Apple and Smartphones 1. General Environment 1.1 Miniaturization of MOSFETs (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors) Moores Law, first proposed in 1965, suggests that the transistor density on a chip may double every 18 months. Not only are economies of scale in manufacturing realized (more transistors per chip) but, in general, reducing the size of a transistor shortens its electron flow channel, enabling reduced power consumption and faster switching1. Faster switching means that microprocessors may carry out more instructions per second (have a higher clock rate), while
View complete question Apple and Smartphones 1. General Environment 1.1 Miniaturization of MOSFETs (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors) Moores Law, first proposed in 1965, suggests that the transistor density on a chip may double every 18 months. Not only are economies of scale in manufacturing realized (more transistors per chip) but, in general, reducing the size of a transistor shortens its electron flow channel, enabling reduced power consumption and faster switching1. Faster switching means that microprocessors may carry out more instructions per second (have a higher clock rate), while reduced power consumption also helps to reduce heat dissipation requirements. Finally, smaller transistors mean that more peripherals (integrated circuits) may be packed on a chip, permitting quicker communication among the components. 1.2 Improved Wireless Networks for mobile devices Like Moores Law, Edholms Law predicts that bandwidth and data rates for digital wide area networks would double every 18 months, which has proven to be true since the 1970s2, and that wireless and wired networks are in lockstep and converging3. Most of the essential elements of wireless networks are built from MOSFETs, including the mobile transceivers, base station modules, routers, RF amplifiers, telecommunications circuits, RF circuits, and radio transceivers in 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless networks. In the field of wide-area mobile communications, a “generation” generally refers to a change in the fundamental nature of the service. There is usually non-backwards-compatible transmission technology, and productivity improvements include higher peak bit rates, new frequency bands, wider channel frequency bandwidth in Hertz, and higher capacity for traffic (many simultaneous data transfers – higher system spectral efficiency in bit/second/Hertz/site). Table 1: Generations of Wide Area Wireless Networks for Mobile Devices Date First implementation Network and Signal characteristics Standards for network Theoretical maximum transfer speed 1979 Japan (NTT DoCoMo); AT&T (Chicago) Cells and base units containing towers; more dense; multiple frequencies per tower; low power transmission (signals dont interfere, can use same frequency in multiple cells); computerized hand-offs between base stations Analog; FDMA (frequency division multiple access); 1G standards 1991 Finland Development of Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors; bursts and compression and decompression of signal (digital) and allows multiple access but introduces some latency Digital; TDMA (time division multiple access); 2G standards 40k bits/sec 2001 Japan (NTT DoCoMo) Signal chopped into bits (= code) and phase-shifted; speed and capacity allow viable Internet browsing CDMA (code division multiple access); 3G standards 144 k bits/sec (3.5G and 3.75G over 1M bits/sec) 2009 Sweden and Norway all Internet protocol packet-switched (not circuit-switched). Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, VOIP, gaming services, high-def mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D TV. 4G standards; 100M bits/sec for high mobility wireless; 1G bits/sec for low speed or stationary wireless 2019 So. Korea Higher frequency radio waves (unused part of spectrum); denser, mini-base stations (antennae) vs. towers; directional transmission vs. omnidirectional (Beam-Division Multiple Access, BDMA); full duplex. Slingshots the mobile phone into the multi-media arena, allowing for cellphone users to stream live video feeds, download full feature movies, high definition games, and more. 5G standards; fast enough to compete with ISP for cable Internet; also new applications possible in IoT, autonomous driving. Low band 100-900M bits/sec High-band 1-3 G bits/sec; eventually 10 G bits/sec Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1G-5G; https://spectrum.ieee.org/video/telecom/wireless/everything-you-need-to-know-about-5g Local area networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) also enable mobile access to the Internet and permit communications between devices. As Table 2 suggests, similar technological improvements have enabled parallel, accelerated gains in data transfer speeds for wireless local area networks. Table 2: Local Area Network (Wi-Fi) Internet Access Date Org/Std. Improvement Peak Speed 1971 AlohaNet First wireless packet network 1985 FCC Releases ISM Band (2.4 GHz) 1991 NCR, ATT Precursor to 802.11 standard 1992-6 CSIRO Important patent 1997 Vic Hayes, IEEE Original 802.11 standards 2 Mbits/sec 1999 Wi-Fi Trade Alliance 2003 802.11g Orthogonal freq. division multiplexing 54 Mbits/sec 2009 802.11n MIMO