MS plays down PalmPilot connection

Microsoft today played down the PalmPilot connection.

Reports from the US have suggested 3Com-US Robotics is less than happy with both Microsoft's design and nomenclature for the Palm PC, unveiled yesterday, saying the blueprint and moniker are too close for comfort to its own hugely successful PalmPilot handheld pen tablet.

As ever, Microsoft issued a swift, hard rebuttal.

"It takes me back to a year ago when people said Windows CE devices were in competition with Psion," said Anne Mitchard, personal systems and Internet group marketing manager.

"What we believe we're doing is growing the marketplace and now Psion says they've appreciated Microsoft going in and validating that marketplace. The real market we're going after is Palm PCs that act as companions to Windows PCs. The plan is total integration with the PC and that's been the strategy as long as I've been in the job. The strength is commonality of applications and look and feel between devices.

Mitchard expects a mix of consumer and business buyers to purchase Palm PC products which will be made by seven OEMs including Casio, Philips and Samsung.

Microsoft declined to comment on availability and pricing of products.

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