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Saturday, December 28, 2002

Which PDA Is "Simple" Again?

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "THOUGHT" @ 12:20 AM

Foo Fighter sent me a link a few days ago to an article entitled Dell Misfires On PDA Strategy. I started skimming it and right at the end of the third paragraph, a sentence jumped out at me and screamed "Consumers will be better served by Palm OS-based devices, which are easier to operate and less expensive." Easier to operate? :?: I keep hearing people say that and the media repeat it as if they have the same handbook on writing tech reviews. What does "easier to operate" mean? Is a Palm really easier to operate than a Pocket PC, or is this just a myth perpetuated by the media? If nothing else, Palm's marketing machine has ingrained this into the minds of millions. Newly hired sales people in stores that may still not know what "PDA" stands for will say that the Palm is simple because that is what they were told to say.

So to find out, I whipped out my M100 series Palm to try doing things similar to what I do daily on my iPAQ 3900. No, I don't mean terminal server connections, listening to music or using a VPN connection to log into my LAN and grab an Excel file I forgot to sync over before I left for the airport. I do those things pretty frequently (especially the forgetting part :) ), but I mean to test basic PIM functions. Entering contacts, tasks, viewing appointments, multitasking, etc. Yes - Palm users do multi task. They get interrupted when viewing their calendar, needing a phone number or having to set up a task. So, how does the Palm OS handle multitasking for you? Read on to find out what I discovered.

This article can be downloaded in Microsoft Reader eBook format.

Getting Data Into The Device

First, let's talk about simple data input. Palm OS devices rely primarily on the Graffiti input system, a unistroke system of inputting letters and numbers with the exception of the letter "X", which requires two strokes. You enter the North-West to South-East stroke first - exactly the opposite of how I was taught in school. I asked a few people to write the letter X for me and they always started with the North-East to South-West stroke. The "K" is a bit funny too, looking like the ICTHUS fish symbol. Other letters like A, F and T are just different enough that you have to get used to writing them in the new Graffiti way, and everything must be in upper case. Writing a lower case "e" on the screen will get you either a "z" or a "{" symbol. :? A lower case "b" gets you an "s" or "h". You quickly learn the backspace stroke. Entering a period requires two taps as if entering two periods. Not at all intuitive.

How does that compare to the input on a Pocket PC? In the Dude, You're Getting a So-So Handheld? thread, columnist Rob Pegoraro calls Character Recognizer "maddening". "Its letter recognizer accepts regular characters, unlike Palm's Graffiti, but it requires you to write them in three areas -- capital, lowercase, and most numbers and punctuation." And your point is? Graffiti requires you to write in two spaces, one for numbers and the other for letters. To shift a letter you must use an up-stroke before writing the letter, turning a unistroke letter into a duostroke letter. You can put it in CAPS LOCK mode with two up-strokes and then a down-stroke to take it out of CAPS LOCK mode. No, wait, you need an up-stroke to put it in lower case mode again. Down-stroke in CAPS LOCK mode gives you an "I" so you get to use your backstroke again. In contrast, Character Recognizer allows you to simply keep writing in the left-most section and to keep going with upper case letters and move to the middle when you want lower case letters. Is one better than the other? No, not really. They are just different. I can see advantages for both.

Of course, you can use Graffiti on the Pocket PC too, as one astute reader pointed out in this exchange during a chat session with Mr. Pegoraro.

Franklin, Tenn.: You mentioned in the Dell Axim review that you didn't like Character Recognizer or word completion. Why not just turn off word completion and use Block Recognizer, the Pocket PC emulator of Graffiti? That basically makes your input method identical to a Palm.

Rob Pegoraro: Yeah, but then I could just buy a Palm and not have to put up with all the other Pocket PC nonsense. I thought it better to focus on the things that differentiate Pocket PC from Palm.

So rather than answer the question, he just fell back on the "simplicity and elegance" mantra of the Palm and the "complexity and nonsense" of the Pocket PC. :roll:

Having said all of that, I am not a fan of Character Recognizer either, but not for the reasons you may think. I cut my teeth on data input with a program called Jot. It came on Palm-sized PCs in 1998 and was far more powerful than Character Recognizer, allowing you to enter 100% of every conceivable character directly on the input pad. Character Recognizer requires you to tap on the symbol keyboard to get symbols like #, @ and %. Even with Jot though, you are quite limited in terms of speed. I prefer FITALY, which is an input method designed stylus entry, is available for both Pocket PC and PalmOS devices and its users swear by it. Handspring has abandoned character recognition altogether putting thumb boards on their devices.

