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ZDNet: Opening handhelds

Jul 03, 2000, 20:42 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Brooks)

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"Compaq Computer Corp.'s recent announcement of the Open Handheld Program marks an important step toward bringing open-source operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD to handheld devices --beginning with Compaq's recently released iPaq H3600. The project's Web site, at www.handhelds.org, contains the instructions, tools and software images required for installing Linux on the H3600."

"However, the installation process is still too immature to be reliable, and installation can render the iPaq unusable. In addition, there is currently no way to restore Windows CE to a device once an alternative operating system has been installed. Project developers are working on uninstall procedures."

"The project will enable developers to take advantage of the flexibility and openness of Linux to speed development of new handheld applications. That flexibility and openness have largely failed to dent the dominance of Windows-based software on the desktop, but the still-young handheld space presents Linux developers with plenty of opportunities. ...although Compaq won't ship handhelds running Linux in the near future, handheld Linux will soon find its way into the market anyhow. Acer America Corp. has announced that Linux will power its upcoming Web pad, and Samsung Electronics Inc. is preparing a Linux-powered handheld device called Yopy."

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