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What is a Pocket PC?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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A Pocket PC is a scaled down version of the full sized computer you use in the home or office. Although they are the size of a small diary, Pocket PCs are proper computers. They have many of the capabilities of full size computers and can run sophisticated software applications. They are compact enough to fit in your shirt pocket and usually weigh around four to six ounces (113-170 grams).

An early version of the Pocket PC first originated in the 1990s. This was a small hand held device, called the Palm Pilot, that had basic organizer facilities. In 2000, Microsoft introduced a pocket version of its Windows operating system. The term Pocket PC is unique to personal digital assistants (PDAs) using Microsoft systems.

A Pocket PC is a very sophisticated organizer. It can function as an extension to your Microsoft Outlook software on your desktop PC. It can also access and update all data from your desktop Outlook data, including emails and appointments. You can buy Pocket PCs in a variety of designs with varying memory sizes. Add-on memory cards can be bought to upgrade memory size.

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Battery lives vary, but most usually last between four to eight hours and can be quickly charged. Screens sizes also vary, but most are 3.5 or 4 inches (about 9-10 cm) when measured diagonally. The color screens are high resolution, making graphics and text easier to read. Most have touch sensitive screens and can be read in direct sunlight.

The Pocket PC should also have built in wireless capabilities, such as WiFi or Bluetooth®. This gives you the ability to connect to the Internet and browse the web or to compose, read and send emails wherever you are. The Pocket PC also has the ability to act as a mobile phone. Integrating the Pocket PC with cellphone capabilities eradicates the need to carry two devices.

Software applications for the Pocket PC are almost similar to those of the desktop PC. Some have small, flip-open keyboards on which you can type memos, letters and emails. You also work on spreadsheets, create PowerPoint presentations and dictate voice notes with the built-in recording device. Everything can then be saved and downloaded to your desktop PC by either cable or infrared technology.

The Pocket PC means you no longer have to be tied to the office to conduct business. Wherever there is a cellphone signal, you can conduct business as usual. The business day can even begin on the daily train or bus commute to the office. This could be particularly handy to cram in some last minute preparation for that early morning meeting.

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