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Vodafone gets first shout at Palm Euro 3G Treo

Device to run Windows Mobile

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Palm's first Euro-centric Treo smart phone will run Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 and ship exclusively - initially, at least - on the Vodafone network, the PDA pioneer announced today. The device will ship in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands by the end of the year.

Palm didn't say much else about the hardware beyond confirming that the unit will operate on Vodafone's 3G network - no great surprise, given the hints Palm dropped when it launched its European R&D centre in Dublin late last year.

How much the new model will resemble the currently US-only Treo 700w remains to be seen. Our bet is on a slightly different design that lacks an external antenna. In the past, Palm executives have admitted the presence of the Treo's antenna stub has hindered sales in Europe, where consumers and business buyers consider such things old-fashioned.

Palm said the three partner companies will promote push email, so the device will certainly incorporate Microsoft's Messaging and Security Feature Pack, which lets Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 installations push email and Outlook data to compatible handsets. It also allows administrators to remotely wipe devices suspected of having fallen into the wrong hands.

T-Mobile UK this week rolled out updates to add the Messaging and Security Feature Pack to its MDA-branded smart phones.

For Palm, the Vodafone deal is an important one. To date, it has only won the support of European carriers Orange and, just recently, O2. ®

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