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Microsoft-powered Treo debuts

Palm's Treo 700w smart phone is going on sale Thursday--and could face scrutiny by some Treo 650 fans.

Palm announced Wednesday that the Treo 700w smart phone, the first of the Treo series to be powered by a Microsoft operating system, is set to go on sale Thursday.

In September, Palm broke with long-standing tradition when it chose Microsoft to provide the operating system for its next generation of Treo smart phones. The company has said it will contine to offer Palm OS-based phones as well, however.

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Video: A look at the new Treo
Palm's Treo 700w comes with Windows OS

For a long while, Microsoft was considered a bitter foe of Palm. For that reason, the new Treo will undergo countless comparisons to the popular Treo 650, which runs on the Palm operating system and has buoyed the company's revenue in recent quarters.

The Treo 700w is available for $399.99 when purchased in conjunction with specific two-year service agreements from Verizon Wireless.

The new smart phone comes equipped with mobile versions of many of Microsoft's software staples, including Windows, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

Windows Mobile 5.0 is driven by an Intel processor, and the Treo features 128MB of memory. About 60MB is available as storage with further expansion available via a Secure Digital card slot.

Other features include Bluetooth 1.2 for wireless connectivity and a 1.3-megapixel camera that shoots photos and video.

"Customers have long been asking for a Palm Treo smart phone on the Windows platform," Ed Colligan, CEO of Palm, formerly known as PalmOne, said in a statement. "The Treo 700w smart phone is powerful, flexible and easy to use."

The phone offers EV-DO access for high-speed data transfers and, like the 650, the Treo 700w is fitted with a replaceable battery. Some newer features include voice dialing and several functions that allow a consumer to dial by name directly from the Today Screen as well as ignore calls.