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Enterprises Must Face Shift From PDAs To Smartphones

Even as Microsoft tops PalmSource in PDAs, Symbian leads the smartphone operating system race. What does this mean for your enterprise?

A market study last week showed that last quarter, for the first time ever, PDAs based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform outsold Palm OS handhelds.

Thats a big deal because the Palm platform dominated the PDA market starting with the introduction of the first PalmPilot the mid-90sa. A couple of years ago, though, PDAs based on the Microsoft platform started taking serious divots out of the Palm OS, particularly in the enterprise.

That shift wasn't so surprising. Windows dominates the enterprise and IT managers like consistency. Also, Microsoft has a history of entering markets late and muscling its way to the top. Just ask Netscape, Novell, or WordPerfect.

There's much more to this story, though, if you read between the lines. Theres another, more profound trend at work: a shift away from PDAs to smartphones.

This larger trend lessens the impact of Microsoft's accomplishment in the PDA sector as Microsoft has only recently started gaining any traction for its smartphone platform. That arena is dominated by Symbian, which enjoys the same kind of same huge worldwide lead that the Palm OS once held.

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