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NEC have suspended the MobilePro range: It's Official

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-03-03 10:48 PM
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We have known internally that this was creeping up on us for quite some time, unfortunately as NEC Solutions America's (NECSAM) Press Office has been less than co-operative with us on the subject we have been unable to report it.

Rich Hawley of HPCNEC has obtained the "Smoking Gun" as is were this morning with a NECSAM document confirming that the end of the 900 and 900C MobilePro models.
The confirmation comes just weeks after NEC released the long awaited FlashROM upgrade for MobilePro 900 users who wished to migrate over to Windows CE 4.2 .net. Leaving some doubt as to why they chose to burden themselves with the support commitment at the 7th hour. Either way users have until the 31st of March 2005 to enter hardware orders before NEC cease retail trading. After the 31st the MobilePro operation will be scaled down to support contracts with stock going to warranty purposes and to independent distributors to clear.

On a more emotional level this announcement marks a very sad and emotional day for the Handheld PC community. The decision to bring the MobilePro dynasty to an end ushers in the closing moments of the technology that brought most of us together as parts of this community.
As the MobilePro slips into the annuls of technological history so too will the final generation of HVGA clamshell, and the lineage of the Microsoft Handheld PC will cease, probably forever.
What began in the closing days of 1996 has lasted with us through the rise of the PDA into the consciousness of the consumer, survived the emergence of the Pocket PC and witnessed the Microsoft finally achieving market domination. Despite the clamshells fall from grace as we ushered in the 21st century the true blooded H/PC has, since its inception by hp for the 300LX, remained the corner stone of many of our lives now for 9 years.

NEC's decision to withdraw the MobilePro is a tremendously sad one, and is a decision that will change the face of this community forever.

View: Rich Hawley's Scan
View: HPCNEC
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surrealmonk Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 12:00 AM
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Yes, this is a sad day indeed... But I don't think we'll see an end to clamshell-style devices, though we may not see too many with the HPC OS anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing handhelds with embedded XP like the Oqo and the upcoming Vulcan Fliptop, as well as possibly some clamshells running Windows Mobile. Only the future will tell what we will be on the market...

Also, I'd like to see more of the Toshiba Libretto... the new ones are hard to find (and expensive).

Edited by surrealmonk 2005-03-04 12:02 AM
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matrixcore Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 12:14 AM
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Hi, i just wanted to express my feelings about this announcement
Although I've had little experience with this machines (sept 04 to current date), when i first met one of them, i saw it, a complete "mini laptop" i called it, runing special windows, having all that office programs, with the ability to behave at the same time as a PDA and as a laptop replacemente (by the time i got it, i sold my old laptop and it took me like 2 months to get a new one, so it was really a laptop replacement!!). It was the HP Jornada 680e. After that, i bought a Jornada 720 (January 05) , after it a Jornada 728 (Feb '05). And yet i really love this little machines. As a medical student, i found it an invaluable tool, with the ability of having my books in a small case, weighting about a kilogram (w/accesories included) (imperial: about 1.9 pounds). My ultimate goal, was to get the latest of the handheld PC technologies (provided that my pocket could afford it), and when i started to see al this revolt about the "new" MP900c i just tought: "I want one of this", because i knew NEC was the only company in my hemisphere still selling this pretty little gadgets. i know now that my only option will be to acquire a second hand one, because i cannot afford one now. When i finally get my hands on one of them, i'll turn back and say it was the last survivor of a species in which natural selection didn't worked. Not in every case the most capable wins.

D*mn! HPC's were killed by their very own success. MSFT and all the OEM's were afraid of HPC's overtaking portable computing market, so they crippled the platform , favouring the crappy PPC's which are more of a toy than a tool.

Nevertheless, i, and i believe i speak for many in here, would never have wanted HPC's to be less impressive, to have less features, to be less perfect, just so they could continue living by now, for it's better to die on your feet, rather than live on your knees

let's all have our 2 minutes of silence for the loss of the HPC family, and hope for a better future, in which a HPC reinassance happens. who knows, maybe someday someone will have the foresight that inspired Windows CE1.0 to happen.

Remember than even if the devices are no longer, the platform will only die if we allow it, if we abandon it in the past and let the great memories and capabilities of HPC's to be forgotten.

Sincerely
A very sad HPC user
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vfret
vfret Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 1:28 AM
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Don't go getting your panties all bunched up now. There is still another option for those hardcore clamshell worshipers. Here is a nearly identical unit to the 900C . I almost bought a 900C. Whew... In light of the recent news, I'm glad I didn't . There is a new device called the Mobile Webbook. I run one and can do many things with it. here are some specs:

206MHz StrongArm
1287MB RAM, 32 internal flash, 64MB external-up to 1GB
7" XGA TFT Touch Screen with 800X 480 res. bright 16bit color. This screen is the best feature.
QWERTY keyboard 92% of regular size.
integrated speakers, mic
VGA connector for ext monitor or projector.
10/100 RJ-45
One CF slot. 64MB memory incl.
Class 10 GPRS modem built in. Runs of T-Mobile service $29.99 mo for unlimited service.
Dimmensions 135mmX225mm x30mm
768G w/ battery
battery life 6hrs
Comes w/ mobile office viewers.
SMS software.
Windows messenger.
Active sync 3.8
Media player

Runs remote desktop and VPN PPTP and LT2P connections.

Awsome Intenet explorer expierence.

It costs a little more than the 900C but considering the recent fate of the 900C, not only do I think it's worth it, but what other choice do you have. Especially with the HI Res screen and the built in GPRS modem.
It runs CE .NET 4.2

If anyone needs any more info , email me at MobileWebBook@vfret.mailshell.com
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vfret
vfret Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 1:41 AM
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Did I mention the killer 16bit screen res at 800X 480. I also run a wireless CF card with great performance and encryption. Remote desktop is possible many ways. I use it to dial out using the gprs modem, then create a VPN tunnel, then run remote desktop to control servers and XP workstations.

