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Sharp Linux PDA to debut at Java One

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Sharp's upcoming Linux-based Zaurus PDA will be given its first public outing next month at Sun's Java One conference, the Japanese giant has said.

Java is the device's main programming language. Sharp hopes the thousands of Java coders out there will rush to the device, write software for it and allow the company to make good its promise to have 10,000 apps for the PDA by the end of March 2002.

That, Sharp hopes, will allow it to make good its other pledge: to sell one million of the devices in the same timeframe. Microsoft announced this week that over one million PocketPC-based PDAs had been sold since the platform was launched just over a year ago.

"We will call on global companies and engineers to work together with us," said Hiroshi Uno, head of Sharp's PDA development efforts.

Sharp, once the electronic organiser market leader, has fallen behind of late, losing out to Palm. It hopes the Linux-based Zaurus will allow it to recapture marketshare outside Japan, while a version running the original Zaurus OS will -thanks to all those Java apps - help it win back its dominance of the Japanese market. ®

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