Palm, Microsoft Announce Windows Mobile Treo

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Palm CEO Ed Colligan and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates have officially unveiled a Treo running Windows Mobile 5.0.

This smartphone represents a milestone in the handheld industry, and it will be the first time the leading Palm OS licensee has released a device running the rival mobile operating system.

“Palm always did great work, and so we lusted after some of those things that they do well,” Gates said.

“We’re confident customers will see a differentiated smartphone that delivers our world-class usability on Microsoft’s flexible and robust Windows Mobile operating system,” said Colligan.

At the press conference in which this announcement was made, Colligan repeatedly emphasized that his company will work very hard to differentiate its products from other Windows Mobile devices by creating Palm-only applications that will make its smartphones easier to use.

More About the Windows Mobile Treo

Despite today’s announcement, the final name of this device wasn’t revealed. According to rumor, though, it will be called the the Treo 700w.

This Treo will have 64 MB of storage. Because it runs the latest version of Windows Mobile, this behaves similarly to the NVFS Storage in the Treo 650, and won’t be erased if the device’s battery runs down completely.

Windows Mobile Treo This model will have Bluetooth short-range wireless networking, but not built-in WiFi. Still, users will have option of using a WiFi SD card.

It will be a CDMA-based smartphone that supports EV-DO, so it will offer typical download speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps).

The 700w’s design is similar to the Treo 650’s, but is curvier on the bottom. It is also slightly narrower.

This Pocket PC will have a 240-by-240-pixel display, like HP’s most recent smartphones.

Today’s announcement didn’t reveal every detail on this smartphone. The speed of its Intel processor is not known, nor the capacity of its swappable battery.

Pricing and Availability

The Windows Mobile Treo will be available exclusively from Verizon Wireless early next year.

The price wasn’t announced, but Palm warned that this device, because it has an EV-DO radio, is likely to be more expensive than the Treo 650.

It is not yet known when versions of this smartphone will be available from other wireless carriers.

However, Palm said that a Windows Mobile Treo with support for GSM/GPRS networks will not be available earlier than the second half of 2006.

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