While everyone is waiting for Bill Gate’s keynote tonight (at 6:30 PM Pacific Time), there is a variety of Microsoft related news in the fire hose that’s coming from CES even though the show doesn’t formally start until tomorrow.
Palm Inc. on Wednesday said it has started sales of its Treo mobile phone powered by Microsoft Corp. software, a device that could help Palm compete against Research In Motion’s Blackberry for corporate customers.
Palm’s Treo 700w device, introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will run on Verizon Wireless’s high speed data network, using Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system.
The phone and digital assistant connects to the Internet and handles e-mail. It includes a built-in 1.3 megabyte camera and is priced at about $400, depending on related service agreements.
Meanwhile, in the high definition DVD arena, the two sides were each putting their best foot forward:
Both Blu-ray, led by Sony Corp., and HD DVD, championed by Toshiba Corp. (and Microsoft – ed.), hope to spark the sagging home video market with new high-definition DVD players and discs, offering greater capacity and interactive features.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Toshiba announced plans to sell in March a high-definition DVD player in the U.S., becoming the first electronics maker to roll out a player for next-generation DVDs. The two models, which are also compatible with current generation DVDs, will be priced at $799 and $499.
Meanwhile, Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox and Lionsgate, all of which are exclusively supportive of HD DVD rival Blu-ray, released names of titles for the Blu-ray format.
Universal Studios, the lone studio supporting only HD DVD, said it will announce titles later on Wednesday.
And straddling the fence, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures announced titles for both formats as will Time Warner’s Warner Bros. There was earlier high definition DVD news at CES from Broadcom.