A Palm for the rest of your staff?

Your executives likely own a Palm V. Your sales staff may own a Palm VII or one of those new pocket PCs with wireless features. So why haven't you bought some Palms for the rest of your staff? Now you can.

Palm may be marketing its new m100 for a broader consumer audience, but there's no reason you can't buy a whole bunch of these devices for your employees who don't need the extra memory, titanium casing or wireless access. Be a good boss and let your staff become more organised, and have them join the mobile revolution by purchasing some m100s.

The m100 comes with the core applications (calendar, contacts, to-do list and infrared beaming) that make the Palm OS so appealing. A retail price of $US149 puts it in competition with the Handspring Visor, another 'low-end' PDA that would be appropriate for the rest of the staff. The Palm devices will integrate with Microsoft's Outlook, so if you've got that installed on your employees' desktops, integration is simple. If you don't have Outlook, the device comes with the Palm Desktop application, a personal information manager that's quite easy to use.

In addition to the core applications, the m100 comes with a new clock application, which displays the time at the push of a button. If you happen to forget your watch, the m100 comes in handy.

Another new application on the m100 is the Note program, which lets you scribble notes, drawings or doodles. This feature is found on Pocket PC devices and was missing from earlier Palm incarnations. There are some great third-party applications available (such as Haus of Maus' BugMe! application) if your employees want some more 'scribbling' types of programs.

Finally, the design of the m100 lets your employees be a little more creative and 'fashionable' if they desire. Similar to those removable Nokia mobile phone face plates, the m100 lets you remove its graphite face plate and replace it with something more colourful. Expect to see many more colours in the market as manufacturers create new designs. It may be a little thing, but some employees may like the ability to customise their Palms in this way.

The only downside to the m100 is its 2Mbytes of RAM. That's the price you pay for a $US149 device. If your employees discover the additional range of functions and applications available from third-party developers, they may want more memory. But if they only want to use the PDA for contacts, to-do lists and calendar appointments, the 2Mbytes should suffice, and you won't have to spend the extra money for memory that won't be used.

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