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Gates along with Palm execs
Microsoft's Windows Mobile that is

This week Palm held its quarterly earning conference call and during the call, Palm mentioned two future Treo devices, one of which is expected to be delivered in August or September and the other by the end of this year. However, Palm has stumbled onto some road blocks.

First, the Treo 650 will stop shipping in Europe because of new hazardous waste regulations that are taking effect that the phone does not comply with.  Palm is feverously working to ready its next devices currently codenamed ‘Lennon’ and ‘Nitro’ to Europe and US markets as soon as it possibly can, but the company didn’t have any release dates available during the call. Not a lot of information is available about the new devices planned by Palm, but we do know that Nitro will be based off on the PalmOS and Lennon will run Windows Mobile 2005 -- this is according to documents recently obtained by Engadget.

It also looks like non-phone Palm products probably won’t last much longer as LifeDrive wasn’t the product Palm was hoping it would be and hasn’t sold as well as projected. This is further supported by comments made by Palm CEO Ed Colligan, indicating that the company continues to refocus on its smartphone products. Palm’s non-smartphone handhelds and other device sales numbers have also steadily declined over the last four years from 100% of sales in 2003 to only 25% of sales today.

Regarding email push functionality, Mr. Colligan noted that companies have been slow to embrace the feature because they are hesitant to migrate to Microsoft's Exchange Server 2003 SP2. Many large enterprise customers don’t even run Exchange so it doesn’t make sense for them to install another system at increased cost just to support mobile mail. This puts some companies at a distinct disadvantage to the Blackberry devices which require no significant changes to software and hardware to support the feature.

There were also some other comments made during the call that lead us to believe that PalmOS may be on the way out. According to Palm, developing for two separate operating systems is too expensive, and more devices coming to market continue to ship with Windows Mobile. Although the change isn’t reflected in Palm's current device roadmap, the company mentioned that it would make sense. RIM devices run on RIM OS and although it faces heavy competition from Microsoft, RIM devices have a good deal of enterprise level penetration. From the sounds of things, Palm is in the same ballpark as other mobile smartphone makers. Try as it might, Palm doesn’t seem like it's  gaining much headway against RIM and the Blackberry in the enterprise and business markets. With this in mind, we could be witnessing an entire new line of products from Palm shipping with Windows Mobile.





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