Friday, September 23, 2005

Palm, Microsoft and Verizon Team Up

With the announcement earlier today that Palm, Microsoft and Verizon would be holding a special press event on Monday, September 26 @ 9am in San Francisco, the resulting articles and analyst quotes are starting to pile up. Most prognostication centered around a new Windows Mobile-based Treo, aka the Treo 700w.

Yahoo! News picks up an Associated Press article where Rob Enderle said, "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. Microsoft understands the back end and Palm understands the front end, and the two of them — if they can work together — they can do some incredible things."

Regarding the market gains Microsoft has made in the mobile space, Charles Golvin at Forrester Research remarked, "No question that Microsoft has made significant inroads compared to where they were just a couple of years ago — which was no where. Microsoft in the long term wants the kind of strong position in mobile devices that it has in PCs. They would like to have 90-percent market share on PDAs, smart phones or cell phones."

A CNET article focused on the impact of the announcement on the enterprise. Sam Bhavnani at Current Analysis said, "The big deal is that it will help Palm significantly in the enterprise space, a segment they have often gone after but have never totally been able to solve."

"As corporations make large-volume purchases, Palm is in good position with this Windows-based device because of the longstanding feeling of compatibility between branded devices,. For example, Microsoft desktop OS and Microsoft Outlook will work better with Windows Mobile than with Palm OS." This is far from the case in Windows Mobile 2003 where syncing Outlook leaves a lot to be desired, but point well taken.

Lastly, in the San Jose Mercury News, Richard Doherty at the Envisioneering Group said, "It's a very big deal because Palm, for many, many years has relied on its home-grown operating system." Doherty pointed out that Palm decided to branch out "in order to compete better with other multi-function phone makers that have made strides possibly because they were not as tied as Palm has been to one particular system."

Interestingly, not much has been said about the third partner in the triumvirate - Verizon. Traditionally, Sprint has been the first to market with Treo devices so this upcoming announcement is a departure from the norm. Hopefully the new device will be EV-DO enabled. Wi-Fi would be asking for too much but gladly accepted...