From my seat here in Seattle, sure looks like there is a lot going on at CES in Vegas.
One item that I am privy to is the launch of the Palm Treo 750 by Cingular Wireless that runs on the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. The smartphone is the equivalent to the Palm Treo 700w, which was announced in partnership with Verizon Wireless more than a year ago.
The new Palm Treo 750,
with service from Cingular.
The 750 runs Cingular's 3G/UMTS network, whereas the 700w runs on Verizon and Sprint's CDMA 3G network architecture.
A couple of differences are readily apparent about the two. First, the 750 is slightly smaller, mostly because it has an internal antenna, and it has a smooth, almost plastic finish that's nice to hold. It also supports mini-SD cards, instead of the full SD.
Another item worth noting is that the default search bar from the device's home screen is Google, not MSN, even though the operating system is Windows.
"When I'm on a PC, I use Google," said Palm product manager Andy Clipsham. "How is it different" if he's searching on his mobile phone? he asks.
Clipsham said in order to make it the best customer experience, Palm decided to go with Google. He said Microsoft was fine with that. In fact, he said one Microsoft executive was really happy that Palm felt comfortable going against the grain.
"He said if Palm has an ability to stand up to Microsoft, this is how we are inviting; it's about what is best for customer experience," he said.
The inviting attitude is something Microsoft has been working on for a while. In February last year at 3GSM, Steve Ballmer said that he wanted to make it clear that Microsoft was not trying to dominate every aspect of the wireless industry.
It was there that Ballmer delivered this strong message, which the troops apparently are following: "Many people ask me if we are your friends or your foes," Ballmer said. "We come as a friend."