Microsoft, Viewsonic to make cheap PDAs

The Inquirer is reporting that Microsoft is teaming up with Viewsonic to produce a $299 PocketPC. The $299 price point is actually cheap as far as PocketPCs go, and is the same one Dell wanted when it solicited bids for its own PDA. The thought is that these "cheap" PocketPCs will have a much broader mass market appeal, but since when is $299 cheap?

If you swing over to Palm's own online store, you'll find a total of four models that come in under that $299 price point, including the $99 m105. Sony, who make a full line of Palm-based handhelds, also have several models listed for under the $299 price point. Now we all know that PocketPCs have much broader functionality, especially when it comes to multimedia and gaming, but do either of those features really have enough mass market appeal to beat much cheaper Palm-based models that are equally capable of basic PDA/PIM tasks?

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