Palm OS learns Chinese

Taiwanese computer giant Acer announces the first Chinese-language handheld using the Palm operating system.

2 min read
Taiwanese computer giant Acer on Thursday announced the s10, the first Chinese-language handheld using the Palm operating system.

In addition to recognizing Chinese characters and translating between Chinese and English, the monochrome-screen handheld can also play MP3 music files and can read data stored on Memory Stick flash memory cards.

"I think this is an excellent device for the Chinese market and obviously expands the penetration of the Palm OS into an important and growing market," said Gina Clark, vice president of marketing for Palm's solutions group, the unit that develops and licenses the Palm OS.

In June, Acer said it was planning to release a Palm OS-based device by the fourth quarter. Acer also said earlier this month that it is developing a handheld using Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system.

The market in Taiwan and China is filled with Pocket PC- and Palm-based handhelds that run in English, as well as devices that run in Chinese using several proprietary operating systems.

The s10 will sell for $373 (T$12,900) and be available in the middle of November in Taiwan. A color-screen model is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of next year.

Among the device's other features is an English-Chinese dictionary that can instantly translate words between the two languages, and a microphone for voice recording. Palm and Acer worked jointly to translate the Palm OS and its core organizer functions into Chinese.

"We worked very closely together on the project," Clark said. "We hope to do many more things in the future."