January 2011

Getac PS236 handheld goes on 10,000 mile expedition
Getac releases a case study on how a Getac PS236 made a 10,000 mile motorcycle round-trip between Ireland and Kazakhstan, strapped to a KTM motorcycle. The PS236 handled all that vibration, desert dust, extreme temperatures, mountain climbs up to 23,000 feet, recorded the trip with its integrated camera, provided GPS navigation and geotagging, and allowed the expedition team to remain in contact. [See the Getac PS236 case study, expedition web page, and video] -- Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 by chb

Datalogic offers free Pal inventory software apps for its handhelds
Seeking to address a need for a tool to execute basic tasks associated with data capture and inventory control on Windows CE and Windows Mobile-based handheld computers, Datalogic introduced the Pal software suite for use with Datalogic handhelds that consists of shelf inventory, order entry, asset tracking and shelf replenishment apps. Data can easily be collected and then transferred/synchronized to PCs for analysis in Excel or the Windows NotePad. The apps are simple but very useful, and there's a nice 70 page manual. [Datalogic handheld owners can download Pal from here ] -- Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011 by chb

Trimble introduces next gen Ranger 3
Trimble introduced the Ranger 3, a next-generation follow-up to the company's line of rugged Ranger handheld computers. The new Windows Mobile 6.5-based Ranger gets a thorough technology update (processor, storage, camera, scanner, accelerometer, compass, etc.), a larger 4.2-inch full-VGA display, and a new QWERTY thumb-keyboard layout. The design is all new, despite virtually unchanged dimensions, weight and ruggedness. [See description and specs of the Trimble Ranger 3] -- Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by chb

DAP Technologies introduces two new rugged tablets
DAP Technologies has expanded its lineup with two updated versions of its full screen and half-screen plus keyboard tablets that are available both in Windows Embedded Standard and Windows CE versions. The new M8930 and M8940 include various technology updates and now run Windows CE 6.0 rel3 on 624MHz Marvell PXA300 processors. [See description and specs of the DAP Technologies M8930 and M8940] -- Posted Monday, January 24, 2011 by chb

Juniper Systems announces shipment of Mesa Geo 3G Rugged Notepad
Juniper Systems announced that its PTCRB-certified Mesa Geo 3G Rugged Notepad is now available for shipment. The Mesa Geo 3G adds a 3G GSM cellular data modem to provide real-time wireless connectivity while working in the field. The Mesa Rugged Notepad -- a clever crossover between a handheld and a tablet PC -- is available in three models: Standard, Geo, and Geo 3G. The standard Mesa has WiFi and Bluetooth; the Geo adds 2-5 meter accuracy GPS and a 3.2MP camera with Juniper Geotagging; and the Geo 3G model includes camera, GPS, and the 3G GSM data modem. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Thursday, January 20, 2011 by chb

Are Marvell PXA processors on their way out?
Mobile processors don't change nearly as fast as notebook and desktop processors do. Most handhelds are still running the same Marvell PXA25x and PXA27x processors that have been around for many years in unchanged form. The also already four year old PXA3xx chips were slow in being adopted, and now Intermec chose the TI OMAP chip to power its new line of likely high-volume 70 Series handhelds. Are PXA processors on their way out? [... more] -- Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 by chb

Datalogic Falcon X3 for tough retail and warehouse jobs
Datalogic has added the Falcon X3 rugged handheld computer to its already comprehensive lineup. The ergonomically designed Falcon X3 runs either Windows CE 6 rel. 3 or Windows Mobile 6.5 on a 624MHz Marvell PXA310 chip and a Cortex-M3 co-processor, has a 3.5-inch QVGA touch display, your choice of a 29-key numeric or 52-key alphanumeric keyboard, 3-megapixel AF camera with LED flash, 1D and 1D/2D scanning options, impressive ruggedness, and it can be configured with a pistol grip. [See description and specs of the Datalogic Falcon X3] -- Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 by chb

Intermec releases 70 Series of ultra-rugged handhelds
On January 11, Intermec announced a whole new series of ultra-rugged handhelds, based on a common architecture and with common basic features, but optimized for various markets via different keyboards, form factors, scanners and, of course, numerous wireless and other options. The 70 Series is based on the 600MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3530 ARM processor, runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, has 3.5-inch full-VGA resistive touch screens with Corning Gorilla Glass, and shares common peripherals and docks. RuggedPCReview.com analyzed the 70 Series platform and each model. See description and specs for the Intermec CN70, CN70e, CK70 and CK71. -- Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 by chb

CE 6.0 R3 vs. Embedded Handheld 6.5
And here is Microsoft's side-by-side features at a glance of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 vs. Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. -- Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 by chb

Microsoft releases Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
On January 10, 2011, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Microsoft's OS platform solution for enterprise handheld devices. Embedded Handheld 6.5 is built on Windows Mobile 6.5 (and Windows Mobile, of course, is a platform sitting on top of Windows CE). With Embedded Handheld 6.5, Microsoft stresses application compatibility across a range of devices, advanced security (password enforcement, remotes pipes), device management, and inclusion of voice telephony. Yes, the nomenclature is as confusing as ever, but according to VDC Research, Embedded CE and WinMo 6.x accounted for about 87% of the roughly 2.3 million rugged handhelds shipped in 2009, and the market share was probably similar in 2010. [See Microsoft's Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 release, and also the very informative "Handheld Devices for Industry Applications" that offers a side-by-side comparison between Embedded CE and Embedded Handheld.] -- Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 by chb

Windows Embedded Compact 7 available March 15, 2011
Microsoft Support now shows a general product availability release date of March 15, 2011 for Windows Embedded Compact 7 (see here). Windows Embedded Compact 7 is also available as a trial download under the Public Community Tech Preview program (from here). Embedded Compact 7, however, is not to be confused with Windows Embedded Handheld, Microsoft's latest specifically for "Enterprise Handheld Devices," a mild evolution of Windows Mobile 6.5, which is officially available as of January 10, 2011 (see Windows Embedded Handheld page). -- Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 by chb

First WinCE 7.0 sightings
Over the past eight months or so, news on where Microsoft may be headed with Windows CE has been hard to come by. The emphasis was on the consumer-oriented Windows Phone 7, with industrial customers seemingly stuck with Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 or Windows CE 5.0/6.0. Now companies are starting to make noise about Windows CE 7.0/Windows Embedded Compact 7, or whatever it'll be called. e-con Systems announced it has ported the WinCE 7.0 beta to its eSOM300 Computer-on-Module with a peek at the WinCE 7 Silverlight GUI. -- Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 by chb