When I am tired of pecking on FITALY, I will switch to Transcriber, a full screen handwriting recognition method available on the Pocket PC allowing you to write words and sentences just like you would on paper. This is not available on PalmOS devices, though I suspect with the higher horsepower chips in the newer OS 5 devices, someone is working on a complete handwriting recognition program for them. The bottom line, however, is that Graffiti is simple for the computer to understand. It is not simple for the average user to pick up and start learning. Why should you have to learn a new alphabet that is either all uppercase letters or totally new symbols?

Data Entry Time Savers
Word Completion

Since I've touched on Word Completion, let's go over that. The easiest way for 99% of the computer literate public to enter data into computing devices is with a full-size keyboard. You have 10 fingers deftly moving over the entire alphabet. The average person easily gets 40wpm, which is an average of 3.3 letters per second. Due to their size though, PDAs don't have full-size keyboards that you can use anywhere. Some are coming out with thumb keyboards, but those are the exception right now. The Pocket PC has a feature called "Word Completion" that takes the letters you are typing and compares them to thousands of words in a dictionary. I have mine set to show 3 words after 2 characters. Say you want to write the word "meeting" when composing an email. On the Pocket PC, write "mee" and you are offered "meets", "meeting" and "meetings". Tap the word "meeting" and the PPC enters "ting" followed by a space, quickly readying you for your next word. All of this is easily and intuitively customizable in the keyboard options, available in Options above the list of keyboards available when you switch from QWERTY to Character Recognizer and in the Input icon in system settings.

Graffiti, in contrast, requires you to input all 7 characters and the space manually. Note that the Graffiti emulator on the Pocket PC still takes advantage of Word Completion.

Moving Around The Screen

The Palm requires you to tap on fields to move around. For example, if you are entering data into a contact, you would enter the Last Name, tap on First Name, enter data, tap on Phone Number, enter more data, etc. Simple enough, but you have that 2 inch reach from the Graffiti area to the fields at the top of the screen. Lots of stylus travel. The Pocket PC does this as well but also has many desktop shortcuts available. The TAB feature is one of them. If you are using an external keyboard/thumb keyboard, you can use the tab key to move down the fields just as you would on your desktop. The same applies to the Soft Input Panels (SIP) you have. Just type the name, tab (or tab stroke in the case of Character Recognizer/Transcriber) and keep going. The TAB key on my FITALY SIP is used quite frequently.

I tested this on both an NX70 and Treo with the built in thumb boards. To enter contacts with the keyboard on the NX70, you must tap the screen to move between fields. The TAB key is non-functional for moving around fields on the Palm. This would be like entering data on a Web page or any other form on your desktop and having to use the mouse to switch fields. Not simple or easy. The Treo doesn't have a tab key but does allow you to use the Up/Down arrows to move around. You must tap OK though to save the contact. Pressing ENTER doesn't work and you can't activate the OK button with the arrow keys. Of course, if you like doing it that way, the Pocket PC will accommodate you. It doesn't object to unnecessary screen tapping.

Global Features

When you have 15-20 contacts and a handful of tasks and appointments, categories are not of much use. When you have hundreds or even thousands of contacts, months of appointments and more tasks than any single human should have to worry about, categories can keep you organized. Palm does an admirable job of this. Categories are ingrained into virtually everything you do on the Palm. Tasks, notes, addresses, etc. - they all allow you to either leave the item "unfiled" or assigned to a set of categories. However, categories are not shared across applications. So, if you are in IT and enter a "Server" category for tasks to help remind you to do monthly maintenance on the servers, and you want to add a contact for a consultant that you want filed under the "Server" category, you must add the Server category separately to the Address database. Need to schedule a meeting to discuss server upgrades? Add the "Server" category to the Calendar database. Already have 15 categories in your Calendar database? Well, now you're out of luck. The PalmOS only allows 15 categories per database. To add that 16th category, you must delete one of the other categories.

