Microsoft Considering Palm Devices for .Net-Based Apps


Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer said here last week that the software vendor, as part of its new Internet-based .Net computing services strategy, will try to put applications such as Word and Exchange on Palm Inc.'s market-leading handheld computers and other mobile devices that compete with Microsoft's own Pocket PC technology.

"No offense to the Pocket PC, but we might need to bring .Net services to Palm and other [handheld] devices," Ballmer said during a question-and-answer session in front of an audience of about 7,000 information technology managers at Gartner Group Inc.'s Symposium/ITxpo 2000 conference.

Embracing the rival Palm devices would be "a logical business strategy" for Microsoft, said Tom Austin, a Gartner Group analyst. "Microsoft might have been [hoping], 'If we close our eyes, Palm will go away,' but in this case, they haven't," Austin said.

More than 7 million Palm devices are currently in use.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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