antennae, 2.4 & 5 GHz bands 54-600 Mbits/sec 2011 802.11 ad 60 GHz (range is less) 7 Gbits/sec 2012 802.11a 5 GHz band 54 Mbits/sec 2013 802.11ac 5 GHz band, MIMO, higher order mod. 1.3 Gbits/sec Pending 802.11x 4x speed of 802.11ac 5.2 Gbits/sec Pending 802.11ay Extension of 802.11ad, 60GHz band 20 Gbits/sec https://www.cablefree.net/wireless-technology/history-of-wifi-technology/ 1.3 Power Sources4 Desktop computers, because they can be wired to an unlimited source of power (a wall socket), have been designed to exploit this advantage. They may have larger screen sizes, more on-board storage (terabytes vs. gigabytes), faster CPUs, more RAM, and more powerful software than wireless devices. Wireless devices must contain their own power source (usually a battery). The advent of the lithium ion battery has improved the power supply for mobile devices. However, as batteries still have limited lives and power supplies (moderate cell phone usage will usually require recharging the battery after about one day), the design of wireless devices must take this bottleneck into account. 1.4 Improved, less expensive sensors Modern-day smartphones contain a host of sensors accelerometers and gyroscopes for sensing orientation and motion, magnetometers to orient maps, GPS for navigation, proximity sensors to prevent unwanted or inadvertent input, ambient light sensors to help adjust screen brightness, microphones for sensing sound, capacitive touchscreens, bar code sensors, heart rate sensors and pedometers for fitness, fingerprint sensors for unlocking, thermometers for measuring the phones internal temperature. Some also contain air humidity sensors and Geiger counters5. Many are microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices that became practical once it was realized that that they could be fabricated using standard semiconductor device fabrication techniques6. Some have low power consumption that is compatible with a mobile device (e.g., accelerometers),7 and they usually consist of a central unit that processes data (an IC chip such as microprocessor) and several components that interact with the surroundings (microsensors). Because of the large surface area to volume ratio of MEMS, forces produced by ambient electromagnetism (e.g., electrostatic charges and magnetic moments) and fluid dynamics (e.g., surface tension and viscosity) are more important design considerations than with larger scale mechanical devices6. The cost of sensors has fallen dramatically. In 2004, the average sensor price was $1.30. In 2020, it is expected to decline to $0.38,7 while, due to increased volume, producer revenues continue to rise8. Furthermore, some sensors can be leveraged to provide unforeseen applications by making software or hardware upgrades9. Accelerometers, for instance, have been used to implement pedometers, GPS navigation, intelligent power consumption, tapping-to-mute, virtual mouse, hard-disk protection, camera stabilization, image rotation, e-compass tilt compensation, motion dialing, menu navigation/scrolling, and games. 2. Competitors 2.1 Psion. In the early 1980s, Psion created software for inexpensive (<$100) mini="" home="">10. By 1985 it had diversified into hardware, creating programmable calculators and the first practical personal digital assistant (PDA). In 1991, it made a handheld computer 2 years before Apples Newton and five years before Microsofts handheld computer. Psions partnership with Acorn, also a partner of Apples, allowed it to expand into the next generation of organizers by adopting the ARM processor in its Series 5 in 1997. The Series 5 incorporated a 640×200 resistive touch screen display and a full mini keyboard into a pocket-sized form factor, making it closer to Microsofts plans for the WinCE Handheld PC than the Palm Pilot or Newton. Even so, the Series 5 was years ahead of Microsoft's WinCE. Psion also developed an entirely new operating system, called EPOC 32, for the Series 5's 32-bit ARM processor. It featured preemptive multitasking and memory protection and was designed to accommodate third party licensees by making it easy to develop custom graphical interfaces based on a core set of GUI classes. In mid-1998, Psion's software unit was spun off into the Symbian partnership with investment from hardware partners like Ericsson, Nokia, Panasonic, and Motorola. EPOC32 became known as the Symbian OS. The top mobile makers invested heavily in the development of Symbian. The resulting stability of the OS, paired with an easy to customize interface, made Symbian a quick and easy choice for mobile phone development. Around 75% of the world's 32-bit embedded devices used ARM processors, and a similar majority of smartphones ran Symbian in 2006. However, some coordination problems with this approach surfaced11. Licensees who simply wanted to crank out a phone product with a customized veneer (e.g., Sony Ericsson) may have benefitted from the work already done in Symbian, however, if the integration wasnt handled properly, slapping together good bits of hardware and good bits of software may have resulted in an unimpressive product that didnt really work well. Sonys licenses to obtain the Palm OS for PDAs and Windows XP for VAIO PCs demonstrate this. In addition, Nokia and Symbian