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Five Minutes With Shrinath Acharya

CEO, MARGI Systems By DMN Staff Writer
Q: What do you believe were the biggest changes in the industry in the last five years. How did they change things and what impact did those changes have?

A: The most significant development in my mind would be the emergence of handheld devices as a viable companion platform. Palm was a first mover in the space -- offering a device that customers could learn how to use, and start using in under five minutes. Of course, it was primarily used as an electronic organizer for basic scheduling and as a contact management tool. Handheld devices have also become more affordable, since the days of Apple Newton, wherein the $1000 price presented a big obstacle to adoption. Now with an average $300 price tag, and the wide variety of companion applications, handhelds are becoming a viable business tool. As the level of acceptance for handhelds increases, the variety of available applications has increased to include simple list-makers to powerful ones like those equivalent to handheld versions of Microsofts Word and Excel. MARGIs Presenter-to-Go offers the equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat for the handheld.

Q: What is the state of the market now? What are the propelling forces and what are the barriers to growth?

A: The handheld market has experienced healthy growth so far -- with annual shipments increasing from 1.5 million units in 1997 to over 10 million in 2000. While lower priced handhelds will continue selling to the "basic electronic organizer" user market, handheld manufactures will need to provide business users with compelling applications that effectively address the needs of the vertical market segments. The value of these devices is more than the electronic organization capabilities alone. Applications that increase the value-proposition of handheld devices, like those provided by MARGI, will further drive their adoption.

Q: What do you foresee as the biggest influences on the industry in the next five years and how will they impact the industry?

A: Wireless Communications will continue to drive the growth of the handheld industry, causing a greater flourish in applications that adapt to their connectivity.

Next ten years?
Ability to access, modify, and present data anytime and anywhere through secure access to data servers from handheld devices, including mobile phones.

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Related Keywords:presentations, palm, pda

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