The Pocket PC has one category database that is shared by all applications that use categories. This primarily includes Tasks, Calendar and Contacts. For some strange reason, Notes does not support categories on the Pocket PC even though it does on the desktop. Most applications that have documents don't support categories either. Instead, the Pocket PC relies on the file system to keep things separate. This is a mirror of how your desktop works. I won't go into details on how this works because working with documents on your Palm is not at all simple. It requires you install the document to your device and run it through a desktop converter. Putting it on a storage card is even more complex and often not at all supported by the application on the device.

Finally, the Palm limits you to one category per item. The Pocket PC allows any combination of categories for any item. So, Joe Smith can be "Vendor" and "Customer" at the same time, as is often the case in businesses today. Furthermore, he is my cousin so he is "Family" and "Christmas Card" too. This is incredibly useful when doing mailings. In Outlook you simply filter the contacts by category then select Tools -Mail Merge. There are dozens of other reasons you would want more than one category per item. Is that complex? Is it simple to only allow one?


PalmOS supports a rich set of security features for the device. Tasks, Addresses, Appointments and Memos can be marked "Private" in the details section of each record. You can then go into the Security icon and either mask or hide those items with a password. However, once you show the record, you must remember to hide/mask it again in Security. The device won't automatically set security for you again after X minutes have passed or the device is powered off. You can of course lock the device from the Security icon but again, you must manually set this.

The Pocket PC has security as well but it is device wide with a few exceptions. Excel, for example, allows you to individually password protect files. Items on the Pocket PC marked "private" are still available to someone that picks up your PDA. "Private" in this context means that someone at your office can see this item on your calendar when using enterprise apps like Exchange. Quite meaningless on a PDA. To lock the device down, simply open the Password icon and select either a 4 digit ATM style password or a complex password using a keyboard. Then tell it how long you want the device to be idle before triggering the password - 1 minute, 5 minutes, 1 hour, 18 hours - and quite a few other options in between.

Bottom line is neither is perfect, but both are quite simple to set up and implement, as long as you remember to enable it each time you want it used on the Palm.

Basic Information

Both the Palm and Pocket PC have capable contact databases. The Palm contact form has two fields for the name, a field for their title, company, 6 phone number fields (work, fax, home, mobile, etc.) an email field, an address field and 4 custom fields. Those custom fields can be anything you like. There is also a Notes field that allows you to write notes about that contact.

The Pocket PC has one name field, but it is an intelligent field. Type James R. Smith and the Pocket PC breaks that out into First: James, Middle: R. and Last: Smith. You never see this happen, but when you search on names or change sorting options, you can see this in operation. It also supports a name prefix and suffix. So when you enter Dr. Mark Johnson III your Pocket PC will have:

You do nothing to get this. It happens automatically and you can edit the names very easily. You can hit the little drop down arrow in the name field to see this and tweak it if desired. This all transfers over to Outlook on your desktop so when you want to create a mailing list you can elect to include or exclude titles and middle names.

Ok, so 1 intelligent name field that is really 5 fields, their job title, department, company name, office location (for branch offices), 10 phone numbers, assistants name, assistant's phone number, 3 email addresses, Web address, 3 physical addresses (Home, Work, Other), spouse's name, children's name(s), birthday and anniversary. The latter two integrate with your Calendar. It also has a notes field to enter any other information. Curiously, there are no custom fields available to the Pocket PC even though there are custom fields in Outlook on your desktop. Those won't synchronize over. Outlook has a few additional fields that don't sync over either. The most frustrating thing for me is the "Company Phone Number". I like to have the front desk phone number to a person in case their direct line isn't answered and I need to talk to someone without going through a voice mail maze. I've learned to stick that in Work2 for people but I shouldn't have to adapt like that. :( There is also no place for their Instant Messenger ID, even though all Pocket PCs have an Instant Messenging service included now.

The Palm has a very handy feature when entering contacts. Enter the name then move down to the Company field. The Palm will start looking at the letters you enter and compare them to other entries in your database. So entering "An" may give you "Anderson Partners" if you already have other contacts in your database that work at that company. To get around this with my Pocket PC, I often just select a co-worker, duplicate the contact then edit it with the new person's name. An acceptable workaround, but again I shouldn't have to adapt like that.

So, does that mean the Palm is simple and the Pocket PC is complex when it comes to addresses? Try entering a home and work address in a Palm OS device for someone. Enter his Web address and assistant's phone number. Yes, you can use the custom fields for this but they aren't consistent. Custom Field 1 in Joe Smith's contact may be his URL and in Sarah Black's contact may be her assistant's name. And four fields simply are not enough to enter a home address if you have the other address fields used for work.

