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Handhelds The Almighty Buck Hardware

Palm Reveals New Name 306

dmehus writes "Milpitas, Calif. based Palm Inc. announced Sunday afternoon the new name and moniker for its handheld hardware business. After almost two years in the planning and focus group stages, the company's Board of Directors and executives decided on PalmOne. PalmOne's ticker symbol will change from the current PALM to PLMO. Sister company PalmSource, which will be the operating system business, takes ticker symbol PSRC. According this report by CNET's Ina Fried, the two companies will be publicly traded, but they will also be controlled by a new holding company. In addition, the Spring 2004 line of handhelds will adopt the PalmOne moniker. Devices that run the Palm OS can continue to say "Palm powered." The new ticker symbols and corporate name changes will take affect some time in late September or early October, once the Palm buyout of rival HandSpring is complete."
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Palm Reveals New Name

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  • by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @09:57AM (#6722051) Journal
    They didn't even make it fully buzzword compliant. There's no '.' in there or 'e' anywhere... What about 'flex' or 'i'?
    • Well (Score:2, Funny)

      there IS an "e" at the end of "one". You know, they have an e-backend in their nu.Name.
    • Re:What about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoData ( 9132 ) <> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:06AM (#6722102)
      They didn't even make it fully buzzword compliant.

      But hey, they did make a compound word with an unnecessary infix capitalization.
      (CitiGroup, MetLife, SunTrust, etc.) That's pretty CorpSpeak of them.
    • Re:What about... (Score:2, Informative)

      by FooAtWFU ( 699187 )
      What, One isn't cool enough of a buzzword? I'll go toss my RealOne player (not that I used it- winamp!), my Sun ONE studio (hey! That was cool!) and, while we're at it, ignore Formula One racing and... and... I'm sure I'm missing lots, too bad it's hard to get a list...
    • Re:What about... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zemran ( 3101 )
      It still sounds dumb... They have a really good corporate identity and they want to ruin it ??? Sounds like SCO marketting to me.
    • They didn't even make it fully buzzword compliant. There's no '.' in there or 'e' anywhere...

      What's that squiggly little round letter at the end of the name 'PalmOne' then...?
    • by Andrewkov ( 140579 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @11:49AM (#6722924)
      They didn't even make it fully buzzword compliant. There's no '.' in there or 'e' anywhere... What about 'flex' or 'i'?

      And no Extreme or Xtreme in the name .. I no longer buy products without Extreme in the name. Even my deoderant is Extreme.

      • I bought Xtreme Jello this week. It's just like old Jello but in Xtreme new flavors like "Wild Berry". It tastes suspiciously like they mixed the left overs of thier other berry flavors together.
    • Paint em green and call em PalmOlive.
    • by mausmalone ( 594185 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @03:32PM (#6725366) Homepage Journal
      Upon closer inspection it appears from their logo that the new name will actually be pa1mONE. That's the number 1, not the letter l. Wonderful. If that isn't cause for a DDOS attack, I don't know what is.

      Not to start a flame war over the incorrect use of irony, but isn't it ironic that their name, which is meant to show their solidarity and dominance, uses a term for "one" twice?

      And if you disagree with my use of "irony" as a word, please replace "ironic" with "hilariously coincidental," pretend I said it the whole time, and don't flame me for it.

      Isn't it odd that we get uptight about the use of "irony" but we allow people to write "lol" in posts and get away with it. "lol" isn't even a word. Without capitalization or periods, it's not even a proper acronym, but it's totally acceptable.

      Well, there's another post that's gonna be modded down for being off-topic. Damn my train-of-thought writing style!
  • by chrisspurgeon ( 514765 ) <chris@spurgeonwo[ ].com ['rld' in gap]> on Monday August 18, 2003 @09:57AM (#6722053) Homepage
    Geez, two years to decide to change your name from Palm to PalmOne. I am soooo in the wrong business.

  • One question? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by digitalunity ( 19107 )
    With the buyout, will I still be able to get a Visor?
    • Handspring already stopped making any new Visor sometime last year.
    • Re:One question? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <`jason' `at' `'> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:21AM (#6722228) Homepage

      You can't get a Visor from Handspring now, and you haven't been able to for a long time. All their organizer-only devices have been discontinued, from the original Visor up to the recent Treo 90. The only way Handspring will sell you a Visor is if you buy a reconditioned unit [] from them.

