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The End of PalmOS? 178

SLT writes "According to Engadget, PalmSource was purchased by Access, a Japanese cell phone software company known for their NetFront browser. What does this mean for the future of Palm?" More coverage at LinuxDevices and Reuters. From the Reuters article: "Japanese software developer Access Co. said on Friday it would make U.S. software developer PalmSource Inc. wholly owned in a 34.4 billion yen ($311.3 million) cash deal to strengthen its development of software for handheld devices. Access will pay cash to shareholders of PalmSource, which will be later absorbed by Access' U.S. unit Apollo Merger Sub Inc., Access said in a statement."
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The End of PalmOS?

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  • Witty 3com (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stecoop ( 759508 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:43AM (#13517892) Journal
    Most consumers thought 3Com was stupid for spinning off such a profitable business. What I recall is that it sold for 300 times earnings and a bunch of investing consultants warned of such a pricey model for such a small niche product. End result is usually the same with PE ratio being to high []. The OS isn't really that important, they should make it free to run anywhere and try selling the hardware; yeah exactly opposite of what has been said by some big OS makers.
  • Th End of PalmOS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Karma_fucker_sucker ( 898393 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:46AM (#13517907)
    Hardly. It'll just be in more devices. And the Palm handheld will just morf. OTOH, I think we may see $20 organizers or cheaper given away with other products. Kind of the way MP3 players are being given away these days.
    • I sure hope Access can make PalmOS worthwhile to use again. A few years ago, Palm was king, but pocket pc's have adopted everything palms have done and made them better. I for one am skeptical of their abilities, however, Netfront still reports itself as Netscape 4 to webpages.
      • by tzanger ( 1575 )

        Is there a PPC device that lasts longer than about 8hrs on battery? My Tungsten E works a full week and a half with daily use (look at what's to do, look up contact numbers, scribble a note kind of work).

        That's why I'm not leaving the platform. It's easy to work with, it works very well and the battery life is pretty damn good.

        • I think that for many things the basic PalmOS is good at has now been replaced with mobile phones. And I don't mean smart phones but normal feature phones.

          My phone handles contact and appointments. For notes I can use dictaphone or type in short messages with T9.

          The battery time isn't as good if I want to use it to phone with as well. OTOH I have chargers available at most places so I seldom have a problem of running out of battery.

          Oh, and my phone (SonyEricsson T630) is about a quarter of the size of a Pal
        • I go several days with my IPAQ when the wireless and bluetooth functions are turned off.

          my tungsten c was a similar miser when it came to power consumption, but the IPAQ has greater overall functionality.
        • Then there are those of us who like having a file browser.
      • I for one am skeptical of their abilities, however, Netfront still reports itself as Netscape 4 to webpages.

        No it doesn't, NetFront's default user-agent string is "Mozilla/4.08 (PDA; Windows CE/1.0.0) NetFront/3.1". If the "Mozilla/4.08" bit is confusing you, look at what IE6 gives - yes, is starts with "Mozilla/4.0" too. Moreover it has a user agent selector in the options, so you can set it up to report as whatever browser you want.
    • Re:Th End of PalmOS? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hcdejong ( 561314 )
      If they're going to focus development on PalmOS-for-mobile-phones, they may very well end up with an OS that isn't well-suited for palmtops.

      No more HWR, for example, and no user-accessible expansion (because the phone company will insist you move all data in and out of the device via their network instead of USB/a memory stick, so they can keep on making you pay through the nose).
      • No more HWR, for example, and no user-accessible expansion (because the phone company will insist you move all data in and out of the device via their network instead of USB/a memory stick, so they can keep on making you pay through the nose).

        Hand-writing recognition, perhaps - if a next release of the OS changes APIs, and the driver needs porting, the cost might not justify doing it.

        But as far as phone companies locking things down, these are normally done as a firmware modification - some Motorola phones

      • It's not like anybody was making palmtops or PDAs with the latest stuff PalmSource was writing anyway. It's been years, and there are still zero PalmOS 6 devices available. Hell, rumor has been that Palm is more likely to switch to Windows than Cobalt. Sony isn't making Palm devices anymore, Tapwave went bankrupt... Who are PalmSource's customers?

