Under the agreement, all Windows CE-based devices (including handheld computers, the Palm PC, and the Auto PC) eventually will feature Motorola's Flex-based wireless connectivity. All but two of the top 20 wireless paging providers in the United States use Flex technology.
The deal is not exclusive for either company. Financial terms were not disclosed. "This is a very broad and very significant agreement," according to Microsoft spokesman Phil Missimore, alluding to the number of technologies this encompasses.
The companies projected that a Flex-enabled device would reach the market sometime this year. When it does, users will be able to receive paged information, such as email or Web site data, directly to their handheld computing devices. The companies will also collaborate on developing two-way paging communications.
Wireless communications are not new to handheld computing devices. But the wireless solutions available from the first generation of these computers consume a comparatively heavy power load, and coverage is not as complete as it is with the nearly ubiquitous paging network.