      My guess is that PalmOne will continue this level of support for the Visor, but I strongly doubt that they'll start the production lines rolling again, especially when the bare-bones Zire and upcoming Zire 21 models are there for people who want a low-cost, monochrome organizer.

      • My guess is that PalmOne will continue this level of support for the Visor, but I strongly doubt that they'll start the production lines rolling again, especially when the bare-bones Zire and upcoming Zire 21 models are there for people who want a low-cost, monochrome organizer.

        I remember reading at the time of the aquisition that the Handspring brand will still be used to label the Palm-based Smartphone Treos - a market Palm(One) tried to enter but failed, but which Handspring has a good foothold, in bo

    • With the buyout, will I still be able to get a Visor?

      You can go on the website and see the product line right now...

      See my earlier post []before /. posted this story for the link to the website...

      • you can get a refurb model, which imho is just as good and WAY cheaper.

        I love my refurb edge, fits right in my pocket and its metal so I know it wont get trashed like my old plastic palm did.

  • by Ravensign ( 134410 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @09:59AM (#6722061)
    Stage One of Going Down the Toilet: Split yourself into groups of N, and give each sub-company a new name. That way no one knows who the hell they are dealing with.

    Frequently employed when a company's market share or mind share begins to slip, in an irrational attempt to reverse said slipping.
    • Actually, I think stage one goes like this:

      Charge $299 for an Palm-based product which has less than half the processing power and half the capabilities of comparable PocketPC devices, and expect people to buy it.

      • by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:26AM (#6722270) Homepage
        Charge $299 for an Palm-based product which has less than half the processing power and half the capabilities of comparable PocketPC devices, and expect people to buy it.

        Good thing they have an OS and UI that people actually enjoy using.

        Though I just bought a wonder $180 Sony SJ-22; terrific screen and the UI/OS I love. I think Sony is more of a threat to Palm hardware than the PocketPC is.
      • People DO buy it (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Balthisar ( 649688 )
        I'll admit I prefer the Sony Clie line, but the Palm OS has one thing going for it that the /. crowd can appreciate: it doesn't run any version of Windows.

        Oh, and it syncs with my Macs with no problem.

        Oh, and it does just about anything a WinCE (or whatever it's called today) device can do. It only takes software. You need that on a non-Palm device, too.

        Honestly, if I could put a color screen on my still-working Newton and shrink it to a reasonable size, I'd probably use it instead. Unfortunately it's no
    • How so?

      The idea that calling palm two names both starting with palm will lead to people not knowing "who the hell they are dealing with" is stupid.

      Who would know that PalmOne is the same as Palm? I assume it would require advanced skills like 'reading'
  • by geeber ( 520231 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:01AM (#6722071)
    Or is the name "PalmOne" almost an invitation to steal the thing?
  • Palm is so leet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JohnGrahamCumming ( 684871 ) * <> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:01AM (#6722072) Homepage Journal
    In the graphical form of the name (which you can view on their web site []) they
    have chosen to use leetspeak in the form pa1mOne which seems to me to be a horrible mistake (it's also
    worth knowing that palmOne did not buy the sites and seems to have be
    purchased by an employee of Palm just yesterday and does not take you to :-)

    The real mistake though is that should we be referring to the company is palmOne or pa1mOne? It's just
    confusing for no reason. I mean you don't see Microsoft changing its name to M1cro$0ft just to look cool.

    • Re:Palm is so leet (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kisrael ( 134664 )
      This is so awful.

      What the hell is the point? "Palm" had some of the strongest name recongition in the was impressive that they were able to stake out "Palm" (remember Microsot's "Palm PCs"?) Maybe they're worried about Xerox- or Kleenex-style dillution of their name?

      Any way, that l -> 1 switch is awful. I have a touch of synthaenasia, and I'm not alone, so I "hear" the "1" in "pa1m" as "o", so it reads "paom one".

      If this is for real, this is so lame.
    • Re:Palm is so leet (Score:4, Insightful)

      by potaz ( 211754 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:25AM (#6722264) Homepage
      Guys, it's not leetspeak: it's a font with serifs.

      • Re:Palm is so leet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JHMirage ( 570086 ) * on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:33AM (#6722329)
        See image here. []

        I disagree... there are no serifs on any of the other letters in their logo. Someone was trying to go for the numeral reference.

        Plus, the "p" is lowercase, which is somewhat odd. (Of course, whether they were purposely going for leetspeak or not is unknown, of course.)

