• Entelligence: Happy 10th birthday, Pocket PC

    Michael Gartenberg
    Michael Gartenberg

    Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he'll explore where our industry is and where it's going -- on both micro and macro levels -- with the unique wit and insight only he can provide. Microsoft introduced the world to Pocket PC on April 19th, 2000 at a relatively small gathering in Grand Central Station in New York City. Pocket PC was the company's response to Palm, which at that time was leading the PDA market -- for many geeks, using a personal digital assistant was indeed a public display of affection. I was at the launch event -- in fact, I was even quoted in the press release. Microsoft introduced four devices that day with their partners: the Casio EM500, the HP Jornada 545 & 548, the Symbol Technologies PPT2700, and the Compaq iPAQ. The iPAQ was the flagship of the Pocket PC line and the hottest handheld you could buy at the time: it had a slim form factor with "sleeves" that could be attached to add functionality such as Compact Flash or PCMCIA cards, a "fast" ARM processor and a killer indoor/outdoor screen. Availability was limited and prices on eBay quickly topped $1,000 for the scarce unit.