        It seems this changes nothing.
    • Do you own a palm device?

      I have had a palm since the *ORIGINAL* US Robotics Pilot 1000. Palm OS has outlived its usefullness. My current device is a treo 650, which I *LOVE* except that it locks up CONSTANTLY. And all the little OS mod programs you have to run to actually make the thing usefull, conflict with each other and act weird.

      Second of all, the programming model is HORRIBLE. Developers are still writing code for the dragonball processor and expected to write "Armlets" which are little snipet

      • (All of this posted by a user of a Sony PEG-SJ22 with Palm OS 4.1 and a Dragonball...)

        I agree that the stuff with Palm OS 5's architecture is Bad(tm).

        However, at least the "decent OS" is coming soon - Palm OS 6 has been with device manufacturers for a while, and is just waiting on someone to put it in a device.

        It appears to use a vastly improved Palm OS interface, on (essentially) a BeOS kernel. Of course, there'll still be the Palm OS 5 emulation, and within that, the Dragonball emulation, but touching any
      • I have a Treo 650 and work with many other people who do as well. No one complains about lock-ups. All of us are quite happy. I think your experience is atypical, based on what I've experienced and what I've seen...of course, if you're running lots of "little OS mod programs", that might be the cause.
        • Well, I would agree os mods are bad, but in this case I was having lockups before them. THe program that gives me the most trouble is VeriChat. I would accept an occasional lockup in verichat if it didnt hose the entire phone as well. A lockup where you have to reset your pda is one thing. A lockup which causes you not to get phone calls anymore, is VERY bad (specially since I have it in my pocket and don't know it locked up).
          • Here's your three steps to happiness, then.

            If a program crashes your Palm:
            1. Don't use it.
            2. In fact, delete it from your Palm so that it has no opportunity to crash durring notifications or other launch codes.
            3. Optionally, bitch out the company that made the software for charging you for something that doesn't work.
            4. There is no step 4, except being happy that regaining a useful Palm was that simple.
  • by bre_dnd ( 686663 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:47AM (#13517912)
    It's a very puzzling development for me.

    There's been speculation that the Treo 670 will not be running PalmOS anymore -- how does that fit in with this?

    There are a few Korean, Japanese and Chinese producers of PalmOS devices, especially smartphones. The pen interface is more suitable for iconographic languages so it would make sense to keep a presence there. Where will this go from here?

  • by packeteer ( 566398 ) <packeteer@subdim ... m ['sio' in gap]> on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:49AM (#13517926)
    Netcraft confirms it... PalmOS is dead.
  • Who is Access? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:50AM (#13517933)
    Well, if you've ever used cHTML, they are the ones who came up with it. Back in the early days of featurephones, NTT Docomo sent out a call for browser software, and Access was the only game in Tokyotown. Unfortunately, they didn't really support all of HTML, only a subset. But that subset was handled well and allowed the browser to display pages on the small cellphone screen without forcing the user to scroll horizontally.

    So Access, riding Docomo's coattails, became the premier web browser company for cellphones in Japan. It's like how Gary Kildall was approached by IBM to sell his CP/M system, only in this case Access was able to capitalize on their position instead of losing out to a second-rate compiler company.

    Now with PalmSource in their possession, they are strategically aligned to provide browser software, mail software, scheduling software, and a host of other useful PDA-like features in their cellphone software suite. Add to that that with greater cellphone power is bound to come greater demand for more feature-filled "smartphones" and they're in a great place with a ready-for-delivery PDA suite.
    • Re:Who is Access? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hkmwbz ( 531650 )
      Access have later struggled to catch up with the likes of Opera in actually supporting normal web pages. Creating a subset of the internet on the internet itself seems silly, and indeed, it turned out that people wanted to access real sites, not just cHTML or WAP sites.

      I guess they decided to give up fighting with outdated technology against Opera, and instead went to diversify their software offerings to survive the onslaught of better mobile browsers.

