The world's first pocket eBook with Microsoft® ClearType™ display technology was unveiled today at the 2000 International CES, where Microsoft Corp. announced that Microsoft Reader with ClearType will be featured in the new family of Pocket PCs. Microsoft Reader is designed to deliver an on-screen computer reading experience that for the first time approaches the convenience and quality of reading text printed on paper.
Pocket PCs, which Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates previewed last night in his millennium keynote address at CES, are the next generation of personal digital assistant (PDA) devices powered by a new version of the Microsoft Windows® operating system. Expected to ship in the first half of this year, Pocket PCs have been designed to put the best of the PC into a pocket-size device, giving users the freedom to better manage their work and life, any time, anywhere.
"With Reader software, consumers really will be able to carry a library in their pocket," said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft. "A typical Pocket PC will be able to store hundreds of books, from today's latest titles to long-revered literary classics."
Purchasers of the first Pocket PC devices will be able to choose from thousands of eBook titles for Microsoft Reader, which are expected to be broadly available from such major booksellers as Barnes & Noble Inc. (http://www.bn.com/), as detailed in another announcement made today at CES.
"We believe that portable electronic reading devices, and the wireless technology that allows the instant delivery of text to them, will further expand the marketplace for books and other content," said Steve Riggio, vice chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc. "The ability to easily download and carry thousands of pages of information anywhere at any time will appeal to readers of all kinds, from mobile professionals to students and vacationers."
Pocket PCs can also help users connect to essential information when they are away from their desk. The devices are expandable and versatile, allowing users to do much more than manage daily activities, such as play music and spoken-word audio books. With cutting-edge applications such as Microsoft Reader with ClearType, Pocket PCs can not only help users increase their productivity but also help them make the most of downtime.
Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType font-rendering technology. Developed by Microsoft Research, ClearType greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens to deliver a display comparable to print on paper. Microsoft Reader also pays strict attention to the traditions and benefits of good typography. It offers a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for book-marking, highlighting and annotation. Microsoft Reader includes a built-in dictionary as well as a library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other documents. It also features a flexible copy-protection system that allows publishers to distribute titles with protection from piracy and illegal copying.
Microsoft Reader is scheduled to be available with the first Pocket PCs during the first half of 2000. Microsoft Reader will be available for Windows-based PCs and laptops in the coming year.
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