Changing Views and Other Miscellaneous Items

Both the Pocket PC and Palm allow you to change how you view your contact list. On the Palm you simply tap on the menu area, Options|Preferences and on the "List By" box, pick "Company Name/Last Name" then tap OK. On the Pocket PC you tap on View|By Company. Which one of those looks simpler? I know, advanced Palm users are saying "Just use the shortcut!" Ok, the Upslash-R stroke will open the Preferences dialog box. You save one tap by doing that rather than Menu|Options|Preferences.

Both devices also allow you to beam contacts to your peers. With the Palm you simply tap the contact to open it up then from the menu select Beam Address. Then press OK to close the contact. Or you could learn the North-East traveling upstroke coupled with a "B" to beam it.

With the Pocket PC, tap-and-hold on the contact and select Beam Contact.

The Palm allows you to beam an entire category if you desire, but no other combinations. The Pocket PC allows you to filter to a single category, highlight all of the contacts and then tap-and-hold to beam the group. You can also sort the Pocket PC contacts by company and select that group and beam it. This is especially handy when a new person comes into your department. If you have a few key companies you do business with - auditors in my case - I just beam them all of the contacts belonging to the audit firm.

Let's Do Lunch - Have Your People Call My People
Simple Daily Views

At least as equal in importance as Contacts, the Appointment database is one of the key reasons a PDA exists and for basic appointment scheduling, the Palm OS is hands down far easier to use. Simply launch Date Book, the Palm appointment application, and you are presented with a bunch of rows labeled 8:00am - 6:00pm. Tap on one of the lines and type your appointment. "Lunch with Jeff" on the 12:00 line. Too simple, and nothing else is necessary.

On the Pocket PC, the same exercise is launch Calendar, tap one of the rows of hours, and press the New button. The start/end times will be pre-filled in for you based on the hour you selected. Simply type in the subject and press OK. For a basic one hour appointment, this is way too many steps.

Now, let's enter a more complex appointment. Three hours, with an alarm. On the Palm, enter the appointment name on the first hour. Now, select Details then tap on the Time box. You can now modify the start and end times, change it to All Day, set the alarms, etc. So for that three hour appointment, it would be Details|Time|End Time|Pick the End Time, check the Alarm box and press OK. On the Pocket PC, you tap and drag over a three hour range, press New and enter the subject. The three hour time will be pre-filled in for you. Hmmm... not so complex anymore, but instead, consistent. Not two different methods.

How about entering conflicting appointments? Let's say one from 1:00-4:00 and another from 3:00-5:00. Hey, this is life and that happens. You have to decide which one to cut short. On the Palm, you enter the first appointment as described above. Now the 2:00 and 3:00 lines are gone. You are busy, so the Palm won't show them to you. So you have to enter the 2nd appointment by entering it on a bogus line or just press the New button to bring up a blank form. Here you can manually set the start and end times. When you press OK, the 3:00 line will have reappeared.

How do you do this on the Pocket PC? Same way you enter two non-conflicting appointments. Just tap-drag and press New. No lines are hidden, so it is simply a matter of dragging across the 3:00-5:00 time slot, pressing New and you are done.

Other Views

Both the Palm and Pocket PC will show you Weekly, Monthly and Agenda views. On the Palm just tap on the Weekly, Monthly or Agenda icons to switch. If I go to the Weekly view for the appointments set above, I can see a time bar for the 1:00-4:00 app right next to the 3:00-5:00 appointment. If I tap the bars I can see the details in a little window at the top. I can't do anything with it though. Tapping the window makes it go away rather than taking me to the details for editing. To edit it, I must switch back to the daily view to make changes. Tapping on the appointment in the Agenda view will switch you back to the daily view where you can now press Details.

The Pocket PC? Pretty much the same except that tapping either on the appointment or the little window at the top will actually open the appointment where you can edit it.

The Palm's Agenda view also shows tasks due that day or tasks that have no due date. The Pocket PC's Agenda view is nothing more than a list of appointments for that day. Both Palm OS and Pocket PC have Month views which are both equally as useless. The Palm shows a dot in the top half of the day to signify morning appointments and a dot in the lower half for evening appointments. The Pocket PC shows you a North-West pointing triangle for morning appointments, a South-East triangle for evening and a full square for a really busy day. :roll: It is for this reason that I think the most popular third party apps for both Palm OS and Pocket PC devices are programs that completely replace the calendars. Palm users tend to choose either Agendus or Datebk while Pocket PC users gravitate towards Pocket Informant or Agenda Fusion.

