Handspring and MSN Pair Up

Under an agreement reached with Microsoft, the latest version of Handspring's Blazer Web browser will have default homepage from MSN, the Web portal owned by the software giant.

Allen Bush, a spokesperson for Handspring, said this doesn't indicate any kind of shift in his company's plans to licence Microsoft's Pocket PC OS. According to Mr. Bush, they simply wanted a site that made a good homepage. "For us the most important thing was just having a great content partner,'' he said.

A mobile QuickStart page, powered by MSN Mobile, provides users with access to news, stock quotes, driving directions, weather, and more.

Bob Visse, group product manager for MSN, said "This all fits within that broader context of taking today what is primarily a PC type of relationship and building that out so we can work on various different levels."

This is possibly part of Microsoft laying the groundwork for its .NET initiative. This will involve removing many Microsoft applications from users PCs and handhelds and instead have them served by an Application Service Provider (ASP), either over a company's internal network or over the Internet. Microsoft CEO and President Steve Ballmer has said in the past, "No offense to the Pocket PC, but we might need to bring .Net services to Palm and other devices." He emphasized that .NET "might" be ported to the Palm OS.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2001 12:44:01 PM #
Handspring has finally done it, they sold out to Microsoft. How sad!

RE: Sellout
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2001 12:53:28 PM #
What does that mean exactly: "they sold out"? Your comment is silly. Handspring is a company, and their objective IS to sell, not to subscribe to whatever (anti-Microsoft) notions you or I or anyone else might have. I am no MS fan, either, but you have to look at this as Handspring does, as a business move. They seem to think it will be beneficial to them, and the marketplace (i.e. you and I) will either prove them right or wrong. This would only be a "sellout" if at sometime in the past Handspring declared as part of their business plan "Death to Microsoft and all their minions!!" Although I probably have not read their corporate prospectus carefully enough, I don't recall seeing such a statement therein.

Not just the latest versions...

porter @ 5/15/2001 2:04:01 PM #
It's not just "the latest version" that defaults to an MSN-powered homepage. The 1.1b3 version that I'm running started pointing to it this afternoon.

Prescient Move

Legible @ 5/15/2001 9:26:18 PM #
I find that Handspring is always more innovative and gungho than Palm. Using MSN as the "start page" doesn't necessarily means "sleeping with the enemy".

I just take it as offering the best available service at this moment to the customers.

This is a refreshing change from Palm and its "not invented here" mentality.

Hanspring Messanger??

Knoxy @ 5/16/2001 9:56:06 AM #
Does this mean that we will be seeing MSN Messanger on the Palm os soon?


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