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Palm, a maker of personal digital assistants (PDAs), will reportedly use operating system from Microsoft Corp. in its new Treo 700 mobile device, which will be sold via Verizon Wireless operator. If the information is correct, this will be the first time when Palm uses operating system that has been competing against Palm OS fir years.

The Palm Treo 700 will belong to the next-generation of Treo PDAs in terms of design and functionality. Earlier rumours suggested that the Treo 700 will feature 1.3MP digital camera with up to 8x digital zoom. The design of the pocket computer should be a lot smoother compared to other Palm’s models. The device will be able to operate in GSM/GPRS networks and will be equipped with a keyboard like that on competing HP iPAQ models.

The main feature of Palm’s Treo 700 will be the operating system – the gadget will run Windows Mobile 5.0, according to an AP report as well as Engadget web-site.

In the second quarter of 2005 Palm OS PDA shipments declined 40.9% from a year ago, which is also a result of Sony’s withdrawal from the PDA market, the operating system (OS) is now installed in 18.8% of personal digital assistants. Microsoft maintained its position as the leading PDA OS supplier, as it accounted for 46% of worldwide shipments in the second quarter of 2005, according to Gartner. In the battle for the second position, RIM extended its lead over Palm OS with 23.2% of the market. Symbian OS occupies 7.6% of the market, the exact market share of Nokia’s smartphones on the market, whereas Linux was used on 0.8% of PDAs.

Rumours about possible embracement of Microsoft Windows Mobile by Palm have been circulating for some time now, but they seem to materialize only after PalmSource, a subsidiary of Palm which has been developing Palm OS, had been acquired by Japanese company ACCESS. 

Officials for Palm Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Verizon Wireless did not comment on the news-story.

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