CES: Palm, Microsoft team on smart phone

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Palm announced its first handheld that runs on a Windows-based operating system instead of its proprietary operating system, Palm OS.

Palm teamed with Microsoft to make the Treo 700w smartphone happen, and Microsoft allowed the company to add its own enhancements to the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.

Examples of these enhancements include several call management features and an improved Today screen that allows you to dial a phone call by name and search the Web without leaving the main view.

Palm also teamed with Verizon Wireless to provide wireless service, and the new device is the first Treo smartphone to use Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess (note to editor: 'BroadbandAccess' is one word) service on its Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) network. The resulting download speeds are comparable to desktop PC speeds, which is a major improvement for handheld devices.

The device builds on the physical design of its predecessor, the Treo 650, but with several new features such as right and left action keys and new Start and OK buttons.

The Treo 700w also features 128M of memory with 60M available to the user, a 1.3 Megapixel camera, integrated Bluetooth 1.2 wireless and a removable lithium-ion battery.

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