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ACCESS Develops Browser for SHARP PDA

ACCESS Co., Ltd., a leading provider of embedded Internet software solutions, announced a new version of it’s flagship NetFront“ Internet browser for Sharp’s new Java/Linux based PDA. This new international version prototype of the company’s PDA, running the ACCESS Internet browser, will be demonstrated in Sharp’s booth (#613) and at ACCESS’ booth (#1316) at the JavaOne 2001 conference in San Francisco, Calif.

“We are very interested in NetFront as an essential component of our new PDA. NetFront’s performance and reliability have been proven in millions of information appliances sold in the market and we expect it to become the key application for our PDA in enabling the networking functions,” said Hiroshi Uno, Division General Manager of Sharp Mobile Systems Division.

Sharp’s Zaurus is the most popular PDA in Japan, with total shipments of over two million units since its introduction in 1993. In March of this year, Sharp announced that it will target the worldwide market with this new PDA by supporting Linux and Java. Sharp expects to ship this product later this fall.

“We’re very excited to announce NetFront on this new attractive device. We believe our know-how and experiences that we accumulated, with our hardware partners, in the Japanese Internet appliance market can be leveraged in extending the ‘Ubiquitous Internet’ to the world,” stated Toru Arakawa, president and CEO of ACCESS.

Specifically designed for embedded applications, this multi-platform Internet software module is incorporated into televisions, set-top boxes, PDAs, dedicated word processors, web phones, Intranet terminals, video game consoles, smart phones, e-mail terminals, car navigation systems and kiosk terminals. NetFront has been optimized to deliver maximum performance with limited hardware resources. It offers a low-power, low-cost solution that works with any operating system or CPU. Its user interface can be easily customized.

The initial NetFront browser on this prototype version, which will be demonstrated at JavaOne 2001, is based on NetFront version 2.6, and it supports JavaScript, cookies, and the HTML-based CSE (Client Side Extension) application extension structure. Other standard features supported in NetFront 2.6, such as SSL, web printing, multilingual capabilities, and other plug-in modules will be added in future revisions.

This announcement is part of ACCESS’ new strategy to work closely with Japanese information appliance manufacturers as they extend their product reach overseas.

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