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Pocket computers ignite OS battle

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1 Author(s)

Not content with dominating the market for desktop computer operating systems, Microsoft is now involved in a struggle for what could be an even bigger business-the real-time system software required by handhelds, set-top devices, and car PCs. In future, access to information over the Internet will be basic to most if not all applications. Adding support for Web access into the operating system is logical when it is viewed as a basic input/output function, and the size of the operating system is not an issue. But the general-purpose operating system, although bound to assimilate the naturally related browser technology, is not itself assimilable into some up-and-coming consumer areas. The technology of desktop Windows is inadequate for such new devices as hand-held and palm computers, Web-telephones, Web-to-TV set-top boxes, and automobile PCs. Accordingly, Microsoft's latest target is the need of these novel consumer electronic items for a real-time operating system (RTOS)-its home-grown Windows CE. The author discusses the competition between Microsoft and others in this new market

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IEEE Spectrum  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 5 )