Xircom to take WinCE to enterprise

Corporates want to network handhelds, apparently

Portable connectivity specialist Xircom is hoping to give Windows CE -- and itself -- a boost with a new line of network connectivity devices for the platform. The products are designed to connect to WinCE 2.0 devices through a standard CompactFlash port, though Xircom said it will supply an adaptor for machines only equipped with a PC Card slot. The first device to ship will be a 10MBps Ethernet card, to be released under the CompactCard brand. Given Xircom's expertise in modem, wireless and GSM technology, it's not hard to see what kinds of products the line is likely to be expanded to contain. Xircom is clearly betting Windows CE's better support for handheld PCs will see it win out over the Palm platform, at least as far as enterprise computing goes. And the company reckons it will play a part in that corporate acceptance of CE, by providing the hardware IT departments will need to hook their handhelds into the network. The first stage of that plan will be to ship CompactCard products next month, primarily to VARs. Prcing for the Ethernet card is expected to be around $149 in the US. ®

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