WideRay, an equipment and integrated platform provider focused on the high-speed, on-location wireless data services market, today announced the availability of Windows Powered Pocket PC support for the Jack mobile caching server, supplementing existing support for Palm OS devices. WideRay has also developed a new Pocket PC version of its Remote Application Server (RAS) client software, enabling the development of single, cross-platform applications for Palm and Pocket PC devices.
“Windows Powered Pocket PC offers significant value in the marketplace based on its goal to be the most connected and expandable PDA available,” said Mark Spain, worldwide director for the Mobility Group at Microsoft Corp. “WideRay’s support for Windows Powered Pocket PC software not only benefits consumers who have chosen the robust features of Pocket PC devices, but also is a major step forward for the industry. In addition, application developers now have a powerful way of delivering on-location, integrated content and services to handheld devices, and enterprises can easily deploy mobile device solutions that improve portability.”
An Integrated Platform
With the latest system software release, a single Jack can support both Pocket PC and Palm OS handheld devices simultaneously. There is no need for separate beaming hardware for each platform. WideRay’s list of officially supported hardware expands to include Pocket PC devices manufactured by, Hewlett Packard, Casio and Toshiba, as well as Palm Powered devices manufactured by Palm, Handspring, Sony, Samsung, and others.
Using WideRay’s software development kit, developers can now create a single version of their applications for both Palm and Pocket PC devices. All features of the WideRay software platform – including integration with the personal information management tools on the handheld and two-way transactional services – have also been ported to the Windows Powered Pocket PC software.
Intelligent Client Delivery (ICD)
Using proprietary software, the Jack auto-senses the type of client device attempting to make a connection and will send appropriate data. For users who have never connected with a Jack, this allows the proper WideRay client software to be installed onto a device. Once the client is downloaded, Jack content streams can be read by both Pocket PC and Palm Powered devices.
Application developers can also leverage WideRay’s built-in ICD capability to deliver specific compiled applications or content pieces to a variety of platforms. For example, a developer could distribute .cab applications or mp3 music clips to a Pocket PC device and .prc files and associated databases to a Palm Powered device.
This new software release solves many of the infrared beaming problems plaguing handheld users. WideRay’s proprietary Extended-Range Multicast Beaming (EMB) infrared protocol includes decoder code using CPU-specific low-level systems calls for every different supported Pocket PC vendor. The new software release allows Pocket PC and Palm Powered handhelds to interpret a single infrared data stream in the same manner, without complicated configuration.
“We’re delivering on our integrated platform strategy and now offer a solution to our customers that will allow use of our system by both Palm and Pocket PC users. Communications interoperability is a significant milestone for the handheld industry and will spur further industry adoption for exciting services like ours,” said Saul Kato, CEO of WideRay.
WideRay began dual platform development in March 2001. Existing Jack locations should be upgraded to dual operation by the end of the year.