Microsoft Corp may scoff at the concept of the Internet terminal as conceived by Oracle Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc, but it is a different matter entirely when it comes to the Microsoft concept of a $500 Microsoft Internet device. Group vice-president Paul Maritz told Reuter that the company was teaming up with two consumer electronics hardware manufacturers to release a handheld Personal Digital Assistant later this year that will enable users to get onto the Internet. He says Microsoft has been redoing its Winpad investment from the ground up. Maritz described the Assistant as a device smaller than a notebook computer that will enable users to download messages and store documents, and will include a keyboard for stripped-down applications such as word processing. The operating system – believed to be the one code- named Pegasus – will be integrated with Windows so the user can share information with a desktop computer at home or at the office. It will have a PC Card slot for a modem, but the browser will not be the complete Microsoft Internet Explorer, due to limited memory availability. Maritz reckons that the device will be superior to the network computer promoted by Oracle because that would have no internal storage space (not what we heard), while the Microsoft device will have its own memory. US PC Week suggests that the consumer electronics companies are Casio Computer Co and NEC Corp and perhaps Seiko Epson Corp.
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