Vfret
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Snappy! Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 4:58 AM
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awww ... another one bites the dust ...

Well, I guess it goes ... it goes. I'm completely with the sentiment that HPCs died because it threatened the incumbent notebook (and possibly even PC) category of products. Unfortunately, at the subnotebook price, it was not taken up that much, not even by corporate. So HPC OEMs just chose to focus on their notebooks instead.

Imagine if corp users took it up. Possibly, HPCs would have had emerge as a new class of devices, just as the giant desktop-replacement behemoths are here now. But alas, the hardware capabilities are just not on par back then.

Well ... guys, "enjoi" your MobilePros while they still work. <--- mixed feelings ...

On a lighter note, what's this deal about the WebBook? Are you a US reseller?
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vjurkas Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 8:19 AM
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I have just checked the link below:

http://www.coxion.fi/eng/tuotteet/webbook.html

It sounds impressive but there are some "ifs" and "buts".... A 206 MHz ARM is not state of the art processor (year 2005) and we all know it's speed from Jornadas; and resolution is now higher. Well, a graphic accelerator chip could solve this issue. Is there any?

Then, it is just said that "it comes with MS mobile office software". Can we assume IE 6, Media Player 9? What are Word and Excel versions, how about e-mail client?

When is the WebBook available?
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 8:33 AM
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Snappy! Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 9:26 AM
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hey, isn't it the G138?
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msafi Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 3:28 PM
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surrealmonk - 2005-03-03 10:00 PM

Yes, this is a sad day indeed... But I don't think we'll see an end to clamshell-style devices, though we may not see too many with the HPC OS anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing handhelds with embedded XP like the Oqo and the upcoming Vulcan Fliptop, as well as possibly some clamshells running Windows Mobile. Only the future will tell what we will be on the market...

Also, I'd like to see more of the Toshiba Libretto... the new ones are hard to find (and expensive).

total agreement.

and in fact, i think clamshells are coming back.
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vfret
vfret Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 3:31 PM
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Coxion is located in Findland. They developed the Webbook and another company in Hawaii sells it. If everything goes well, I'll become a distributor here in Denver. Most of you won't like the price. $1379.00. I almost choked when I heard how much it costs. However, after owning one of the first ones released in the US. I love it. It helps me in supporting my clients. I'm just a self employed network geek going from site to site supporting networks. It really helps me out connecting back to my office to access critical information I need during the day. The only thing it lacks is a USB port. It has a mini USB on the side for connecting to your PC but you cannot plud a USB A connector into it. I'm working on an RJ-45 to USB connection as we speek. This might work. Other than that, this unit is really compariable if not better than the 900C. Are there any other choices in thes catagory?
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 3:41 PM
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The NetBook Pro and the Cathena.
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surrealmonk Page Icon Posted 2005-03-04 5:15 PM
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Yes, the Zupera Smartbook/Coxion WebBook/Demolux DBook1 is still out there, but only via importers, and at a significant price. When I was shopping for a HPC, I saw a Zupera on eBay - unfortunately, I didn't have the money available before the auction ended, and it went for under $200. I about kicked myself!

Also, the Docomo SigIII is still out there, though only with a Japanese OS. The HPC Yahoo Group has some files converted to English for it, though.

I think if the HPCs had been more comparable in price to PDAs, they would have stood a better chance. But with $1000+ price tags, most folks would rather buy a low end laptop at that price. As I said in my previous post, embedded XP clamshells would be very nice, and I hope to see some coming forth soon (at a price I can afford!).
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vjurkas Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 3:09 AM
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vfret - 2005-03-04 9:31 PM

However, after owning one of the first ones released in the US. I love it. It helps me in supporting my clients. I'm just a self employed network geek going from site to site supporting networks. It really helps me out connecting back to my office to access critical information I need during the day.


This is the reason for many of us using a HPC. It is REALLY portable - without the need to look like Johny Bravo if you want to carry it everywhere you go

My personal opinion is, that once a HPC weights more than 1 kg and has a 12" LCD it can be easily replaced by a laptop PC e.g. IBM X20. So, I don't want to have a Cathena. I don't want to have a NoteBook Pro, either. Jornada 720 works good for me. I'd like to have a MP 900c or WebBook, too (although they are rather bigger). If I could build a HPC with Lego blocks I would take the MP 900c functionality and interfaces, WebBooks's TFT 800x480 LCD and GPRS modem and put everything into Jornada sized shell.

And, the price is important! I've just received a flyer that Media Markt in Trieste is selling a 1,5 GHz Celeron laptop (all included) for 670 EUR. And it is not too bulky! Maybe I shall practice body building....

And I was thinking about looking for a MP 900c...
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Snappy! Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 8:02 AM
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me thinks that OEMs for HPC should try to win the market first. To do so, release at $399 pricing or better yet, $299!! when there is enough devices out there ... you can win the developers ...

With developers won, you can then have a viable platform where users can have enough apps to feel comfy in using it. You need a killer app that makes HPC mainstay. MS did it with Office and later IE for Windows desktop. If HPC OEMs just want to cash in fast with near $1k pricing, they will never quite make it ....

And pls, dun cut cost and use DSTN LCDs pleeeeease!!! The industry is talking about transflective TFT, OLEDs and flexible TFTs, so give us a break! (Note to NEC!!! )

I agree on the subnotebook thingie. One can get a M300 (P3-500, 192 or 320MB ram, 12GBhdd) weighing in at 3.1lbs for less than $200 before shipping. To me, that's just another pound or so, and allows you to run full apps, and not crippled PIE and stuffs!

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