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Philips won't do "Jupiter" device

The company decides to not support the latest version of the Microsoft Windows CE operating system for handhelds.

Philips will not release a new device to support the latest version of the Microsoft Windows CE operating system for notebook-sized handheld computers, the company said today.

Instead, Philips will only come out with palm-sized organizers that use a more bare-bones version of CE and its existing handheld line.

Microsoft announced the Windows CE upgrade, dubbed the Handheld PC Professional Edition, on October 8. Over the last few months, Microsoft's latest edition of CE has become largely synonymous with the larger class of devices that were expected to run it, code-named Jupiter.

However, to date, only a handful of manufacturers have announced Jupiter products, and even fewer have actually introduced new handheld PCs for the new platform.

Philips, whose Windows CE products include both the popular palm-size Nino and the handheld Velo lines, confirmed today that it will not introduce a Jupiter-class Velo device at all.

Philips said it will continue to support existing Velo devices.

The new version of CE enables designs that feature larger keyboards and displays than the previous generation CE handhelds. CE handhelds offer longer battery life than Windows 95 or 98-based notebooks, but suffer from some tradeoffs in terms of application compatibility.

Still, some industry observers believe these enhanced handhelds, which are being priced around the $1,000 mark, will be user-friendly enough to begin supplanting notebook computers.