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CeBIT: Tech conference highlights wireless mania
Posted: 23-Feb-2000 [Source: CNet]

[CeBIT officially opens tomorrow, but already we have an impressive lineup of new technologies, products, and alliances in the Mobile Internet industry. Here is a good summary of what's unfolding.]

By Stephanie Miles -- "One of the world's largest computer industry trade shows, CeBit this year reflects a theme similar to many other computer trade shows: the growing importance of wireless Web access from portable devices and cell phones.

"Officially launching tomorrow, this year's event will include a number of announcements regarding wireless services and devices. Companies involved in the space are looking to tap the growing desire of consumers or business travelers to surf while on the go.

"Although centered in a slightly less glamorous locale than other technology shows--like Comdex in Las Vegas or PC Expo in New York--CeBit provides an international forum for companies to unveil new technologies. The overwhelming number of wireless announcements also underlines Europe's current lead in worldwide wireless technology and standards.

"This week, companies like Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, British Communications, Symbian and Siemens will present their latest wireless offerings.

"Symbian, an alliance that includes Psion, Motorola, Sweden's Ericsson, Finland's Nokia and Japan's Matsushita, today unveiled the reference design for its wireless information device, code-named Quartz. The reference design details a pen-based device with a VGA display, but potential licensees will have the option to modify the design.

"The design will support typical features like email, messaging, address book and a calendar, as well as Web browsing. Symbian executives added that the device will support the Bluetooth standard for wireless communications in addition to the Java programming language.

"Symbian's goal is to set standards and create a mass market for wireless information devices. We fundamentally believe, however, that one size does not fit all--hence our range of reference designs," Symbian chief executive Colly Myers said in a statement.

"Psion and Motorola plan to develop products based on Symbian's design, the companies said.

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