April 2010

Socket Mobile -- salvation in barcode scanners?
Socket Mobile's Q1 2010 financials (see PDF) show both bad news and good news. The bad news is that it's tough for a company that specialized on add-on cards (modems, WiFi, BT, ports) to survive when that functionality is now usually built into products. So that market is mostly going away. The good news is that Socket managed to eke out increased sales of its barcode scanners and its SoMo business-class handheld computers are a respectable business. Problem there, of course, is that Windows Mobile, which powers the SoMo, has been losing ground. Socket's new BT scanners, however, work with the iPad and similar products, and may become the basis for state-of-the-art 2D barcode scanning solutions. -- Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by chb

Pocket PC turns 10 - coulda/shoulda been a contender
It was ten years ago today that Microsoft introduced the Pocket PC to great fanfare at New York's Grand Central Station. The announcement rang in the first serious implementations of Windows CE-based PDAs, with much stricter hardware requirements than the prior multi-architecture "Palm-Size PC," mostly thanks to the landmark Compaq iPAQ, courtesy of, yes, HTC. See Pen Computing's April 19, 2000 reporting on the new Pocket PC] -- Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 by chb

Microsoft moves Windows Mobile into the Windows Embedded business
Microsoft announced, mostly via a blog entry, a reorganization that makes handheld terminals and ruggedized devices part of the Windows Embedded Business. The company claimed the move will provide them with closer connection between the Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile product line that had been under Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business. Basically, this separates Windows Mobile, mostly a nice user interface sitting on top of Windows CE, from the consumer side of things that now concentrates on the upcoming Windows Phone 7. As David Wurster, senior product manager at Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Business, outlines, "with the transition of support to WEB, Microsoft gives the handheld terminal and ruggedized device products a holistic roadmap across both platforms and into the future." [See Microsoft blog entry] -- Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010 by chb

Full review: Juniper Systems TK6000
The TK6000, introduced by Juniper Systems in the fall of 2009, represents another ultra-rugged, no-nonsense handheld computer from the Logan, Utah based company that specializes in field computing solutions for rugged applications such as land survey, natural resources, industrial, agriculture and the like. Initially designed for a Juniper Systems business partner (Carlson Surveyor), the ultra-rugged TK6000 is a product as much as a mobile platform for OEM solution providers. We had a TK6000 in the RuggedPCReview lab for a couple of months and here's our full report and review. [See full review of the Juniper Systems TK6000] -- Posted Monday, April 5, 2010 by chb