Palm launch event- Liveblog

We have now arrived at the Palm launch event, and having drinks, waiting for the presentation to start in 30 minutes.

We have now been called into the presentation. Reps from Palm and Microsoft are there.

Palm says its all about EMEA and shows a graph showing “WM dominates enterprise in Europe”

Little known fact – Palm 750v was Vodafone’s biggest selling WM phone ever- the 500v was “selling to expectation”

Palm talks about how the pro is designed for both ease of use and productivity.

More after the break…

Palm’s John Walker, Palm Product Marketing Manager spends 10 minutes explaining how they saved having to ship a CD with the phone – the audience is not convinced.

Palm explains they will be selling the unlocked phone in USA and other places to ease “international roaming”. In UK it will be on Vodafone, from “free” and on O2 also. Vodafone will be selling all over their network worldwide, but not in France, while O2 will be doing UK and Ireland.

John talks about Palm’s quest for ease of use – 3 presses should get you anywhere you want in the OS.

The slimmest and thinnest Treo so far.

John says the Treo Pro is the first Treo with GPS and WIFI – how soon the Treo 800w is forgotten.

The Treo will be bundled with a 14 day trial for the Webraska GPS software. After that it will be 79 euros per year.

John talks a bit about the wifi, how it automatically turns of to save battery.

Palm then talks about the on screen clock and the flashing d-pad. No-one asks why e-mail alerts dont show up.

Palm shows of the accessories – the cradle and car charger really looks nice.

Alex Reeve, Microsoft Mobile Communications come on.

Says phones can now function well and look good, says (strangely) most competitors do not have 3G UMTS, WIFI and GPS. (I thought they all had that?)

He spends some time talking up Windows Mobile growth.

Says Windows Mobile “Dominates enterprise in Europe”

Says Windows Mobile is familiar, does not need staff retraining, and you can round trip documents without losing formating (is this true??) Also secure and government certified.

Talks about not needing middle-ware with a Microsoft solution.

Alex says Blackberry Enterprise server needs 8 servers to support 10 000 users, while Microsoft only needs 2 “dominant” exchange servers to support 30 000 users which makes a “massive difference” in terms of money to enterprise.

Microsoft has a strategic partnership with Palm, and represents a well-known brand.

End of presentation. Now for the Q&A session.

Palm asked again about the “not needing the CD thing”. Palm says the software is not stored locally on the device (is this true) and that it needs to be downloaded from the Internet automatically the Treo is plugged in. The questioners what would happen if the pc you want to sync with is not connected to the net, Palm says its unlikely. The questioner continues to give Palm a hard time, saying he did not understand why Palm was so proud of a feature which did not seem fully implemented.

Your truly ask about USB Mass storage mode. The Palm rep does not seem to understand the question, and keeps talking about supporting 32 GB storage.

Some-one asks about syncing with a mac, is told that the Treo Pro supports mac syncing software (neglecting to mention it was 3rd party software)

Another person asks if the Treo Pro is competitive in the youth market with only a 2 megapixel camera, Palm said they were sure it was.

The questions wind down.

Palm reveals that we will not be leaving with review units, but will be receiving them in the mail. We will however have a hands-on session later.

I will review the device when it arrives in a few days. The device will be in Vodafone stores by early next week.

Overall it was a good presentation, but not with a lot of new information.