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PalmOne Hooks into Exchange

Users of the Treo smartphone will get out-of-the-box compatibility with Microsoft's Exchange Server, thanks to a licensing deal between Milpitas, Calif.-based palmOne and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft .

Licensing the Exchange Server Synchronization Protocol will let Treo users synchronize with their server-based e-mail and calendars via palmOne's VersaMail client, eliminating the need for a third-party server to act as a conduit between the phone and the corporate e-mail server.

PalmOne cited an IDC report as rationale for the deal. The IT research firm estimates the number of mobile workers in the United States will grow from 10 million to a total of 104.5 million individuals between 2002 and 2006. IDC said that 84 percent of businesses would deploy wireless e-mail first, before PIM, CRM or sales force automation applications.

"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," Ed Colligan, PalmOne president, said in a statement.

According to IDC's most recent Worldwide Handheld QView, PalmOne was the top supplier of handheld devices, with 42 percent of the market in the second quarter of 2004.

"palmOne's challenge in the second half of 2004 will be to maintain its recent momentum while taking advantage of the imminent reality of becoming the only major Palm OS vendor in the handheld market," the report said.