FRAMINGHAM (04/21/2000) - Microsoft backed its launch of the Pocket PC this week with an impressive list of heavyweight application developers and systems integrators in the company's third attempt to shrink its Windows operating environment for easy-to-use handheld devices.
Palm Inc. in Santa Clara, California, Microsoft's chief competitor in the handheld market, quickly fired back that it not only had agreements with many of the same independent software vendors but also had a far larger pool of 60,000 software partners.
Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Group Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, looked at the Microsoft list and said, "This is a bit of fluff. [Microsoft] had to do this to compete with Palm, but [the list] does not mean they're all there yet."
Companies on the list included Baan Co.; Citrix Systems Inc.; Computer Associates International Inc., which plans to support use of its Unicenter TNG on the Pocket PC; Oracle Corp.; SAP AG; and Sybase Inc. Microsoft said it has also signed up 130 integrators, including Ameranth Technology Solutions Inc., Cap Gemini Group, Electronic Data Systems Inc., Forte Systems Inc. and the SEMA Group PLC.
Keith McNally, president of Ameranth in San Diego, which is developing a Pocket PC system to help Starwood Hotels and Resorts track the conditions of guest rooms said, "We've already experienced tremendous enterprise demand for Pocket PC-based wireless solutions."