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Microsoft, palmOne in Email Partnership

Today, Microsoft and handheld-maker palmOne announced a strategic partnership in which palmOne will license Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 ActiveSync technology for use in future Treo Smartphones. The technology will help Treo owners synchronize data, including email, between their devices and Exchange 2003.
"palmOne has built its brand on making complex technologies easy to use, and having wireless synchronization to Exchange 2003 available out of the box will enhance our Smartphone customers' experience, while slashing company IT costs," palmOne President Ed Colligan said. "Key to offering the premier mobile email access device is our open-platform approach, resulting in a full spectrum of choices for individuals to \[Chief Information Officers\] (CIOs) at the largest enterprises."
The deal with Microsoft gives palmOne a more competitive stance against rival Research in Motion (RIM), whose handheld BlackBerry devices have become popular in recent years. Also, by integrating with Exchange, palmOne won't need to build or purchase its own email server product, helping the company reduce costs. However, the alliance is somewhat controversial because palmOne has battled Microsoft in the handheld computer market for 8 years. Recently, devices based on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform have closed the gap on those based on the Palm OS, which palmOne devices use (Palm OS maker PalmSource is a separate company from palmOne).

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