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NEC to join Windows CE fan club

NEC will join the crowd of hardware vendors with plans to introduce a Windows CE handheld personal computer when it shows off a new device at Comdex.

NEC will join the crowd of hardware vendors with plans to introduce a Windows CE handheld personal computer when it shows off a new device at Comdex, CNET has learned.

Windows CE is Microsoft's operating system platform for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices that connect to the Internet and share information with Windows-based PCs. Unlike the desktop versions of Windows, which runs only with chips based on the Intel architecture, Windows CE is designed to run on a variety of different processors.

The NEC version of the CE computer, for example, will pack a MIPS processor, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. NEC's semiconductor division happens to be the primary manufacturer of MIPS processors. Hitachi will also be offering an handheld model using its own home-grown 32-bit SuperH RISC-based SH-3 microprocessor.

Companies such as Compaq Computer and Casio have all already indicated they will release Windows CE-based handheld computers. Hewlett-Packard is expected to also follow in their footsteps.