September 26, 2005 10:45 AM PDT

Palm does Windows

SAN FRANCISCO--In an acknowledgment that the market for the Palm operating system has run out of steam, the maker of the popular Treo cell phone on Monday unveiled a version that runs Windows.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates joined Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan and Verizon Wireless CEO Denny Strigl to demonstrate the device at a press event here. Although enthusiast sites have been calling the product the Treo 700w, Colligan said the company was not yet announcing the name and dubbed it simply "Treo for Windows."

The move unites two companies, Palm and Microsoft, that have been significant rivals in the market for software that powers handhelds and other mobile devices.

New Treo

"If you've been in this business long enough, you know that partners sometimes compete and competitors sometimes partner," Colligan said.

Palm has long said it would consider using an operating system other than the Palm OS. However, the company has not done so until now. Colligan said that Palm only wanted to make the move if it would help the company land new customers, which he said it will do.

Gates echoed the sentiment.

"I think a lot of mobile windows users will want to switch to this device," he said. "The big challenge will be keeping this product in stock."

Palm did not give out the full technical details of the device, declining to say, for example, how much memory it will have. The company did say the phone will have an Intel chip, run Windows Mobile 5.0 and be able to take advantage of push e-mail. With its color touch screen and QWERTY keyboard, the device is very similar in appearance to the existing Treos though it adds some Windows-specific buttons, such as an OK button that takes a user back to a previous screen.

A demonstration of the product included broadcast radio capabilities, photo-triggered speed dial and the ability to play back messages using VCR-like controls. Colligan said the device would also ship with an internal camera and a storage expansion slot for SD-cards. Access to Wi-Fi networks would only be available through the built-in SD card slot, Colligan said.

Although Palm and Microsoft showed off prototypes of the new Treo at Monday's event, the companies said that the product still needs to go through more testing before it is certified to run on Verizon's network, though that company's chief executive said the product is on a "fast track."

Verizon said the new Treo smart phone will be available to customers in early 2006. Colligan said that the company expects to have meaningful sales of the product for the fiscal quarter that ends in February, suggesting the launch will come shortly after Jan. 1.

Because it is based on an EV-DO platform, it will cost more than Verizon's current Treo 650 smart phones, which go for about $500.

While the new Treo will debut with Verizon Wireless' broadband service, with download speeds averaging 400 kilobits per second to 700kbps, other carriers are expected to climb aboard in mid-2006, Colligan said.

Colligan said Palm would not extend its hardware platform to other smart-phone operating systems such as Linux or Symbian.

"We are going to focus on what we have on the table," he said. "This is for customers who want that familiar Windows user experience. Certainly for Palm, we will reach into many more companies with these devices."

Palm did not discuss how it will use the Palm OS in conjunction with the new hardware it showed off Monday. But the company has said it plans to continue developing products, including smart phones, based on the Palm OS.

Palm for some time had been entertaining the notion of a Windows-based device to woo corporate customers who are accustomed to Microsoft products and have been reluctant to buy Palm OS-based gadgets.

"This is a major win for Microsoft if you realize that the company will power two very powerful smart phones--the Motorola Q and the Palm Treo," Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg said. "It is also a good thing for corporate IT departments, which can now leverage off of a common development platform while letting their users pick the handset that is right for them."

Palm, which once had the vast majority of the handheld market, has seen its share drop in recent years. Last November, Microsoft for the first time surpassed Palm in the number of handhelds shipped using its operating system, according to Gartner. Palm said it shipped 470,000 Treo units last quarter but it still runs behind the BlackBerry.

Palm in 2003 spun off its PalmSource unit, which makes software for mobile devices, but the standalone business faltered. Earlier this month, Japanese software maker Access said it would buy PalmSource for $324 million.

Verizon, also eager to drum up more corporate accounts, has been busy partnering with other PC makers and wireless access card companies to provide access to its EV-DO networks.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

