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Software company Trolltech has announced a worldwide developer contest, starting today, to generate apps for Sharp's upcoming Linux-based handheld, the Zaurus SL-5500.

Sharp has just demoed the final version of the PDA in California, but will only make it available for sale, "in early 2002". Alas, Sharp has promised there will be 10,000 apps available for the platform by the end of March 2002. Not likely, we'd say, given the ship date.

Hence Trolltech's contest. The competition ends on 11 February 11 2002, just before Sharp's deadline. There are a variety of prizes available, including $10,000 cash and computer stuff.

Sharp has been relying on the Java community to support the device and recently made the developer edition of the handheld, the SL-5000D, available for sale to stimulate development efforts. Buyers need to register with Sharp's developer alliance programme to qualify.

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

Trolltech is Norwegian software company that develops and markets a variety of developer tools and platforms. ®

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Related Links

Trolltech: Zaurus developer compo
Sharp: Zaurus SL-5500 home page

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