Motorola today launched new EDA (Enterprise Digital Assistant), a handheld business device that offers connectivity and enterprise-specific support.

The tagline for the new device is "Transform from simply inform to truly empower", with Motorola telling us the aim was to make it possible to action tasks, rather than just make notes to act on later.

The device will only be available through business channels and whilst it won't be available to consumers, it is designed to appease some of those consumer needs, mostly in the design and portability.

Motorola has ruggedised the device to withstand drops and rain and gave examples of retail management, healthcare, postal services and government departments at which the device is aimed.

It runs on Windows Mobile 6.5.3, so it will be compatible with existing applications for that platform from both the enterprise and consumer angles. The ES400 has a custom skin called the Motorola Enterprise User Interface (MEUI) putting applications at the forefront, borrowing from the simplicity of devices like the BlackBerry.

It will be possible to move the ES400 over to Windows Mobile Embedded (based on Windows Mobile 6.5) when that OS is launched this year; the follow-up version of Windows Mobile Embedded based on Windows Phone 7 is expected in 2011.

It offers a full QWERTY keyboard, but you can swap the keyboard out to change the language if you have corporate users in different territories; the ES400 also features GSM and CDMA connectivity, again, to make device support easier for multi-territory corporations.

The 3.2-megapixel camera can be deployed as a barcode scanner on the back and there is a built-in fingerprint scanner for security of your data.

The 3-inch resistive touchscreen display boasts 750 NITS, so is super bright, and has been designed to accept signatures using the included stylus – for delivery receipts and so on.

Wi-Fi comes in the form of a/b/g and you also get push to talk, along with GPS, so corporate users will be able to use the one device for navigation, communication and specific enterprise tasks. Bluetooth will also be an option.

The unit price will be $750.