  • by anno1602 ( 320047 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:52AM (#13517945)
    Okay, so PalmSource, was acquired by Access, a company that is roughly in the same market as PalmSource (mobile devices) while not doing the same thing (OS vs. browser). It sounds like PalmSource would complement Access' offerings nicely, and actually, that is what Access is stating as its reason for the acquisition: PalmSource's OS and linux expertise. How do you get from there to the statement that Access will scrap PalmOS?
  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:53AM (#13517950)
    Um, what kind of company would spend $311 million to buy PalmOS, then STOP SELLING THE TECHNOLOGY? Sure, they may eventually integrate the parts of PalmOS they like into "Access OS" or whatever they sell, but they are certainly not going to just exit the market that PalmOS serves.

    When Maytag bought Whirlpool last month, it didn't mean they were ditching their product line. /. can be so reactionary.
  • the end is neigh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @08:59AM (#13517979)
    it's just my .02, but...

    The end may be a bit of hyperbole, although PalmSource has made some historical blunders which contributed to its demise (and I love thier devices, and have had them since the very beginning):

    1.) Basically did not update the core OS between 1997 and 2004. Version 5.x is bascially 3.x with color and a network stack shimmed in. A lot changed over those seven years, and the OS did not evolve as well as it could have. They rested on thier laurels, much like Apple did during the Scully era at Apple, releasing new models every 8 months but not really improving the core operation.

    2.) They released the big new version (6.0.) in late 2003, and no devices were ever released with it. This was a huge mistake, and points to poor partnerships (ISV and others) and planning. No other company in history has released an PDA OS that was never implemented on a retail device.

    3.) They released version 6.1 late last year, and again, nearly a year later, there are no devices running it. Again, big problem.

    Too bad the mutual admiration society that exists in Palm senior mangement was blind to their basic business folly.
    • The end is a horse???
    • 1.) Basically did not update the core OS between 1997 and 2004. Version 5.x is bascially 3.x with color and a network stack shimmed in. A lot changed over those seven years, and the OS did not evolve as well as it could have. They rested on thier laurels, much like Apple did during the Scully era at Apple, releasing new models every 8 months but not really improving the core operation.

      Hmm? Version 2.1 (read: early 1997) had the network stack shimmed in, and 3.5 had color, IIRC.

      Version 5.x's big leap over 4.
      • What I don't understand is didn't PalmSource and PalmOne become Palm again just recently? How can they sell a part of a complete company?
        • by NuShrike ( 561140 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @04:05PM (#13521644)
          What happened recently is that PalmSource owned the PALM brand and sold it 'back' to PalmOne, so it can rename itself Palm again. The original Palm had split into two companies with one focusing on the hardware, and the other focusing on the OS with the ability to sell PalmOS to anybody, respectively.

          Some have said this was one expensive buyback of a name originally owned, but I'm guessing it was to throw money at PalmSource where the stock has been eroding to nothing since the split.

          So after still two companies of Palm (aka PalmOne formerly known as Palm) and PalmSource, and now only just Palm except they don't own their OS anymore.

          Hindsight now I think the split was extremely pointless and expensive, and not keeping the original founders around to keep the innovation up even more stupid.

          Considering Access's history of 'great' changes and innovation, I have even less confidence they will be able to do anything with the OS except embed their browser more deeply and try to sell that unchanged for a few years.
  • Hysteria (Score:2, Funny)

    by Shakes268 ( 856460 )
    Oh Noez! We'll all have to switch to Pocket PC! @_@ In the meantime, the sky is falling guys.
  • by fishdan ( 569872 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:20AM (#13518085) Homepage Journal
    *disclosure -- I was laid off from Palm in 2002*

    It's really too bad. Palm was a great company, with the right group of people -- actually alot of disaffected Apple folks, who had left when Jobs was pushed out. Plus the original brain trust of Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky. Those 2 recognized that Palm could not really be the nimble company they would need to be to survive if they were tied down to 3Com. They asked permission to take the company solo, and were denied by the 3Com brass -- so they started Handspring.

    Then (IMHO) really just to spite Jeff and Donna, 3Com did indeed spin off Palm. The problem was with Jeff and Donna gone, leadership was missing. 3Com installed Carl Yankowski, and man who had run giant companies before, but never a nimble tech company. Carl didn't know how to run a company of 500 employees, but he did not how to run a company of 10000, so his goal was to get to 10000 as quickly as possible.

