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MS Powered Treo for Dell? The Rumors Continue...

The latest "Microsoft Powered Treo" rumor purportedly has "Dell pressing palmOne to make a Treo with a Microsoft engine so that Dell can turn around and sell it to their enterprise users" according to Matt Maier at GigaOm.  As someone commented elsewhere, if this really ever comes to pass I'll happily eat a sheet of paper.

The real unanswered question still on my mind with these rumors however is Cui Bono? - meaning, Who benefits?

First we should look at who is being attacked the most and who would benefit the least from these rumors.  Without a doubt this would be PalmSource.  Having its single largest licensee, palmOne, adopt another OS would naturally not exactly be in its best interest.  Nevertheless, although many have gone to great lengths to emphasize the potential threat to PalmSource, it should be perfectly obvious that even if palmOne were to use a secondary OS such as Microsoft's or even Linux the company would not stop making Palm powered Treo smart phones anytime soon.  In his post however, Matt states that "PalmSource could be facing the departure of its single biggest licensee" but this eventuality is about as realistic as me getting abducted by aliens tonight (if you don't see a post tomorrow just look up at the heavens...).

So, who would benefit from undermining PalmSource and the PalmOS?  Well, on the competing OS' side you have Microsoft, Symbian and RIM among the prime candidates.  Each of these would like nothing more than to see the PalmOS fall by the wayside and there is no better time to 'attack' than at the current point of transition from PDA's to combo phone/PDA's when all players are scrambling for pole position.  Each of these competitors must presage that if the palmOne/PalmSource relationship remains strong and that sales of the Treo family continue to rise unabated that they will both have a real shot at becoming leaders in the hardware/software smart phone space respectively - not an attractive proposition for the competition.

On the other hand, palmOne may very well be instigating these rumours so as to determine the level of receptivity and support that it may be able to garner from corporate IT departments for a potential MS powered Treo 650 - or even simply to raise awareness of the Treo there.  If discussions are indeed taking place with Dell however I don't understand why palmOne is not pushing the company to consider supporting the Palm OS as there is absolutely no reason why it could not become widely adopted within corporate environments.

In the end, as I've stated in the past, I believe that what we're seeing is a massive and generalized case of Treo-envy and it now appears that even companies such as Dell can't wait to join in the fun and become Treonauts!

[Read "Persistent Palm Rumors" at GigaOm]

Previous rumor coverage:
Treo MS Mobile?
A new OS for palmOne

Treonauts love a good debate...

Posted by Andrew on November 29, 2004 at 08:54 AM

Treo News

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by Finally!!! | Oct 13, 2005 1:51:43 PM

It's about time, footprint of Treo is the best, was just missing the Windows OS to include everything we already know how to do with Windows. Start eating the paper!!!!!!!!!

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