A Window to your Palm

Big in 2006: The Windows TreoDue: March (in our dreams)£TBAIt’s like JR appearing on Dynasty – almost. Next February sees the Stateside arrival of the

Big in 2006: The Windows Treo

Due: March (in our dreams)

£TBA

It’s like JR appearing on Dynasty – almost. Next February sees the Stateside arrival of the 700W, the first Palm Treo running Windows Mobile.

Much mystery and obfuscation surrounds it, but we know one thing for sure – we won’t be getting the same version. Nestling inside the 700W is a CDMA (USA-only) radio, so in the UK it’d be as useful as a Hawaiian grass skirt in a Huddersfield winter.

The UK is, however, almost guaranteed to get a Windows Treo in 2006, since the nation is such a big market for Palm. And because we asked Palm very politely to bring the darn thing here in a UK incarnation.

The specs won’t give palmtop lovers any goosepimples of excitement, since the camera is a measly 1MP effort. Eh? We’ve had them in palmtops since, like, 2004 – and there’s Blueooth but no Wi-Fi. Mind you, the design's the key here. The 700W has a near-identical form to the much-loved 650 and is virtually the same size, sporting a mighty similar QWERTY keyboard.

While the arrival of Windows Mobile 5.0 on the Treo is good news for the XP-loving, Vista-testing types amongst us – Activesync trumps Palm Desktop any day – the broader picture’s more depressing. Palm-powered handhelds have already slipped well behind Windows ones for market share, so this is probably going to kill the Palm OS off. And where’s the competiton in that? Ah, Mr Series 60, pleased to meet you. Let the new handheld war commence…