Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, June 20, 2002

Mobile & Wireless UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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June 20, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Palm Releases OS 5 to Vendors

2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS

  • Palm in Space!
  • Microsoft and Sun Join Open Mobile Alliance
  • Public 802.11b from "Earthlink Everywhere"

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Windows Scripting Solutions for the Systems Administrator
  • SQL Server Magazine—Get Your Free Preview Issue

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Synchronization Software
  • New Instant Poll: 802.11b WLAN Security

5. RESOURCES

  • Tip: How Should I Clean My PDA's Screen?
  • Event Highlight: Messaging World 2002

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Exchange Data Between LAN Resources and Wireless Devices
  • Enhance Palm's Datebook

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])

  • PALM RELEASES OS 5 TO VENDORS

  • Beginning this week, I'll be switching commentary duties with Steve Milroy. I'll write the regular Mobile & Wireless Perspectives, and Steve will write Pocket PC Perspectives on alternate weeks. As a member of Microsoft's Mobile Advisory Council, Steve is in a good position to keep you up-to-date about the Pocket PC format. I'll concentrate on mobile technologies from other vendors, as well as Microsoft's other form factors.

    This week, I want to offer some news and thoughts about Palm's announcement that it's releasing OS 5 to vendors. OS 5 is the most significant OS release to come from Palm in recent memory. The OS provides fundamentally new capabilities, including true preemptive multitasking, and is designed to run on a completely new family of devices powered by the same StrongARM processor family that Pocket PC 2002-series devices such as the Hewlett-Packard (HP) iPAQ use. Among the OS's new features are an improved UI and built-in support for 802.11b wireless LANs (WLANs). Devices based on OS 5 are expected to ship by the end of this year.

    Any time a company makes major changes to an OS (let alone changes the processors that power the OS), I get concerned about compatibility. I interviewed Michael Mace, chief competitive officer of PalmSource (Palm's software subsidiary), to get a sense of OS 5's compatibility. "Our overall goal is to get as much compatibility as possible," Mace said. "We're shooting for 75 to 80 percent \[of applications\] to run without modification. To provide compatibility, we're doing a \[Motorola\] 68K-compatible CPU emulator that runs on the ARM CPU. The problem lies with \[developers\] who ignore our instructions and directly address hardware resources. We're having one-on-one conversations with them. We're also trying to build as much compatibility as possible into the emulator. A lot of \[software\] will work out of the box, but there will be situations where you'll want to get the latest versions of the application."

    What about the Web-clipping applications that the wireless Palm VII, VIIx, and i705 devices use? Mace said, "As we're working with developers, we're hearing more and more of them say they're comfortable going directly to HTML, as long as the browser does a proper job of caching, and they have the ability to design a compact Web page. You can do proxy browser solutions, where things get compressed—like Handspring's Blazer—you can do Web clipping, and you can just do a good job of compact HTML design. Don't assume that \[Microsoft\] Pocket Internet Explorer is what you'll see. We can do better!"

    As for network support, Mace said that Short Message Service (SMS) "is a base feature. The OS is network-ready. Obviously there has to be some form of \[wireless modem\] available to exploit those APIs. And we're looking for more and more features for future versions. The OS will support both one-piece and two-piece solutions. So we can support both integrated devices and solutions such as today's Palm Mobile Internet Kit (MIK), in which you use a device and a separate cell phone connected via infrared (IR), cable, or Bluetooth. Support for 802.11 is a licensee option—what they get from us is a fully qualified driver, which supports either a built-in or add-on 802.11 device."

    What should IT shops be doing to prepare for OS 5 devices? Mace said that once licensees begin to ship OS 5 devices, "early adopters will start to bring them into the organization. It's important to understand that when OS 5 comes out, OS 4 devices won't go away. It won't be a wholesale cut-over from DragonBall-based OS 4 devices to ARM-based OS 5 devices. Be sure you've got the latest version of any applications you support—but don't panic. We will have compatibility lists, and so on. Watch Palm's Web site ( http://www.palmos.com ); as we approach the release date, the site will have specific information. I believe the levels of compatibility are high enough that it shouldn't be a big problem."

    Mace also told me that the new OS won't have a significant impact on pricing. "We aren't seeing a lot of code expansion, so we don't think it will significantly affect memory requirements—although some vendors will offer more. We think most applications, even running in emulator mode, will see equal or better performance \[on OS 5 as compared to OS 4\]."

    If your organization supports Palm devices, I recommend that you check Palm's Web site periodically for news. Also, Mace's advice about making sure you have the very latest versions of key applications makes sense. An OS 5 emulator has been available to developers for some time. If your organization develops applications in-house, consider signing up for the emulator at the following URL.
    http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/simulator

    2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS
    (contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])

  • PALM IN SPACE!