    This meant massive hirings and acquisitions. Palm had had a damn fine IPO (Yankowski knew how to do that too) so they had alot of cash on hand. And they started hiring like crazy. And when I say like crazy, I mean they put no thought at all into who got the positions, merely that they filled them. This was 1999/2000 pre-bubble-burst, when anyone with half a brain in silicon valley was already working. As a result, Palm was "forced" to hire people with only a quarter of a brain. Bythat I mean managers who thought they could function as engineers, and people who knew how to play the company game.

    Intense corporate infighting began betweeen divisions. When one division looked like it was gaining "power" other divisions would sabotage them. The "managers" that Palm had been able to hire were only interested in making sure that their group looked better than any other group. As a result, incredibly promising ideas, such as 100% VCal/vcard complaince got killed. Palm was going to host a free public database with vcard/vcal entries, so when you updated your info in your palm, it would spread to everyone else when they synced (I know it's *sortof* been done -- but not well by anyone, and certainly the data is not publicly accessible via soap). Palm's internet strategy was completely sabotaged by "executives" who weren't part of the internet group, and really didn't undertand anything about it.

    Then the hardware disaster. One of the new Palm's was scheduled for release, and was in the final round of testing. Handspring released their new device and it was Shiny. The Palm marketing team, without really consulting with engineering announced WHILE THE DEVICE WAS STILL IN TESTING that the new Palm would be out next month. Sales of current Palms stopped cold while everyone waited for the new device. And then a showstopping bug was found. The vibrate alarm in the new device was too powerful, and after x number of alarms it shook loose something in y number of devices. So the new device was delayed. And all that time, very few Palms were being sold, because everyone was waiting for the new device. 3 months with no sales is a bad thing.

    In a last ditfch effort to calm the infighting, Palm spun off the software division into Palmsource, but it was too little too late. The heart and back of a great little company had been broken.

    I'm glad to see Palm still alive, and I'm actually glad to see this sale, I kept my equity this long, at least now I'm forced to get rid of it.

    I believe the company has shrunk back down to a small enough size that they've attritioned off the morons acquired at the turn of the century -- unfortunately they lost alot of really good engineering talent too. Palm was more than a hardware company at one point -- now they are just a hardware company. And I don't believe a hardware company can be globally competetive if it's based in the U.S.

  • Thank god (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr. Sp0ng ( 24354 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (gnopsm)> on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:20AM (#13518088) Homepage
    PalmOS hasn't evolved in a meaningful way since it was launched. It still has no memory protection or multitasking, and the interface looks like something out of 1994. It either needs to be updated to modern computing standards, or die, and it looks like they're choosing die. Good riddance.

    I've been a Palm user since the Palm III first came out, but I recently bought my first Windows Mobile device (a Dell Axim x50v), and I love it - I finally have a PDA capable of running modern applications on a (reasonably) modern OS.
    • Re:Thank god (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Hast ( 24833 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:47AM (#13518269)
      This is pretty much my experience as well. I got a Sony Clie UX50 (clamshell Palm with real qwerty keyboard) last summer. I was quite surprised to find that the Palm software culture was something of Win32 shareware "give me money!" on steroids.

      On paper the device was really good. It can play MP3s and video (re-encoded naturally). It has built in WiFi (11b) and Bluetooth. And, as I stated, a real keyboard.

      Problem is that the MP3 player was broken, in accordance to Palm standards (We don't need no steenkin' file system!) it couldn't handle folders. The movie player requires that files are in the magic folder with magic filenames. (The same is true for PSP btw, probably due to some power moran over at Sony.)

      You could install some programs on it, but as I mentioned above everyone required payment for their crappy utilities. The FTP client I tried cost $15 and couldn't handle folders.

      That's about when I gave up and realised that in order to get a working system I'd need to put a loooot of money into it.

      It works fine as a WiFi WWW browser. And with fine I mean "As long as you don't need anything advanced". I would love to flash it with a basic Linux distro so I could actually put programs that worked on it instead.