        • Yeah actually, I think you're right. When you look at how the 'l' in 'palm' looks like a one, and the 'O' in 'One' looks like a zero, I think they were going for the numerical reference.

          But still, I don't think it was leetspeak they were going for, it looks more like a binary computers-are-cool-and-complicated thing.
      • I might have thought that...if any of the other letters in there had serifs. How many fonts only put serifs on the lower case "l"s?
  • by Capt_Troy ( 60831 ) <`tfandango' `at' `'> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:01AM (#6722073) Homepage Journal
    they probably actually paid a marketing company a million bucks to come up with that lame-ass name!

    Hell, I would have thought one up for 50 bucks. here's a freebie:


    • A million bucks? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Smeagel ( 682550 )
      Are you kidding me? Way, way over a million bucks I'm sure. 2 years of searching? Hell my university spent 1.5 million for a month of searching to change their color from red to...dark red. Many many millions were spent on making this name longer, and I hope they realize people will still refer to them as Palm. PalmOne reminds me of a bank.
      • Re:A million bucks? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Capt_Troy ( 60831 )
        Yea, I'm sure you're right. One company I worked for paid a marketing company like 50K to come up with the term:


        Which if course is what Sony calls firewire. It's even trademarked I believe. Well, our execs went nuts, they loved it and are still living in blissful ignorance.

    • by PunchMonkey ( 261983 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:45AM (#6722407) Homepage
      Hell, I would have thought one up for 50 bucks. here's a freebie:


      That's sweet man! You should do marketing for open source projects, I think. Here's the first guys that need help: Xouvert []. ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:51AM (#6722454)
      You would definitely be struck down by National Beverage Corp. on that one since "Shaznasta" is clearly just a feshizzle nizzling of their Shasta brand name.
    • A Markov word generator can do better. Seriously, no better way to discover words that mean absolutely nothing yet sound cool.

      Try these on: Palogica, Unizard, Zaticand, Apprecros. PayPal me my fees.

      Works great for naming countries too. Who would ever forget the name Sertaintritativiroboweakeeterrying?
      (only requires the time it takes to get to the end of the word)
  • by jonr ( 1130 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:03AM (#6722081) Homepage Journal
    I am more and more convinced that marketers live in a different dimension from the rest of us. One day it is all about "brand name" and talk about it worth in millions, the next day, it is just any old hat.
    Can I now use Palm myself? It is obviously not worth anything to Palm themself... /annoyed
  • Stupid ? (Score:3, Funny)

    by KingRamsis ( 595828 ) <kingramsis@gmail. c o m> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:04AM (#6722087)
    PHB types throwing away the natural sexy name "Palm" and instead using "PalmOne"...
    GOD and it took them two freakin years ?????

    Insert mandatory Dilbert joke below my sig.
  • by OfficerNoGun ( 686128 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:06AM (#6722100) worked so well for Real. I mean, realOne is just such brilliant, usefull software. Hopefully they don't add the bloat, that what makes them nicer the windows mobile devices (for business purposes). Because I swear to god if my palm starts beeping and buzzing, and I pull the thing out of my pocket so it can tell me "whats cool for August" I'll smash the thing to little pieces.
  • PalmOne?

    Does this mean they're going to take Handspring's OS, change a few strings, add some placeboware, call it a revolutionary new product, and go headfirst into IPO?

    Or maybe i'm confusing them with someone else []...
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:06AM (#6722103) Journal
    I don't understand why companies INSIST on doing this? Is this some sort of corporate fear that their brand name is watered-down by ubiquity?

    It seems that companies who are so successful that their name BECOMES the product would be happy.

    I watched this happen to Digiboard. They were THE standard product in their line but then went & changed their name to Digi International. D'oh.
    • I don't understand why companies INSIST on doing this? Is this some sort of corporate fear that their brand name is watered-down by ubiquity?

      Really! My favorite example...

      Borland - A couple of years, ago, they changed their name to "Inprise" to sound more business-y elite, or something. This resulted in a lot of flak, so they decided to compromise by keeping the Borland name on certain products. So you had "Inprise Borland C++Builder 4 Standard". Yeah, that rolls off the tongue nicely. It was definite

    • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @11:51AM (#6722941) Homepage
      ...when someone ascends to a high enough position that they CAN change a name, they DO change the name. It's a way of assuring themselves that they're actually in charge.

      It's simple: if you only issue orders that have a rational reason, you can never tell whether your subordinates are obeying them because you actually hold power, or simply because the orders make sense.

