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Palm Pushes Forward

CITY OF DREAMS -- CTIA Wireless 2006 -- It appears that handheld maker Palm Inc. will be the first to issue a much anticipated software update to enable push email to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphones.

The creators of the Treo say that the new code will be available for free download by the end of this month. After that, the upgrade will come as standard on the Treo 700w and future Windows Smartphones from Palm.

The update is important because Microsoft users -- particularly business users -- have been clamoring for a push email update so that their wireless devices behave more like the best-selling BlackBerry from BlackBerry and direct email from their Outlook inbox to their device.

A spokeswoman for Palm says that it's not possible to say exactly when the update will be available because that is up to Verizon Wireless , which is currently the only carrier offering the Treo 700w device, but that it may be this month.

Other carriers are rolling out or planning push email services that use a variety of devices, including Orange UK and Cingular Wireless . (See Europe First for Redmond Push .) Enterprise users will also need to have Microsoft's update on the server side installed so that email can be directed to the wireless devices.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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