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Microsoft PocketPC racks up 1m sales in first year

So what - Palm does 2.1m in three months

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One year and a month after its launch and Microsoft's PocketPC platform - aka Windows CE 3.0 - has clocked up sales of over one million units.

The way Microsoft spins it, of course, is that this is a significant milestone. In fact, it's just an arbitrary figure that sounds good. So does the NPD Intelect statistic that it cites - that PocketPC accounts for 26 per cent of PDAs costing $350 or more. It doesn't mention that there are rather a lot of sub-$350 devices out there.

Indeed, for all its current woes, Palm still managed to ship 2.1 million PDAs in the three months to 2 March, and that's just one vendor compared to the handful who offer PocketPC devices. Microsoft's PDA platform clearly has a lot of catching up to do.

Not that Palm has any right to get cocky, having assumed sales would have been far higher than they proved to be and so ended up with warehouses full of unsold Palm Vx PDAs on its hands. Kit it can't shift, more to the point, because it launched Vx's successors the m500 and m505 more than two months before it can ship them in volume.

Anecdotal evidence from UK reseller Expansys.com suggests that the m505 will do some good business for Palm, allowing the company to compete with Compaq's iPaq much more aggressively than it's been able to in the past.

Said Expanys.com technical director Matt Kydd: "The m505 is starting to generate demand, but we've only taken back orders for about 30. The iPaq is still the machine of the moment taking 80 per cent of our PDA sales, especially now the Ubinetics kit is out to give full connectivity." ®

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