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Treo 180, Fusion of Palm-based PDA and Mobile Phone, Opens to Raves

Last week, The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC published separate reviews of the Handspring Treo 180. This is the latest device promising integration between mobile telephony, PDA functionality, and electronic mail.

Walt Mossberg hailed the Treo 180 in his Personal Technology last Thursday. He said, "...the Treo is a true breakthrough. Unlike other combo devices, which were either phones with Palms jammed into them or Palms with phone features added, the Treo is a true hybrid." This is high praise, coming from a columnist who is fairly unique because he focuses relentlessly on usability of new technology products and is quite critical of products that are not ready for the market.

Another review which came out late last week was written by Gary Krakow of MSNBC. He also really likes the Treo 180, and uses its impending release as a backhanded way to criticze the Microsoft Stinger project. This is interesting because Microsoft is one of the partners in the MSNBC partnership.

Krakow's review pays more attention than did Mossberg's to the wireless telephone calling plans for GSM-compatible vendors who will support the Treo out of the box. This is probably something that Mossberg would have talked about as well, were it not for the length limitations imposed on his Personal Technology column by the page size of the print version of the Wall Street Journal. Krakow does not have these limitations, so he included the information, and we found the high level comparison of Cingular and VoiceStream plans to be enlightening.

As active users of all three genres of mobile technology (mobile phones, PDAs, and e-mail enabled pagers), CTDATA is quite interested in the development of the Treo product. There is a good possibility that we will buy at least one of these, when it becomes available, provided that GSM service is available in the areas where we primarily work, in Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City.

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