      On the other hand, if you issue orders that are irrational, you can tell whether or not you actually have power, but if people obey them it will hurt the company which, in the long run, could affect your career.

      The only safe way to demonstrate your authority is by issuing an order that is _arbitrary_ and has no significant effect for better or for worse.

      Of course, there's always a cover story about how the new name, color scheme, typography, etc. "projects a more contemporary corporate image." (In the case of a magazine, whenever a new editor takes over they always revamp the typeface and the amount of whitespace around things, and the stated reason is always "to help you find information faster.")

      See Antoine de Saint Exupery's "The Little Prince"--the part where the Little Prince visits the tiny planet with the king who can command the sun to set, but only after checking an almanac to make sure that he issues the command at the right time.
  • pa1mOne?! Are you kidding me?
  • After the famous musician who was formerly known as Prince, and who was retagged "his formerliness" by a well-known music magazine...

    The Company Formerly Known as Palm has also decided upon an unpronouncable glyph as their name. But it makes much sense, since in any case they will soon become a division of Sony and their name will be recast in Hirigana.

    ParmOS, I saruta you!
    • about Prince (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:37AM (#6722355) Homepage
      He had valid reasons for it - his label was in control of the name "Prince" and was being bitchy about it. That's why on that triple-CD set he has "slave" written on his cheek. So he changed his name so he could release music during the dispute, and after it was settled, changed it back. I don't know why he didn't just tell people that, but I figure there were legal reasons.

      Palm, on the other hand, are simply dumbasses.
  • by ellem ( 147712 ) * <ellem52 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:08AM (#6722114) Homepage Journal
    PHB::According to Johnson's report I see we have market share and brand name recognition. What's our plan?

    JOHNSON::Do nothing sir.

    PHB::Do nothing? You idiot Johnson YOU'RE FIRED! Cravenstone what do you have?

    CRAVENSTONE::Let's change our name sir.


  • What is it with ONE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShieldWolf ( 20476 ) <jeffrankine@nets[ ] ['cap' in gap]> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:08AM (#6722117)
    Why do Microsoft competitors keep using the word ONE?

    Netscape ONE
    Sun ONE

    Is this synergy, coincidence, or lame marketing?

  • Strange decision (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ultraw ( 99206 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:11AM (#6722141) Homepage
    Would it not have been wiser to keep the name "Palm"? They don't want any of the two spin-off's to benefit of the name. But doesn't the PalmSource company benefit from the sales that are generated by "PalmOne"? (Note that this assumtions hold true to a certain level the other way around, but not that strong.)

    Therefor, i find it a bit silly. The split was made by the board that will control both company's (they did not sell one division as far as I know) and the new controlling company. The controlling company name is irrelevant, as no-one outside the Palm-offices and the financial world will know, or needs to know it.

    It would be better to keep the name for the hardware division. They had a strong name, and I guess that they did a bad move. And two years to come up with "PalmOne"? For crying out loud...

    As a sidenote, as a belgian, I guess that I'm not worried, as long as the name change does not influence the taste of a glass Palm [] beer.
  • Aww Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by NoData ( 9132 ) <> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:13AM (#6722164)
    Well, there's goes my bet on what the new Handspring, Palm merged company would be called:

    "PalmSprings" of course!

    Sure, you laugh now, but their new office digs woulda been SWEET.

  • Two years to come up with that!?
    What's the difference? Do they think people are going to buy more of their crappy, outdated and unimaginative products because they stuck a "One" at the end of their moniker? I doubt their daydreams are going to come true:

    Husband: "Edna, look here at this here Palm pee-da thingy. I should get one of those."

    Wife: "I don't know Clarence, it looks like those Sony and Microsoft ones over there have more features."

    Husband: "Maybe you're right. I don't want a second-rate prod
  • by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:13AM (#6722166) Homepage
    more information from [] including the favorite quote

    "The new name is characterized in two colors - deep red for the word 'palm' and vibrant orange for 'One,' reflecting the subbrand colors for the company's Tungsten line of solutions for mobile professionals and business and its Zire line of solutions for consumers and multimedia enthusiasts, respectively."

    Come on, from Pro/Personal, III, V, Zire, Tungston, m, these guys have changed branding more often than their underwear. This is what they want to bank on?

