SAN FRANCISCO Sep 24, 2005 (FROM
ASSOCIATED PRESS) Palm Inc. is teaming up with Microsoft
Corp. to launch a Windows-based version of the Treo smart phone,
marking the first time the handheld computer pioneer will sell
a device based on its former rival's software.
The new Treo 700 will be offered through Verizon Wireless, according
to market analyst Rob Enderle and other industry sources.
"In terms of the level of importance, this would be in this
space the same thing as Apple announcing they were going to be
using Intel processors," Enderle said.
The three companies have scheduled a press conference for Monday.
Spokesmen for Palm, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft declined to
The new device will run on Windows Mobile 5.0, the latest version
of the operating system that has been challenging Palm OS for
Though the Palm OS dominated the industry, its lead has steadily
lost ground to Microsoft's offering, which is based on that company's
ubiquitous Windows desktop PC software and thus familiar to more
Users, especially in the corporate world, have been lured to
Windows-based handhelds because they can run several programs
at once and offer better support for documents created on Windows
PCs and for Microsoft e-mail.
As well, the Palm operating system that Treos have until now
run exclusively have more limited multitasking abilities.
In the third quarter of last year, devices running Microsoft's
software outsold those with Palm OS for the first time, according
to the research firm Gartner Inc.
"No question that Microsoft has made significant inroads
compared to where they were just a couple of years ago which was
no where," said Charles Golvin, analyst for Forrester Research.
Rumors have circulated for months that Palm was ready to embrace
a Windows platform. Palm spent years trying to fend off Microsoft's
forays into the sector.
"Microsoft in the long term wants the kind of strong position
in mobile devices that it has in PCs," Golvin said. "They
would like to have 90-percent market share on PDAs, smart phones
or cell phones.