  • South African astronaut Mark Shuttleworth carried a Palm M125 device on his trip to the International Space Station earlier this year. He used a customized Date Book application to schedule and track his daily activities, which was updated through email from a Microsoft Access database maintained by Moscow Mission Control.

    http://www.africaninspace.co.za

  • MICROSOFT AND SUN JOIN OPEN MOBILE ALLIANCE

  • Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have joined the Open Mobile Alliance, a consortium focused on common specifications and interoperability for a new generation of mobile services. The alliance includes more than 150 member companies; among the best known are AOL, Charles Schwab & Co, DHL World Wide, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Intel, MasterCard International, Nokia, Symbian, and Verizon Wireless. Why does the membership include so many companies (from different industries)? In my opinion, they're all looking to cash in on the "next big thing" in mobile computing—and afraid that someone else will get there first!
    http://www.openmobilealliance.org

  • PUBLIC 802.11B FROM "EARTHLINK EVERYWHERE"

  • EarthLink announced that it has cut a deal with Boingo Wireless to provide subscribers with access to Wi-Fi (the 802.11b wireless standard) WLAN hot spots in airports, cafes, hotels, and so on. A VPN provides security. Pricing starts at $7.95 per connect day and rises to a maximum of $74.95 per month for unlimited access.
    http://earthlink.boingo.com

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS FOR THE SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

  • So, you're not a programmer, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to create and deploy timesaving, problem-solving scripts. Discover Windows Scripting Solutions online, the Web site that can help you tackle common problems and automate everyday tasks with simple tools, tricks, and scripts. While you're there, check out this article
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com

  • SQL SERVER MAGAZINE—GET YOUR FREE PREVIEW ISSUE

  • We know you're trying to keep up with important topics such as Web databases, security, and XML—not to mention the basics like configuration and backup. Take action and grab a copy of SQL Server Magazine, the best resource for database administrators and developers. Get a free preview issue today!
    http://secure.duke.com/nt/sqlmag/freesample.cfm?code=ap2ewu

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: SYNCHRONIZATION SOFTWARE

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which synchronization software or service do you use in your environment?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 44 votes:
    • 73% ActiveSync/Intellisync
    • 18% HotSync
    • 5% XtndConnect
    • 0% TrueSync
    • 5% fusionOne

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: 802.11b WLAN SECURITY

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Are 802.11b wireless LANs (WLANs) secure enough to support your company's critical applications?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, the built-in security is sufficient, b) Yes, with supplemental security measures, or b) No, not even with supplemental security measures.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    5. RESOURCES

  • TIP: HOW SHOULD I CLEAN MY PDA'S SCREEN?

  • (contributed by David Ciccone, [email protected])

    The safest method for cleaning your PDA screen is to treat the screen like a camera lens or a pair of glasses and use a micro-fiber cloth, which won't scratch the screen surface. Be aware that cotton is slightly abrasive and might scratch. Don't use compressed air because it contains super cold liquid that can exit the spray can and damage the screen. Even if you test the spray from the can so all the liquid appears to have been expelled, a slight tilt of the can will release more liquid.

    For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com/articles/index.cfm?action=faq

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: MESSAGING WORLD 2002

  • August 29 through 30, 2002
    Singapore

    IBC Asia will host Messaging World 2002, a messaging show that encompasses Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Message Service (MMS), Unified Messaging, direct and database marketing, and marketing automation. Whether you're a mobile operator, mobile messaging or network equipment vendor, handset manufacturer, or application developer, Messaging World 2002 will help you realize SMS's revenue potential and migrate to a more profitable next-generation messaging service.
    http://www.ibcasia.com.sg/mobile-multimedia-messaging/mmsapintro.htm

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.

    http://www.winnetmag.com/events

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • EXCHANGE DATA BETWEEN LAN RESOURCES AND WIRELESS DEVICES

  • XcelleNet announced that its wireless device-management software, Afaria, supports all wireless platforms and connection types, including Palm 3.x, Palm VII, Windows CE, Pocket PC, RIM BlackBerry, and Symbian EPOC R5/R6. Afaria lets you implement business processes that can exchange data between LAN-based computing resources and wireless devices that mobile workers use. For pricing, contact XcelleNet at 800-322-3366.

    http://www.xcellenet.com

  • ENHANCE PALM'S DATEBOOK

  • iambic released Action Names Datebook 5.0, a contact- and schedule-management application for Palm devices. The software enhances Palm's built-in datebook, address book, and to-do list with advanced functions, views, and features. The Contact History feature shows you activities—including meetings, linked phone calls, and email messages—for any contact. Action Names Datebook 5.0 costs $19.95. Contact iambic at [email protected]
    http://www.iambic.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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    For more information about mobile and wireless computing, visit David Ciccone's Web site.
    http://www.davescompaqipaq.com

    Thank you for reading Mobile & Wireless UPDATE.

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