That said, I really think the extraordinary simplicity in entering a basic appointment on the Palm versus the Pocket PC is the one area that makes people go "simple" versus "complex". But as I have shown, when you get into things more complicated than a one hour appointment, the Pocket PC is at least as easy to use as the Palm and in many instances - easier and more consistent.

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Entering a task on the Palm is almost as simple as entering an appointment in Date Book. You launch To Do List, press New and enter the subject. That's it. You now have a task entered with no start date, no due date, no category, alarm, or anything else. A basic task. Short and sweet.

This time, on the Pocket PC, it is a virtually identical process. Fire up Tasks, press New, enter the subject and press OK.

On the Palm, to get more complex, you press the Details button. Here you can enter a priority of 1-5, a category, a due date and mark it private if desired. There is also room for a long note. A Start Date is not available. This means all task that are not complete are always in your Agenda view and To Do List view.

The Pocket PC allows you to do all that a Palm does, plus enter a start date, set an alarm and make the task recurring. Allowing a Start Date is critical in keeping your task list manageable. For example, my car tags expire on July 31 of every year. I have a task that recurs annually that starts July 1 and is due July 15 to go get my emission papers for my car. That allows two more weeks to get the paperwork to the county to get my new stickers. I don't want that on my task list today. That is 7 months away. Starting July 1, this task shows up on my task list, and when I mark it complete, a new July 1-July 15 task for 2004 is created and essentially hidden from me for another year. I keep my Tasks screen showing me "Active" tasks, which are tasks that are not finished, have a due date or start date on or before today. With the Palm it is always there, and once complete, you must create a new task manually. Is that simple? I guess having all of your tasks showing all of the time is simple in its own way. I call it cluttered and too much information. My computer is supposed to filter that stuff out for me. Again, the power PIMs mentioned above take care of this for the Palm and enhance it for Pocket PC users, but that is for power users, not the average consumer. So, which model of managing tasks looks simple now?

One minor issue - the Palm has 5 priority levels and the Pocket PC has 3. This is fairly minor and was actually explained to me by someone at Microsoft. "High means Bill wants it done, Normal means my performance review will be affected by its completion, and Low means it is interesting and I'll keep it in mind, but I make no promises." :lol: Pocket Informant takes it from 3 to 2,600 priorities using a combination of A-Z and 0-99 to set priorities. :crazyeyes: I tend to keep mine in A-D and 1-10. Palm super PIMs have similar features.

The alarm you can set for tasks on the Pocket PC defaults to 8:00am and there is no way to change that with the Tasks application. Again, apps like Pocket Informant get around this limitation, allowing you to set alarms for any time you desire.

Hang On, Let Me Grab A Pen

Many users also take notes on their PDA. Sometimes very quick memos and other times meeting notes. Palm devices offer two choices - Note Pad or Memo Pad. First, Memo Pad. This has been with Palm from the very beginning. It is a very simple screen where you just enter data. The Memos are limited to 4K, so if you want more than that, you will need to install a third party application. 4K may sound like a lot, but consider that as of right now this post has 18K characters. So if I had used Memo Pad to jot these thoughts down if I were on a plane or train, they would be split among 6 memos and counting. Note Pad is relatively new to Palm OS devices and allows you to scratch out drawings and doodles. No text though. That is for Memo Pad. So you can't draw a small map of driving directions with instructions and beam them to someone. You would have to beam him two documents - the Note Pad drawing and the Memo Pad directions. Really simple for you and the user who has to keep these things together.

The Pocket PC has an application called Notes. It allows you to commingle drawings and text on the same document. I don't know what the Notes maximum capacity is - I just pasted 54K of text into it and it all fit with no problems. You can also zoom in and out on the note from 75% to 300% to get a better view of larger drawings/maps. Finally, the Notes app allows you to simply record your voice into the note. Just press the record button and speak into it. I cannot tell you how many times I am driving and have an idea that I want to act on. I just grab my Pocket PC and quickly record it. It syncs over to the Notes section in Outlook so I can listen to it there if desired or listen to it on my Pocket PC. Folks, that is simple.

