I thought I'd share my experience with syncing my Treo to my Windows Vista desktop. From a Mobile <-> Desktop Sync Standpoint, I think we are talking about the following items:

- Email,
- Contacts,
- Calendar,
- Tasks (To Do List),
- Select files.

Email:

This is more a function of your mail server than anything Palm (or anyone else) can offer. If you are running with a POP3 mail server, your options for true sync are a bit limited, but if you have an IMAP mail server then you have several options out there.

My perferred option is the Chatter Email client. The Verizon provided email app, Versamail, will most definaely give you synced email, but Chatter does it so much better and gives you a true "Push Email" experience. If you are going to buy any software for your Treo, this one should be in the Top 5 (1 in my book).

Contacts:

This one needs to be approached with some thought. The one thing you don't want to do with contact lists is have multiple lists -- it is far to easy for the lists to get out of sync. To avoid this, one needs a central repository for all contacts. The best "FREE" central repository for contacts out there is Plaxo.com. Plaxo is a free online service that allows you to sync/store all of your contacts online. Plaxo is nice in that it can "automagically" sync with many desktop addressbook applications out there. If you haven't had a look at Plaxo.com, you really should. It is very nice.

I use Thunderbird for my desktop email client and addressbook: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/ Plaxo.com includes a free extension for Thunderbird that allows you to sync the thunderbird addressbook with plaxo.

To sync my Treo contacts with my Thunderbird/Plaxo, I use the free Palmsync extenstion to thunderbird: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_PalmSync

Palmsync isn’t OTA (requires a hotsync), but it is very effective at keeping your contacts/addresbook in sync.

Calendar:

On the desktop side, I use Google Calendar. It is free, Non-M$, and very easy to use. To sync my Treo to my Google Calendar, I use goosync at: http://www.goosync.com/ For a single calendar sync, the service is free and you don’t need to provide your google calendar username/password. Goodsync is very easy to use. The only short coming is that you have to manually initiate the sync. It would be far better if one could schedule syncs, say twice a day...


Tasks:

This is the real weak link as far as I’m concerned. I really wish google calendar did tasks, but they currently don’t (although, I think they plan to in the future). On the desktop side, I use the Palm Desktop tasklist and sync to my Treo using Hotsync. For some time, I played around with Remember The Milk: http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ It is a nice setup and integrates with google calendar, but doesn’t sync with the Treo. You can, however, access your remember the milk tasklist using Blazer. I didn’t like this, but others might.

Select Files:

The best Palm app I’ve found is Softstick Card Export: http://www.softick.com/cardexport/ It basically turns your Treo into a USB thumbdrive.

As far as Vista and Palm Desktop goes, I have 100% sync. The only thing I can’t do is use the software installer, which isn’t that big of a deal. I just email the Palm apps to myself and open/install them on my Treo.

Greg