made the new S60 version 3 incompatible with previous versions of S60, so none of the old Symbian apps would work on any new phones. Moreover, UIQ has never been source code or binary compatible with S60. Partners also contended that Symbian's reputation as a modern, robust, stable and advanced OS for smartphones was not well deserved11. Sources close to Nokia say that it was dissatisfied with the OS but was more or less stuck with Symbian since it didnt have the competence or the time to make a new OS from the ground up. Thus, Nokia invested in S60 middleware to be used on top of Symbian – giving Nokia more opportunity to add and change things on its own. Sony Ericsson, as one of the other large Symbian owners and licensee, also bought UIQ to offer its own flavor of Symbian. Thus, it has been argued that there really are no Symbian phones in the market, but rather three incompatible and diverging OSs: Nokias Symbian S60, Sony Ericssons Symbian UIQ, and NTT DoCoMo's Symbian MOAP for Asia, Developers also suggested that a new Symbian OS may be desirable11. They argued that some of its design decisions may have been acceptable in 1993-94, when Psion's EPOC and EPOC32-based Series 3 & 5 were resource and memory constrained, but not now. In particular, they argued that Symbian addresses C++ problems of the past with arcane fixes, while newer C++ releases may offer more elegant solutions. Too, they contended that it may cling to outmoded functions or omit new C++ features altogether. In addition, they suggested that the developers environment may also be difficult and time-consuming to install and be incompatible with other, more modern programming tools. In sum, the problems seemed to make Symbian more difficult program for – requiring additional coding, consuming developers time, and slowing production. Too, such problems made code difficult to port to and from other platforms and made the resulting systems less responsive. Conversely, developers praised developer frameworks for Apples OS X. It is programmable in Objective C, a language noted for ease of programming and perhaps superior, in some respects, to C++. The Core Animation and other Leopard frameworks make it possible to create more advanced and useful applications which create a better user experience, and the Cocoa frameworks make it possible to create applications on a level not even available for most desktops today. A large difference in development speed (time to market) and the ability to create and maintain high-quality code is also claimed. Indeed, they suggest its like driving a Ferrari in a Formula 1 race against a Fiat. Some agree with Steve Jobs who claimed that the iPhone is 5 years ahead of the competition. In any event, the Psion position in the Symbian organization no longer exists. After licensing out its advanced OS though the Symbian partnership, Psion found that its own hardware sales were cannibalized by Symbian products from its partners, particularly Nokia. Psion also invested heavily in work with Symbian partner Motorola to develop wireless communication devices under the name Odin. However, in 2001 Motorola backed out of the project, and then cashed out of the Symbian partnership entirely in 2003. That abandonment destroyed the remains of Psion's hardware operations, leaving just its business services division remaining. Psion then partnered with Teklogix, a WinCE-aligned group, and sold off its remaining Symbian shares in 2004 to Nokia, Panasonic, Siemens AG, and Sony Ericsson10. 2.2 Palm12. Jeff Hawkins, the visionary behind the original Palm Pilot, had pioneered ideas in pen computing at GRiD. His first attempt to design a PDA for the consumer market, the Casio Zoomer, was a huge failure, selling only a tenth as well as the Apple Newton. Hawkins later founded Palm Computing to develop third party software for other manufacturers' handheld devices. Hawkins also started work on a reference platform for a new PDA, aimed at the low end of the market and capitalizing on a simple subset of practical features for consumers: The Palm Pilot. Rather than attempting to offer state of the art hardware and development concepts, the Palm Pilot was designed to do simple tasks well on low cost hardware. Palm's simple OS was designed on top of a multitasking kernel licensed from Kadak, although Palm's license did not allow support for its multitasking features. It used a highly integrated, customized hardware design based on the 68k processor, and a simple, practical monochrome display rather than trying to do color poorly. It lacked sophisticated operating system features and focused instead on usability. US Robotics introduced the first-generation Palm Pilot 1000 and 5000 in March 1996 for $300 and $400. Apples cheapest Newton eMate was $800, and its MessagePad was over $1000. The Palm Pilots much smaller and more practical pocket-size format made the conservative Palm Pilot popular and killed any hopes for a mass market Newton resurgence, and Newtons development was discontinued by Apple in 1998. Two months afterward, US Robotics was acquired by 3Com. Palm's founders had hoped to adapt the platform into new markets, but 3Com had more conservative plans for its third generation Palm III, set for release in 1998. Within a year, key management (Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, Ed Colligan and others from the core Palm team) left 3Com to form Handspring, intending to develop their own vision of the future of Palm. Handspring licensed the Palm OS from 3Com and began building nearly identical devices which were compatible with existing Palm software but offered some key enhancements. Its Visor provided a Springboard expansion port that could transform the unit into a camera, a music player, and eventually a mobile phone. It introduced the Treo mobile phone in 2003. While Handspring's devices were marketed toward consumers, 3Com aimed its own Palm development toward business customers. Rather than turning the Palm into a mobile phone, 3Com planned to offer a wireless Internet device aimed at professionals. The wireless Palm VII used Mobitex, a first-generation wireless data network also used by two-way pagers and the first BlackBerry devices. The device intended to allow users to access simplified versions of web pages, called web clippings. The service turned out to be too expensive and slow to be very practical, however. Apart from the Palm VII, 3Com's other Palm products remained basic organizers. Two years after the death of the Newton, a Palm frenzy was brewing. Palm sales were surging, and the Palm OS was seen as the next Windows for handheld devices. In 2000, the Palm OS accounted for 86% of all PDA sales. But in late 1999, 3Com announced plans to spin Palm off into an independent company. It really wanted to get out of PDAs before the market realized what was about to happen. Insiders knew the Palm OS was losing steam as an aging platform, and that mobile phones with organizer features would eventually obsolesce the standalone PDA. Developing new software, particularly an entirely new operating system, is a huge task12. The Newton OS was in development for 7 years before initially shipping, and Mac OS X–while based largely upon the existing, functional technology in NeXTSTEP–still took Apple around 7 years to deliver to the mainstream. After the IPO, efforts began at Palm to replace its aging OS. It acquired the firm Be for $11 million, ostensibly for the BeOS that Apple had passed on in 1996. The only remaining value at Be was the ability to sue Microsoft for destroying its business, which ended up being worth a $23 million settlement. Palm poured the development resources it obtained from Be into developing the Palm OS 6 Cobalt that nobody wanted. Key talent from Be, including Steve Sakoman and Dominic Giampaolo, ended up at Apple. In 2002, Palm created a subsidiary to develop the Palm OS, and later spun it off as PalmSource. The hardware remains of Palm merged with Handspring the next year to create PalmOne. This was confusing for people who thought they owned a Palm, when really, they had bought a PalmOne device running Palm OS from PalmSource. Palm finally moved the Palm OS from DragonBall processors to the more modern ARM architecture with more memory in 2002. But an old OS running on a fast, new processor didnt offer much actual benefit for users. Furthermore, Palm developers werent able to use the full power of the new ARM based Palms either. Finally, when Palm OS 5 did appear, its (legacy) installed base was not properly addressed, as many older applications were incompatible with the new OS and the new Palm devices that required it. Palm acquired Handspring in 2003 to capitalize on its Treo mobile phone. Though Hawkins returned, phone integration features in its latest Treo line were just minimally sufficient. The potential of third-party apps on the Palm has largely been neutered by Palm's handling of the Palm OS, limitations in hardware, and sync functionality that only works well on lucky days of the week. These flaws interact: the bare bones amount of Flash RAM (permanent, for storage of images, movies etc.) and system RAM (temporary, e.g., for storing intermediate results of processing units) available complicates app installation, because once the memory ceiling is reached, a Palm device refuses to sync. The user has to manually delete cryptically named applications and databases from the device to make enough room. After frittering away the remains of Be, PalmSource bought up China Mobilesoft in 2004 and announced that future versions of the Palm OS would run on top of the Linux OS kernel, in addition to ongoing development of the existing custom Palm kernels used in Garnet and Cobalt. The next year, PalmSource changed plans again, saying that development of both Garnet and Cobalt was over, and that all new development would be moving to Linux. Shortly afterward, PalmSource was bought up by ACCESS, a Japanese embedded developer. The remains of PalmOne licensed the remains of Garnet from ACCESS, and renamed itself Palm, Inc. ACCESS, meanwhile, rid itself of the Palm name and referred to Palm OS 5 as simply Garnet. The new Palm OS based upon Linux is now called the ACCESS Linux Platform; it has no real relation to Palm. Meanwhile, the hardware side of Palm, now simply Palm, decided to begin licensing Windows Mobile for use on its Treo hardware. In order to support Windows Mobile, Palm had to reduce the Treo's screen resolution from 320×320 to 240×240. The WinCE version also provides multitasking support, so when users