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Windows Treo unveiled

Windows Treo unveiled

Taking center stage at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco today, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan, and Verizon President and CEO Denny Strigl officially unveiled the Palm Treo on Windows Mobile 5. Yes, yes, we know the name is silly, but the three companies wouldn't reveal a specific model number for the smart phone--or much else, for that matter. The hour-long press conference seemed to be more of a meeting of the mutual admiration society, but we did learn a few things. The Windows-based Treo will run on Windows Mobile 5 (obviously); it will have an Intel processor; and it will be offered exclusively by Verizon Wireless for the first few months with an expected release for early 2006. They demoed the device, and we got a look at several features, such as Outlook Mobile, photo speed dial, and a voicemail system. It's nothing that blew our socks off, but we suspect the support for the Windows platform will draw in many users, especially the push e-mail functionality. But guess what? No Wi-Fi again.

Some other notes:

  • This is the first 3G device for Palm.
  • There are 130 million Microsoft Exchange users, 15 million of which have mobile mail. One-third of that is made up of RIM BlackBerry users.
  • Bill Gates doesn't distinguish between PDAs and smart phones and sees them as one product line.
  • Ed Colligan put the kibosh on Symbian- or Linux-based Treos.
  • No pricing information was released for the Palm Treo on Windows Mobile 5, but in the meantime, check out our First Take and First Look video.