Microsoft Goes Mano a Mano With Palm

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If at first you don't succeed... Microsoft hopes to finally gain some ground on Palm with a relaunch tomorrow of its Windows CE operating system. The announcement will rechristen "palm-size" handhelds running Microsoft's operating system as Pocket PCs. Devices ready for the release tomorrow include slimmer models of the Compaq Aero, HP Jornada and Casio Cassiopeia.

Microsoft's past efforts to win customers to handheld devices have been fairly unsuccessful. The latest figures show the Windows CE market share at 10 percent, versus 80 percent for Palm. The new Pocket PCs will come with the mini versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Money, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player (which can play MP3 files), an eBook Reader and a desktop version of Outlook 2000.