switch focus between apps, other apps continue to run in the background eating up processor cycles. This makes Windows Mobile feel a lot slower than the Palm version of the same phone. Palm's licensing of Windows Mobile not only cast doubt upon its own plans for the Palm OS–it owns perpetual development rights to Garnet–but saddled the company with outside technology dependent upon the whims of Microsoft, and ensured that there was little differentiation between its products and those of other Windows Mobile licensees. In July 2010, Palm was eventually purchased by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and in 2011 it announced a new range of webOS products. However, after poor sales, HP CEO Leo Apotheker announced in August 2011 that it would end production and support of Palm and webOS devices, marking the end of the Palm brand after 19 years61. 2.3 Microsoft. Microsofts original product, QDOS, was based on a clone of Digital Researchs CP/M. IBM licensed Microsofts DOS operating system in 1983, however it made the key mistake of not licensing it exclusively13. That allowed clone makers like Compaq to duplicate IBM's PC hardware, license MS-DOS, and sell a functionally identical product. Other PC makers followed suit, handing Microsoft licensing revenues for MS-DOS in exchange for not having to develop their own software. As time went by, hardware vendors became completely dependent upon Microsoft for their sales, while Microsoft grew increasingly less dependent on any one hardware maker. Microsoft prospered while PC hardware makers fought it out with each other. Automatic PC sales of DOS rapidly made Microsoft one of the largest software companies of the 80s. As its market power increased, it gained a reputation as a vendor with staying power. Nobody wanted to invest in the software of a company that might go out of business. Rather than seeking to build an integrated computer solution like Apple, Microsoft assembled a series of integrated software platforms that created networks of added value for users16. Its position as a vendor for both DOS and office applications gave it additional advantages over its rivals, particularly when Windows 95 appeared and obsolesced not just previous versions of DOS and Windows, but also competing developers existing applications, including DOS standards WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft also aggressively sold the Windows PC as a replacement to mainframes, terminals, and workstations, installing the PC in entirely new markets that displaced older generations of hardware. It used the slogan “Windows Everywhere” as it planned an invasion to put its software in office copy machines, handheld computers, and various embedded applications, from cars to cash registers to ATMs. While many of Microsoft's ventures failed to materialize, the company did create a huge new market for PCs, which increasingly replaced a range of existing computer systems, including mainframes, minis, dumb terminals, and Unix workstations. Nevertheless, Microsoft had little experience in building or designing new operating systems14. Prior to DOS, Microsoft had originally tried to sell Xenix, a version of Unix it had licensed from AT&T in 1979. Xenix eventually turned into today's SCO Unix. Despite quaint stories about Bill Gates singlehandedly writing DOS on the back of a napkin, it relied on IBM to develop OS/2 as the replacement for DOS throughout the second half of the 80s. Windows 3.0, a graphical user interface, began to provide DOS PC users with a rough approximation of Apple's graphical desktop. After witnessing sales of Windows 3.0 take off, Microsoft began its schism with IBM over OS/2 3.0 development. Microsoft's new plan involved an entirely new operating system based on its contributions to OS/2; the new OS for the desktop was referred to as Windows NT. Unlike the existing DOS based Windows 3.0, NT aimed at being entirely new and modern in every respect, untied to DOS or to the existing x86 PC architecture. Microsoft initially targeted NT to run on the i860, Intel's new 64-bit RISC processor that was supposed to usher in the future. The i860 was a modern design and carried none of the legacy baggage of the standard x86 based PC. Unfortunately, the i860 didn't work out for Microsoft. All that remained from its efforts to build a new operating system based on the processor was the i860's code name: N10, which is widely repeated to be the meaning of NT. Of course, Microsoft and IBM had also long referred to OS/2 3.0 as “NT,” for new technology, so the idea behind the i860 as the source of NT's name might be historical revisionism. Microsoft struggled with the complex reality of building its own operating system without IBM. Up to that point, Microsoft had only been delivering tepid updates to MS-DOS, which it had licensed from a small developer. Sales of Windows 3.0, a DOS application, suggested that Microsoft could make more money without IBM by simply licensing an underlying OS for the Windows environment, or hiring a team to write a new one in house. But that turned out to be a bigger task than anyone at Microsoft had imagined. In 1988, Gates had recruited a development team from DEC, headed by Dave Cutler, initially to work on the next version of OS/2. In 