Treo 700w: Is it a BlackBerry Replacement?

By at 26 January, 2006, 3:13 pm

The reviews are starting to come in on the first venture between Palm and Microsoft on a convergence phone and PDA combination. The Treo 700W is the latest iteration of the Treo line that started with the Treo 600 and the more recent Treo 650. Many see the Windows Pocket Mobile OS as a replacement for the popular BlackBerryhandhelds from RIM . With the latest setback in the ongoing battle between RIM and NTP, some are worried about a shutdown of BlackBerry service by court injunction . Microsoft you can be sure is watching the ongoing BlackBerry woes with a great deal of interest since it believes that handhelds based on its mobile OS are the perfect replacements. In a January 25, 2006 article posted on MacWorld , Scott Horn of Microsoft state:

Microsoft is listening eagerly to those concerns. RIM’s legal problems are “causing a lot of customers to come to us and ask about it,” said Scott Horn, general manager for the mobile and embedded devices group, in an interview this week in London.

It may be that Microsoft is hoping that new handhelds such as the Treo 700w will help it win over BlackBerryusers. It seems that until this product, the form factor of most MS mobile OS devices were larger and not as user friendly as BlackBerryand Treo units. With the advent of the Treo700w, Microsoft has installed it’s OS in a popular and familiar handheld unit that is similar and in some ways superior to the BlackBerryunits it faces.

While being very similar to the Treo650, there are some differences including a lower resolution screen. In a current review of the Treo700w, eWeek.com finds in a current article :

The Treo 700w takes a step backward, however, with a 240-by-240-pixel display that’s readable but noticeably less so than that of the Treo 650.

The article also shows that Microsoft still has a ways to go in making its interface more user friendly. The review finds:

Along similar lines, we prefer the interface of Palm OS over the Treo 700w’s Windows Mobile environment: The Palm OS-based unit manages to fit more information into its screens and does so more clearly.

However, in the end, eWeek.com found more to like than dislike about the new device and stated “…we found the 700w a strong smart-phone contender…”

In the end, it’s going to come down to a market place decision as Microsoft continues to try and gain market share from RIM. In this battle, if it wasn’t for the pending litigation RIM is involved in, Microsoft would be David against RIM’s Goliath.

Categories : Hardware | Mobile Tech


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