34 comments

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Microsoft?? Think lost sales, not gained!!!
This is truly disappointing. One of the reasons I purchased a Treo was because it was NOT running a Microsoft OS. This is a company with a long laundry list of sloppy programming problems. Should I trust my data to them?
I'm sorry, I will not be upgrading if the next Treo is running Microsoft. The marketplace of sellers for devices like the Treo is growing - a buyer is not locked in to any one vendor anymore. To partner with the King of vendor lock-in is a BIG mistake - especially when the whole world is waking up to the fact that they don't want to be locked in.
BIG mistake. BIG, BIG mistake.
Posted by MattMc (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No
I completely disagree, i own a palm m505 (i know, its old...), and i hate the ui. Especially the completely proprietary file formats, and how it isn't cross-compatible with regular media files (like jpg, avi, mp3...) without having to download a third pary tool... I was actually hoping ms would <strong>buy out</strong> palm, and make it better (although on second thought... when has microsoft ever made anything better??? - Wow, i just contradicted myself!)
Posted by advs89 (68 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft?? Think lost sales, not gained!!!
This is truly disappointing. One of the reasons I purchased a Treo was because it was NOT running a Microsoft OS. This is a company with a long laundry list of sloppy programming problems. Should I trust my data to them?
I'm sorry, I will not be upgrading if the next Treo is running Microsoft. The marketplace of sellers for devices like the Treo is growing - a buyer is not locked in to any one vendor anymore. To partner with the King of vendor lock-in is a BIG mistake - especially when the whole world is waking up to the fact that they don't want to be locked in.
BIG mistake. BIG, BIG mistake.
Posted by MattMc (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No
I completely disagree, i own a palm m505 (i know, its old...), and i hate the ui. Especially the completely proprietary file formats, and how it isn't cross-compatible with regular media files (like jpg, avi, mp3...) without having to download a third pary tool... I was actually hoping ms would <strong>buy out</strong> palm, and make it better (although on second thought... when has microsoft ever made anything better??? - Wow, i just contradicted myself!)
Posted by advs89 (68 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft??? Think "Lost Sales"
This is truly disappointing. One of the reasons I purchased a Treo was because it was NOT running a Microsoft OS. This is a company with a long laundry list of sloppy programming problems. Should I trust my data to them?
I'm sorry, I will not be upgrading if the next Treo is running Microsoft. The marketplace of sellers for devices like the Treo is growing - a buyer is not locked in to any one vendor anymore. To partner with the King of vendor lock-in is a BIG mistake - especially when the whole world is waking up to the fact that they don't want to be locked in.
BIG mistake. BIG, BIG mistake.
Posted by MattMc (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft??? Think "Lost Sales"
This is truly disappointing. One of the reasons I purchased a Treo was because it was NOT running a Microsoft OS. This is a company with a long laundry list of sloppy programming problems. Should I trust my data to them?
I'm sorry, I will not be upgrading if the next Treo is running Microsoft. The marketplace of sellers for devices like the Treo is growing - a buyer is not locked in to any one vendor anymore. To partner with the King of vendor lock-in is a BIG mistake - especially when the whole world is waking up to the fact that they don't want to be locked in.
BIG mistake. BIG, BIG mistake.
Posted by MattMc (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dumb, dumb, dumb...
They're shooting themselves in the foot. The
best thing about Palm was the PalmOS. What it
lacked in glitz it had in functionality,
stability, and connectivity. PalmOS is wonderful
to write for and it's synchronization has far
fewer bugs and more consistency across
applications.

I'm sorry to see Palm take such a step backward.
I fear they've lost the war, not because they're
giving in to wince, but because they are giving
up the one thing that really differntiated them
from the competition.
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Looks like I've bought my last Palm unit....
.... Windows whatever just won't cut it for me. In anything, Windows
whatever will try to make the environment so cluttered and
complicated that all utility will be lost.

And now I see why Sony dumped the Clie, my oersonal
favorite........
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Palm OS is the best? You must be kidding
I see nothing good about Palm OS. It is so user-unfriendly, it still uses the same UI since the b/w Palm days, it is so complicated to sync with PIM applications (not to mention that huge download of that Palm Sync application...talk about bloatware),and so-so screen resolution. Seriously, after Sony exits the PDA market, Palm's PDA is going downhill, and that LifeDrive is not going to save them either.

And, why just Verizon? How about Cingular and Sprint and T-Mobile?
Posted by Jess McLean (61 comments )
Link Flag
Dumb, dumb, dumb...
They're shooting themselves in the foot. The
best thing about Palm was the PalmOS. What it
lacked in glitz it had in functionality,
stability, and connectivity. PalmOS is wonderful
to write for and it's synchronization has far
fewer bugs and more consistency across
applications.

I'm sorry to see Palm take such a step backward.
I fear they've lost the war, not because they're
giving in to wince, but because they are giving
up the one thing that really differntiated them
from the competition.
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Looks like I've bought my last Palm unit....
.... Windows whatever just won't cut it for me. In anything, Windows
whatever will try to make the environment so cluttered and
complicated that all utility will be lost.

And now I see why Sony dumped the Clie, my oersonal
favorite........
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Palm OS is the best? You must be kidding
I see nothing good about Palm OS. It is so user-unfriendly, it still uses the same UI since the b/w Palm days, it is so complicated to sync with PIM applications (not to mention that huge download of that Palm Sync application...talk about bloatware),and so-so screen resolution. Seriously, after Sony exits the PDA market, Palm's PDA is going downhill, and that LifeDrive is not going to save them either.

And, why just Verizon? How about Cingular and Sprint and T-Mobile?
Posted by Jess McLean (61 comments )
Link Flag
You folks crack me up
Palm is not interested in an Operating System Holy War against Microsoft. They are in business to sell handheld computers, and they are employing a strategy of product diversification. The market studies have shown that they can sell more devices if they have multiple offerings, and they are out to win the battle to be a major supplier of handheld computers. If there is demand for Windows, they are missing sales by not offering Windows. Plain and simple. They have little interest in helping any of you wage a war against Microsoft. Quite the contrary... Microsoft software will help them increase sales and grow their business.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by Jess McLean (61 comments )
Link Flag
No Palm or Symbian
"Colligan said Palm would not extend its hardware platform to other smart-phone operating systems such as Linux or Symbian."

