wireless 2003
5. NEW AND IMPROVED- Wirelessly Access Applications - Create Handwritten Notes for Your PDA
6. CONTACT US- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
* BLUETOOTH APPLICATIONS: AN UPDATEIn the February 6 Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I answered reader questions about various aspects of the mobile and wireless industry ( you can read the article, "Mobile & Wireless Q & A," at http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=37991 ) One question focused on non-typical uses of the Bluetooth technology. Several readers responded with some ideas that I want to share with you.
A few readers seem disappointed by the unrealized potential of Bluetooth, claiming that the technology has failed in comparison with Wi-Fi. But remember that Bluetooth isn't aimed at the same market as Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is more suited to Personal Area Network (PAN) scenarios, such as cable replacement and local device connectivity. Bluetooth has the advantage of low power consumption, making it relevant to small devices (e.g., mobile phones) that have limited battery resources. If you think Bluetooth has failed, you might be rushing to judgment. Today, many vendors are creating Bluetooth-enabled equipment, and as these solutions hit the market the use of Bluetooth will surely increase. I've recently seen a few articles about a new Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse that promise to provide the ultimate wireless desktop. For more information, see the following URL.http://www.microsoft.com/catalog/display.asp?subid=22&site=11495&pg=1
A reader from Denmark commented about the use of Bluetooth for home automation. His specific example was using a Pocket PC to open a Bluetooth-enabled garage door. I think we'll begin to see many more Bluetooth home-automation solutions, including automatic locks, household-appliance monitoring, and situations for which you might use a remote control today. The ability to consolidate control of many household devices into one device is attractive--as a personal example, I have four remote controls on my coffee table: for the TV, DVD player, A/V receiver, and VHS player.
* EXCHANGE 2003 MOBILE & WIRELESS FEATURES: AN UPDATEIn the January 23 Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I talked about some of the mobile and wireless features of Exchange Server 2003, which Microsoft is scheduled to release in mid-2003. The integration of mobile and wireless features into Exchange is certainly an improvement over the current situation, which involves implementing Microsoft Mobile Information Server (MIS) separately and requires additional hardware, planning, and support.
After performing further research into Exchange 2003, I've discovered that Exchange 2003's implementation of Microsoft Outlook Mobile Access (OMA)--used for microbrowser access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks--officially supports only Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) 2.0 devices. (WAP enables wireless Internet access to specialized mobile Web sites.) The problem with this approach is that only a few of the newest wireless devices (e.g., the Sony Ericsson t68i) support WAP 2.0, whereas millions of existing devices support older versions of WAP and other protocols. You might be able to use unsupported devices with OMA 2003, but Microsoft offers no guarantee that the devices will work properly. I'm not a fan of this Microsoft tactic: By not offering wide device support, the company will leave most enterprises no choice but to find other solutions.
On a related note, I want to mention that the next version of Microsoft Outlook--Outlook 11, which is part of Microsoft Office 11 and designed to work closely with Exchange 2003--is the first truly mobile version of the messaging client. Outlook 11 lets users work uninterrupted even when connectivity isn't present. This "always available" connectivity model obviously permits enhanced productivity. See you next time.
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* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: 802.11B REQUIREMENTS ON THE ROADThe voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you ever had to install proprietary drivers to take advantage of 802.11b services while traveling?" Here are the results from the 27 votes: - 19% Yes - 81% No
* NEW INSTANT POLL: THIRD-PARTY APPLICATIONS ON YOUR PDAThe next Instant Poll question is, "How many third-party applications do you run on your PDA?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) More than 10, b) 5 to 10, c) 3 or 4, d) 1 or 2, or e) 0. http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com
* EVENT HIGHLIGHT: CTIA WIRELESS 2003March 17 through 19, 2003 New Orleans, Louisiana
CTIA Wireless 2003 draws not only the traditional wireless audience of network providers, carriers, and manufacturers but also wireless users in industries such as health care, government, military, and automotive. The conference's primary goal is to unite different industries by encouraging the exchange of ideas, partnerships, and collaboration. For more information, see the following URL.http://www.wireless2003.com/general
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.http://www.winnetmag.com/events/calendar
* WIRELESSLY ACCESS APPLICATIONSSierra Wireless announced the AirCard 555, a dual-band wireless network PC Card that supports Windows XP. The AirCard 555 slides into a laptop or PDA and provides wireless access to the Internet, email, and corporate applications. The card also features voice and two-way messaging functionality. For pricing, contact Sierra Wireless at 604-231-1100. http://www.sierrawireless.com/productsordering/ac5551xrtt.html
* CREATE HANDWRITTEN NOTES FOR YOUR PDAPen&Internet released riteMail 2.0, electronic ink software for Palm devices. You can use riteMail to create handwritten notes and drawings to store on your Palm device. You can also exchange handwritten messages between PDAs, tablet PCs, desktops, laptops, and other computers through a wireless or wireline connection. Pricing is $29.95. Contact Pen&Internet at 408-746-9900, extension 20. http://www.ritemail.net
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