    No explanation given for the lame l->1 conversion.
    • by The Fun Guy ( 21791 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:55AM (#6722488) Homepage Journal
      When you click on the link the parent poster provides, the first thing you see is this:

      "Welcome Slashdot visitor! You have been redirected to a ligher version of our article in order to conserve bandwidth and keep the site running smoothly for everybody."

      Clearly they are doing their best to avoid being Slashdotted, while not shutting out the Slashdotters completely. As intelligent and reasonable as this is, it still strikes me as amusing.

      "Welcome Mongol horde visitor! You have been redirected to a ligher version of Rome in order to conserve food and water and keep the city running smoothly for everybody."

      "Welcome O Pioneer! You have been redirected to a ligher version of Ohio/Illinois/Missouri/Kansas in order to conserve land rights and keep the state running smoothly for everybody."
  • by stardeep ( 66237 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:14AM (#6722169) Homepage
    > After almost two years in the planning and
    > focus group stages, the company's Board of
    > Directors and executives decided on PalmOne.

    I can only chime in with previous posters and express my utter, utter bafflement at this. I can't believe how some people earn their money! (I use the word 'earn' very loosely.)

    When is this marketroid-driven insanity going to stop?
  • Am I the only one tempted to pronounce palmone like:


  • I don't get it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:16AM (#6722191) Journal
    it's probably me, but why in heavens name change name ? What's the benefit, except for companies for MS who have som uch cash they have to find obnoxious ways to hose some (hey, there's an idea for a new poll !)

    Reminds me of the company Smiths, not named 'Lays'. Thay had a brand recognition at coca-cola level and yet some execs decided to wipe it all.

    I really should have paid attention during marketing classes i guess.
  • by Feathers McGraw ( 180980 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:17AM (#6722198)

    Everyone's reading PalmOne like it was pronounced Palm-WON, but it's really pronounced Pahl-MOH-nay, which clearly is designed to appeal to the modern, hip Euro-style elite. Ooh, la la.

  • So, now we can refer to them collectively as Palm* ?

    On 2nd thought, we could already, but it makes more sense now.
  • by nizo ( 81281 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:21AM (#6722232) Homepage Journal
    PalmOne's ticker symbol will change from the current PALM to PLMO.
    Dibbs on the PALM stock symbol so I can unload millions of shares of my fly-by-night IPO on the uneducated masses!
  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:24AM (#6722249)
    this article reads like a parody from, or 1999, or something.

    PalmOne and PalmSource?

    Why not just HyperGlobalMegaMart?

    Did they take out a super bowl ad too?

    Pardon me while I go PalmOne.

  • by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:25AM (#6722259)
    Part of the difficulty facing the company stemmed from the use of the name "Palm" for more than one thing

    I have the same problem. Gypsies always give me strange looks when I take a tropical plant into the caravan to have my fortune told, and I've been waiting for my hand to produce coconuts for 34 years now.

  • I think their "inspiration" came from RealPlayer changing its name to RealOne. Hell, look at the front page of their site and you see the RealOne player on the screen of the Palm.

    But honestly... WTF was wrong with the name "Palm"?

    If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT.

    It doesn't make sense.... I hate the business world.
  • by fudgefactor7 ( 581449 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:27AM (#6722278)
    "Palm" was easy, simple, and only 4 freaking letters! Plus their ticker was PALM! Hello?! Going to PalmOne is longer, dumber, and not as intuitive, plus their ticker changed...

    Bad idea.
  • by MightyTribble ( 126109 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:27AM (#6722280)


    (I didn't write this - I got it from a Palm message board. Still funny, though.)
  • When the dust settles, there will be fewer engineers, and more marketeers and obscenely overpaid CEO's at the cloven companies. Because, as we all know, it doesn't matter how good your product is, as long as you have decent market segmentation, and an CEO with a zillion share options.

  • by jazman ( 9111 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:28AM (#6722287)
    Of course the real reason for the change of name to PalmSource is that they've discovered 80 lines or so of C code in PalmOS that matches code in the heart of the Linux kernel, no, the edges, no, the utilities, and they've decided to take a leaf out of SCO's book and sue IBM, no, Linus, no, everyone who even mentions Linux to try to prop up a dwindling market share.

    Quick everyone, buy Palm shares cos they're about to shoot through the roof!
  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:30AM (#6722309)
    ...I have decieded to rename myself GeoffreyOne.

  • by TrebleJunkie ( 208060 ) <ezahurak@at l a n> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:36AM (#6722347) Homepage Journal
    Darn, I thought maybe they'd go with RedPalm.