1990, Microsoft officially set Cutler loose on building a new OS kernel for Windows to use in place of IBMs OS/2. That effort resulted in Windows NT, which was eventually delivered many years later than initially planned. In trade magazines of the day, NT was joked to stand for Not on Time. Microsoft also used its clout to introduce a product vision called Cairo in 1991; it disrupted development and marginalized competition throughout the next decade15. The tactic worked so well that Microsoft repeated it in the following decade as Longhorn. With rapidly advancing technology, chaotic markets are created in which simple announcements of future plans can trump real products. Given the prevalence of misinformation wars in the tech industry, it's no surprise that Microsoft applied its vast market power to become one of the most notorious sources of FUD and vaporware. Microsoft used FUD, a practice made famous by IBM a generation prior, to cast suspicion over existing products in the marketplace in order to destroy their sales. FUD is a false negative, designed to create alarm and panic when none is warranted, with the sole purpose of delaying a competitors existing sales until a competing product can be delivered, or until the competitive threat is killed. FUD is fraud. FUD is often paired with Vaporware, the placeholder promise of a future product which is described with impressive sounding features that never seem to materialize. Vaporware is sometimes equated with unreleased products; however, the real point of Vaporware is not positive remarks about a future product in general. Vaporware is a false positive, designed to create an illusion of competition when none will ever actually exist, with the sole purpose of delaying existing sales until a competing product can be created, or until the competitive threat is killed. Vaporware is also fraud. Between the false negative of FUD and the false positive of Vaporware, Microsoft was able to artfully control markets and defeat competitors who were seeking to sell real products, often without any doing any development work at all. Microsoft used industry analysts as pawns to spread fraudulent information in order to game the market and prevent real competition. Lazy analysts were happy to play along. It gave them simple and obvious ideas to repeat and allowed them to look like informed visionaries without actually do any critical thinking. Microsoft was found guilty of manipulating the PC operating system market in the US DOJ's monopoly case. Much of the public evidence collected in the case was not even considered by the court, because the DOJ attempted to present specific charges that only concerned the market for PC operating systems. However, while Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior is no secret, it is also true that the company did actually earn much of its success. It did so by simply planning out effective strategies and working diligently to execute them. In many cases, while Microsoft may have played dirty, the failure of its competitors was often due to incompetence on their part, not simply due to Microsoft's heavy-handed hardball with a thick coat of Vaseline. After a decade of trying, Microsoft has been unable to duplicate its desktop success in the mobile computing market16. The company reports having lost over half a billion dollars from its Mobile and Embedded Devices segment over the last four years. The following documents Microsofts abortive attempts to develop an OS and devices for the mobile market. Windows for Pen intended to provide tablet features for the DOS-based Windows 3.1 in 1991, but mainly sought to destroy the market for Go's PenPoint OS, which Microsoft identified as a potential rival to Windows. Pen Computing had exploded into a frenzy of hype in the early 90s, with the media rushing to publish predictions by Bill Gates of big things for the future of the pen and slate. However, it turned out that handwritten pen input was simply impractical compared to the keyboard. By 1995, the idea of pen computers had died. Existing slate products, such as IBMs ThinkPad, morphed into more conventional laptop forms that could sell. WinPad Handheld PC was Microsofts vaporware initiative to build a minimally featured Newton clone, involving Compaq, Motorola, NEC and Sharp between 1992 and 1994. It was never actually released. Despite Apple and other manufacturers ability to ship sophisticated PDA products, Microsoft blamed the limits of hardware technology. Pulsar was parallel effort by Microsoft to deliver a wireless pager device. It was a pet project of Gates, but never delivered as a product. In early 1995, Microsoft pulled together teams from all these failed projects to take another stab at copying the Newton in a new project called Pegasus. It was built upon the kernel developed for Pulsar, and hardware work Microsofts WinPad partners had contributed earlier. Two years later, Pegasus was named Windows CE. Handheld PC devices were unveiled with the first version of WinCE in November 1996. WinCE 1.0 promised to deliver a new set of advanced, high power 32-bit devices referred to PC Companions. Microsoft avoided the term PDA, which was by then associated with the functional and so
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