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CNET article considers infrastructure problems on new Palm W
Posted on 1-Mar-2003 11:11. | Tags Filed under: News.

CNET article considers infrastructure problems on new Palm W
The new Palm Tungsten W entered the market last Friday... And already people are looking behind the scenes to identify a market for this device. But this article on CNET shows that we need more than a market. We need (as we already know!) applications!

The new Palm Tungsten W is a data-centric device with voice capabilities. It allows GSM and GPRS connections, but it's not a phone, like Handspring Treo or the MS smartphone.

The editor notes that a wireless device is only good as the infrastructure behind it. Palm does offer wireless access software, called the Tungsten Mobile Information Management Solution (MIMS), for older wireless devices. Those include the i705 and m500 series handhelds with attached wireless local area network cards, which cost $2,499 including a 25-client license. Microsoft has a similar solution for its line of handhelds, called Microsoft MIS (Mobile Information Server).

It is currently possible to get wireless access to corporate data through the Tungsten W device, but the configurations are complicated and rely on third-party providers.

"From a technological perspective, Palm is taking only a modest step forward," Paul Coster, an analyst with J.P. Morgan Securities, wrote in a research note Thursday. And without wireless access software, the Tungsten W is a "me too" product in a market full of similar devices, and falls short of offerings from RIM and Good Technology.

With the exception of RIM and start-up Good Technology, few other companies have been able to serve up an all-in-one product that can offer always-on e-mail access. Palm and Handspring do offer redirector e-mail software, which is not as easy to use or as desirable to IT managers as the services from RIM and Good Technology.

The author also tries to understand why the new device runs version 4.1 of the Palm operating system and not the latest version, Palm OS 5. In addition, it contains a 33MHz DragonBall processor from Motorola. The company's Tungsten T device, which was introduced last October at the same time as the Tungsten W, runs Palm OS 5 and uses a Texas Instruments 144MHz OMAP processor.

Security is also a concern in this environment. Most IT deparments in big companies are not prepared to support or create standards for these devices.

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