The Palm OS has been mismanaged into obscurity. I've got nothing against a Treo for Windows, but the exclusion of Treo for Linux leaves me very disappointed.
Posted by Donoho (8 comments )
Link Flag
Huh?
&gt;They are in business to sell handheld computers, and they are
&gt;employing a strategy of product diversification

How so? They are embarking on a path of being just another hardware provider. How is that product diversification?

&gt;Microsoft software will help them increase sales and grow their
&gt;business.

You sound perilously close to being a MS fanboy here. What is the supporting data for your statement? Why will using MS software help Palm one iota? There is already a slew of hardware devices in the mobile market, and the unintended consuquence of this move by Palm will be to force consumers towards other Windows devices or Blackberry.
Posted by (174 comments )
Link Flag
You folks crack me up
Palm is not interested in an Operating System Holy War against Microsoft. They are in business to sell handheld computers, and they are employing a strategy of product diversification. The market studies have shown that they can sell more devices if they have multiple offerings, and they are out to win the battle to be a major supplier of handheld computers. If there is demand for Windows, they are missing sales by not offering Windows. Plain and simple. They have little interest in helping any of you wage a war against Microsoft. Quite the contrary... Microsoft software will help them increase sales and grow their business.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by Jess McLean (61 comments )
Link Flag
No Palm or Symbian
"Colligan said Palm would not extend its hardware platform to other smart-phone operating systems such as Linux or Symbian."

The Palm OS has been mismanaged into obscurity. I've got nothing against a Treo for Windows, but the exclusion of Treo for Linux leaves me very disappointed.
Posted by Donoho (8 comments )
Link Flag
Huh?
&gt;They are in business to sell handheld computers, and they are
&gt;employing a strategy of product diversification

How so? They are embarking on a path of being just another hardware provider. How is that product diversification?

&gt;Microsoft software will help them increase sales and grow their
&gt;business.

You sound perilously close to being a MS fanboy here. What is the supporting data for your statement? Why will using MS software help Palm one iota? There is already a slew of hardware devices in the mobile market, and the unintended consuquence of this move by Palm will be to force consumers towards other Windows devices or Blackberry.
Posted by (174 comments )
Link Flag
Et tu Palma?
And there I was trying to decide if I should get a Treo650 or the iPAQ hw6500 that has a builtin GPS receiver.

The new Treo better have an edge to overcome the competition. 3G enabled or at the least builtin wifi. If not, I'd probably choose the iPAQ since they have a longer track record running Windows...
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Et tu Palma?
And there I was trying to decide if I should get a Treo650 or the iPAQ hw6500 that has a builtin GPS receiver.

The new Treo better have an edge to overcome the competition. 3G enabled or at the least builtin wifi. If not, I'd probably choose the iPAQ since they have a longer track record running Windows...
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hardware + Software
It adds up. So there you have it. I guess it's business for Palm (the hardware company) to simply get their hardware products selling to both the Palm OS and the Windows Mobile market.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hardware + Software
It adds up. So there you have it. I guess it's business for Palm (the hardware company) to simply get their hardware products selling to both the Palm OS and the Windows Mobile market.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too Little, Too Late...
The PDA market is dead, and the SmartPhone market is a whole
new ball game with a bunch of players. I say Palm is probably on
the way out since they have been unable to stay focused since
Microsoft entered the mobile market. It's too bad, it's great to have
choice and Palm made such great products (more so than
Microsoft).
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too Little, Too Late...
The PDA market is dead, and the SmartPhone market is a whole
new ball game with a bunch of players. I say Palm is probably on
the way out since they have been unable to stay focused since
Microsoft entered the mobile market. It's too bad, it's great to have
choice and Palm made such great products (more so than
Microsoft).
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sign me up!
I started with Palm way back with the Palm Pilot. I left the Palm OS a few years ago and went with a Pocket PC device. Loved the OS. Hated the hardware. I just switched back to the Palm OS with the Treo 650. Love the hardware. Hate the OS. As soon as the Treo for Windows comes out I will be the first person in line to trade in the buggy, old, tired, and feeble Palm OS for the Windows version.
Posted by Shep (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sign me up!
I started with Palm way back with the Palm Pilot. I left the Palm OS a few years ago and went with a Pocket PC device. Loved the OS. Hated the hardware. I just switched back to the Palm OS with the Treo 650. Love the hardware. Hate the OS. As soon as the Treo for Windows comes out I will be the first person in line to trade in the buggy, old, tired, and feeble Palm OS for the Windows version.
Posted by Shep (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What the Frak?
What I always loved about Palm was the fact that it didn't run windows and now you're telling me that this new palm will? Granted, it's a phone, but I don't want windows on my phone. It's bad enough that I have it on every computer I use or even run into, now I have to have it on my phone?!
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What the Frak?
What I always loved about Palm was the fact that it didn't run windows and now you're telling me that this new palm will? Granted, it's a phone, but I don't want windows on my phone. It's bad enough that I have it on every computer I use or even run into, now I have to have it on my phone?!
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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