    Or, because of the buyback/out/up of Handspring, call it PalmSprings. That'd be cool.
  • by smoon ( 16873 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:41AM (#6722380) Homepage
    enhancing shareholder value by paying consultants to piss on you.
  • So all this planning has resulted in:

    1. A bad name - it's longer, ambiguous (is that Palmone as in Danone?) and loses much of the recognition factor. Just call the hardware company Palm and who cares what the OS company is called?
    2. A truly nasty colour scheme This [] is not a pretty site (or sight).

    Way to go Palm*.

  • Not content with staying with the current trend, Apple, who a few years back simplified their name Apple Computers to just Apple, has innovated once again by rebranding as appleTwo.
  • I wonder if this change in name will delay the launch of the next tungsten model [set to debut late september]?

    I really hope not as I have been holding out for one....

    Oh well, good luck to them!
  • PalmOne (Score:3, Informative)

    by pcp_ip ( 612017 ) * on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:51AM (#6722465) Homepage

    PalmOne [] - a unisex fragrance for geeks from ClavinKlein

  • by jayrtfm ( 148260 ) <(moc.tnohpos) (ta) (hsalsj)> on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:54AM (#6722479) Homepage Journal
    Glad to see that the marketing group who came up with "New Coke" finally got another client.
  • Make your own joke.

  • by Mad-cat ( 134809 )
    On a marketing basis, this doesn't seem like a wise decision.

    First, you already have excellent name recognition.
    Second, you have to change all of your existing advertisement methods.
    Third, you lose the product standard. What if Xerox became Xenix or something? We don't "Or-Something" or documents! We Xerox them.

    Of course, most people have probably already said this.
    I hope they kept their old trademarks. They'll probably regret this down the line.
  • by babbage ( 61057 ) <> on Monday August 18, 2003 @01:34PM (#6723967) Homepage Journal
    Coming to the story late, I see everyone griping over either [a] "why are they ruining a perfectly good name?", and [b] "what's with the digits 1 and 0 in the logo?" Both are fine points to argue over -- or have everyone argue the same side of the argument, as Slashdot readers are wont to do :) -- but there was actually a reason for this, as an article written last week [] on [] foresaw:

    When it comes to names, few companies are as unlucky as Palm. Several years ago it was forced to abandon the name Pilot -- as in Palm Pilot -- when Pilot Pen Corporation claimed ownership. Now it's being asked to leave the name Palm behind as well. While it's not unusual for a company to change its name (in fact, Palm did it once before when it shortened its name from Palm Computing), the reason behind Palm's upcoming name change is unique. And it has something to do with what happened to Apple Computer.


    [....] Apple Computer in the 1980s was much like Palm today; it built the computers and wrote the software to run them. And it owned the market. But Microsoft came along with its operating system, MS-DOS, and licensed it to computer manufacturers. The rest is history. Apple now has 3% of the market while Microsoft has gone on to become one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world.

    The similarity with Apple did not escape Palm management. So it began a concerted effort to license its operating system, called the Palm OS, to other companies -- something Apple failed to do early on. Handspring, Kyocera, Samsung, Sony and others jumped on the Palm OS bandwagon and incorporated it into its handhelds. While this staved off the encroaching threat from Microsoft and established Palm OS as a platform, Palm still had a major problem. Licensees worried that Palm, as both maker of the Palm platform and user of the Palm platform, had an unfair advantage when it came to devices. So Palm addressed their concerns by dividing Palm, Inc. into two business units, Palm Solutions Group, which would make handhelds, and PalmSource, which would develop and license the Palm platform. They created a "Chinese wall" between the entities, with the Solutions Group becoming a licensee of the platform from PalmSource, just like other licensees.


    Palm realized there was only one solution: split the company into two independent businesses, and give all rights to the Palm name to PalmSource, which it will then license to other companies.

    Which leaves the Solutions Group with an unenviable task: change its name -- with no reference to Palm -- and hope that consumers follow. And with the PalmSource spin-off expected to be completed this fall and new handhelds from Palm rumored for October, we expect the new name to be announced very soon -- possibly even this week.

    So this was, for better or worse, a necessary move, and while the name may not be great, they may not have had many other options. As some of the recent Mozilla spinoffs have seen, coming up with a good, unique name can be a royal pain in the ass these days (Chimera, Firebird both having been forced to change & possibly change again...). There are worse things they could have done than go along with the $foo-"one" meme that's so trendy these days...

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal