TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: A Marriage Not Made in Heaven

A Marriage Not Made in Heaven

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 6 Jan 2006 15:50:11 -0500

David Pogue

YOU thought the apocalypse was upon us when Apple switched to
processor chips from Intel, which Mac fans had considered the Dark
Side for more than 20 years?

Well, try this on for size: Palm's new Treo 700W cellphone-organizer
runs on software from Microsoft. Yes, that Microsoft, whose palmtop
software was mocked by Palm employees for years as bloated and

What's next -- a new radio show with Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken as

The first question, in Palm's case, is: why? The answer is: corporate

For years, Palm has stood by, gnashing its teeth and losing market
share, as corporate tech buyers lived and breathed the credo, "Nobody
ever got fired for buying Microsoft." So maybe, thought Palm, it could
join that party by offering its much-admired Treo phone with Microsoft

The second question is: how?

From the beginning, Palm's and Microsoft's design philosophies were
miles apart. Microsoft lived for long lists of features and 65
different ways to get at them, while Palm strove for simplicity and
directness. (At one point, Palm actually employed a tap counter - a
guy whose job it was to make sure no task required more than three
taps on the PalmPilot's touch screen.) How on earth can these two
approaches be reconciled?

As it turns out, not very easily. The Treo 700W ($400 with a two-year
Verizon commitment) is a Frankensteinian mishmash. Some of its
features are so inspired and well executed, you can't help grinning,
while others are so clumsy, you smack your forehead.

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