Starwood, Avis Europe Are Early PocketPC Adopters

FRAMINGHAM (04/19/2000) - The PocketPC, introduced today, has already made inroads into the corporate market, with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Avis Europe PLC both announcing plans to use versions of the personal digital assistant to track guestroom services and the condition of rental cars, respectively.

Holtsville, New York-based Symbol Technologies Inc. said both Starwood - which operates the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains - and Avis Europe will use rugged versions of the PocketPC from its PPT 2700 line. Those devices provide users with wireless local-area networking capabilities, along with integrated one- and two-dimensional bar-code scanning capabilities for data collection and transaction processing.

Symbol said its versions of the PocketPC, which run on a third-generation Windows CE operating system from Microsoft Corp., can withstand multiple four-foot drops onto a concrete floor and are sealed to resist water and dust.

Symbol said it teamed with Ameranth Technology Systems to help develop a room inspection application for Starwood. Meanwhile, Technological Business Solutions helped develop an application for Avis Europe to track the condition of rental cars.

Symbol said it believes its version of the PocketPC can serve a variety of corporate markets and applications, including sales and field force automation, hospitality and gaming, logistics operations, parcels and post, government, public safety and retail.

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