Palm Pre Business Launch Guide Leaked - InformationWeek

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5/27/2009
08:05 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Palm Pre Business Launch Guide Leaked

The materials Palm is using to educate the Sprint sales force on on selling the Palm Pre was leaked and Engadget has published the full document. There are a number of interesting items in the document.

The materials Palm is using to educate the Sprint sales force on on selling the Palm Pre was leaked and Engadget has published the full document. There are a number of interesting items in the document.Palm will apparently be relying heavily on third party apps to make it work with businesses. It will "...have a variety of third-party software solutions available that will increase productivity across a diverse workforce..." It will allow you to view Excel and Word documents out of the box, but editing will require a third party tool, likely at an extra cost.

It will have Exchange support for email, appointments, tasks and contacts. It also apparently requires no additional servers for widespread deployment. I suspect this means it will be somewhat limited in how much tweaking IT can do to the machine remotely. Both Microsoft's Windows Mobile and RIM's Blackberry can be deployed in just about any manner IT desires, but both require server software to accomplish that. Interestingly enough, the Pre will support multiple Exchange accounts, something not even Microsoft's own Windows Mobile will do.

They are really pitching the six immediately available accessories, including a premium holster and the wireless touchstone dock. They are careful to make sure the Sprint employee alerts the customer that while other chargers might exist, they may not work properly. This presumably will scare the customer into buying a genuine Palm brand charger. They specifically call out that "due to the uniqueness of this device, optimum performance can only be guaranteed through the use of Sprint or Palm Pre accessories." If your device ever gets sluggish, you'll have only your cheap $9.99 off-brand holster to blame.

The voice and data plans will be hard to compare to competitors, which is something Sprint will like. For $69.99, you get unlimited data and 450 minutes of talk time a month. You can piece together the a 600 minute voice plan with unlimited data and texting at T-Mobile for $74.99, but you have to make a few choices to do so. Sprint is keeping it simple with just a few plans to choose from, all of which have unlimited data. Smart. If you want to make it more complex, you can look at the business plans, which have many more options.

Sprint employees will not be allowed to get the phone initially to ensure all available devices make it to the end customer.

The document arms Sprint employees with comparisons to the AT&T/iPhone, Verizon/Storm and T-Mobile/G1 combos and make it clear that if exclusive NASCAR content is your priority, only the Pre has it.

Even though they initially claim that the Pre "will make many IT managers' standards list" they later claim that the Pre is best suited for the non-IT centric business user. I think it will be hard for an IT manager to deploy a device that will be unsuitable for their own department or the power users in the company. They go on to ask if you have specific security, management or application requirements, need specific product features or if your company centrally provisions devices for large deployments. Answer "yes" to these and they recommend the Treo Pro, a Windows Mobile device. This seems contradictory to me to some of the claims made earlier in the document. To ensure they get the point across to the sales staff, they have told Sprint employees in huge red letters "We Can't Afford To Sell the Pre to the Wrong Customers."

If you still want the Pre, check with your local Sprint store. They will be accepting pre-orders before the official June 6 launch date. Palm will also have a Hollywood event on June 3, a New York Executive Breakfast on July 5 and on Friday evening before the big Saturday, Sprint will have its own launch events.

Check out the document yourself. There are tons of other tidbits of info that may influence your decision about getting a Pre. A blogger named Manu J has made the document availble in a downloadable PDF format.

If you've made up your mind that the Pre is for you, go ahead and look at Engadget's post on the Pre Gesture Guide so you will know how to use the device before you pick one up.

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