You Need What? Ok, Hang On
Simple Multitasking

How many times have you been using your PDA and someone walks in and asks for something, like an address, a phone number or are you free for a meeting next Tuesday at 2:00? All of the time. So, you are multitasking. How does the Palm handle this? Well, if you are just viewing something, it is seamless. Switch from your Date Book to Contacts, open the contact and give them the information. Press the Date Book button and you are right back where you started from. But what if you are editing something? You are entering information into a contact from a business card you just received and someone wants to know if you are free tomorrow. You press the Date Book icon, give them their answer then switch back to the Address Book. Where is your data? Well, it is all saved, but your PDA closed the record. You have to open it back up and navigate to where you were.

I was at Starbucks a few days ago drinking some coffee, listening to music and catching up on old emails. My wife was at home and needed an email address so she just pinged me using Messenger.

I pressed CHAT to open up the Messenger chat window, pressed the Contacts button to see my contacts, typed "Sm" in the window to narrow down the contacts, opened up Mark's contact, pressed Edit, highlighted the email, tap-and-hold to copy it, used Pocket Nav to switch back to Chat, tap-and-hold to paste. Obviously I used a bogus name and info for this example, the example is real, though.

How would you do that on a connected Palm OS organizer? Well, you wouldn't. If your email app is open, your chat app isn't. If you are in a chat waiting for someone to ping you, you can't do emails. Even if you were in chat, to get the info out of your address book, you would have to close the chat connection to do switch. Open the contact details, copy the number, open Chat, find your wife, connect, then paste the info. She is upset at you for disconnecting her chat window on her end, so you might as well order another cup of coffee, because that is the only warmth you are getting tonight buddy.

Now, I admit I used Pocket Nav, a freeware task switcher. The Pocket PC does a fantastic job of multitasking, but for some reason, includes no way for you to either close an application when done or easily switch to another app. Complex? Unnecessarily so. Easy to fix on the Pocket PC? Yes. Easy to fix on the Palm? I'll let you know when OS 6 ships.

App Integration

Let's say you are reading your emails and one of them is to tell you of a meeting or other evening function you need to attend. On the Palm, you would simply press the Date Book button, press New to create a new appointment, set the date and times then press OK. Go back to the main program menu, open the email app and reply to the email letting the sender know you have added it to your calendar.

On the Pocket PC, there is no need to switch to the Calendar app. Just press the up arrow next to New. Select Appointment, set the dates and times, press Ok. You are now back in your email right where you left off. Hit Reply, type your response and send the message. You don't have to go through the extra steps switching apps and going to the program menu.

The difference is very small. However, which one is easier? Is it easier to create the appointment from within the email or is it easier to switch applications? I think it would be very difficult to argue that the Palm method is simpler or that the Pocket PC method is complex.

Wrapping It All Up

There is no doubt that for some things it is easier to get going on the Palm, namely basic appointments - once you can get used to Graffiti that is. But is the Palm an easier device to use overall? For some things, yes. For other things, no. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is easy (like turning your device on) and 10 is hard (like messing with Connection Manager) many Palm features are in the 1-3 range and max out there. The Pocket PC has some in the 1 range, but more in the 2-4 range. Of course configuring a VPN connection to allow your Terminal Services connection to work via GPRS is closer to a 9, but the power that has is simply not replicable on a Palm. The average user of a Pocket PC never needs know that this particular functionality or complexity exists. And now with $199-$299 devices like the Dell Axim X5, HP iPAQ 1910 and ViewSonic V35, there is no longer the "but why should someone pay for it if they aren't going to use it" argument.

Which is what brought this whole thing up. "Consumers will be better served by Palm OS-based devices, which are easier to operate and less expensive."


Palm serves a market and Pocket PC serves a market. The bottom line is today, in December of 2002, there is no Palm device that even comes close to touching the functionality and beautiful rich color screens of the Pocket PCs regardless of what prices they are listed at. And the Pocket PC is not needlessly complex. It is different. Easier to use in some areas, harder in other areas and equal in other areas.

When you get into more sophisticated operations like emailing documents, creating spreadsheets, playing music, storing data on your storage card, synchronizing files, connecting to your LAN, etc., it is clear which device is easier to use. The Pocket PC has all of that built in. No hacks needed, no additional software necessary. Even small things like having a light sensor integrated into the hardware so you don't have to manually turn the back light on means it is one less thing you have to do. Isn't that simple?


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