      Palm should have ditched their crappy OS many years ago and concentrated on GUI stuff. With Linux/BSD under the hood they may still have mattered today.
      • I got a Sony Clie UX50 (clamshell Palm with real qwerty keyboard) last summer.
        It can play MP3s and video (re-encoded naturally).

        It doesn't have to be re-encoded, if it's MPEG-1.
        Just rename the file to \MSSONY\MOML0001\MOV00001.MPG and it will play without conversion.

        The FTP client I tried cost $15 and couldn't handle folders.

        While the built-in Netfront wouldn't cost you anything and does handle folders.


  • I remember Palm bought out the remainder of BeOS and what was to be used in their devices, the BeIA software.

    I'm still hoping to see some "Be" technology in these devices. For its time, it kicked some serious ass and even now, I'm damned impressed with it.
  • Definitely not (Score:5, Informative)

    by tvf ( 63451 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:28AM (#13518131)
    As I stated in my blog [] "traditional" Palm OS development is being done by Palm (then palmOne). PalmSource is focused on Palm OS on Linux and providing an API to improve navigation of Palm OS-based applications on non-touchscreen phones. Recent management moves had them ripe for a takeover. Access has some pretty sharp minds, which is what PalmSource is in deperate need.
  • by mcbridematt ( 544099 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:28AM (#13518132) Homepage Journal
    Before we start rumors of Palm moving to Windows Mobile, remind yourself of the Apple migration from Classic to OS X.

    Would Palm risk loosing customers trained in PalmOS with loads of applications to keep and migrate to Windows Mobile/CE?

    I doubt it.

    There was a post on some palm news blog recently (Palm Addict afaik) where Palm was trying to recruit Linux guys. Logically they would be going for the Palm Linux port, but who knows, does POSE come to mind? Loads of apps still run on OS 4 and even the original OS 3! (and maybe OS 3.3 since that was free)

    PalmSource press release: .html [].
  • Hardly surprising. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:29AM (#13518143) Homepage
    Palm OS is OK for small solutions, but unfortunately the development has accelerated away from it. Today it's better to use Linux or Windows CE (or whatever M$ calls it today).
  • Maybe Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gregarican ( 694358 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:34AM (#13518175) Homepage
    I had read somewhere that the PalmOS might move to a Linux base. That would be great since I'm currently working on some Linux-based Qt GUI projects that run on the Sharp Zaurus. If I could port these over to a Tungsten so much the better for getting my sales force to adopt it!
    • Re:Maybe Linux? (Score:3, Informative)

      This canard again. PalmSource was looking at a Linux *kernel*, but the OS and the API would remain the same to your apps. PalmOS has changed kernels three times in its history without any noticeable change to apps.

      The PS rep in a thread went on to say "these devices will *not* run Linux apps."

      The chief reason they went this direction was because they foresaw PalmOS being embedded in a wide variety of phones and Linux is already proven in the embedded market. They don't have the time it took to collaborate w
  • dang. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:54AM (#13518331) Homepage
    Palm had such a nice OS. It was such a friendly, crisp, easy much better than the attempts to scale shoehorn in the Windows desktop that WinCE was pursuing.

    I still love my Sony Clie...320x320 screen, good battery life, nice UI. (On the other hand...the 4k memo limit and even smaller clipboard ALWAYS seemed gratuitous to me.)

    Personally I thought the writing was on the wall once they had to switch to Graffiti 2...I've only dabbled with it, but for people accustomed to Graffiti (an idea it took me a while to warm to) it's jarring. And tht Xerox "unistrokes patent" lawsuit was SUCH CRAP...Graffiti is so much better than those stupid squiggles that didn't even look like any human alphabet.

    Feh. Hopefully when its time to upgrade I can find some kind of Palm work alike. And hopefully whatever I switch to can import Palm data; I love that I have my schedule going back to 1997 riding around on my hip, not to mention assorted memos, contacts, and todos...
    • Re:dang. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Arimus ( 198136 )
      The UI might have been nice but trying to write any useful apps on the Palm is a nightmare. No proper threading, no file system, stupid heap size limit, non-standard C libraries (Okay, M$ doesn't use standard libraries either but it doesn't make it impossible to use standard libraries).

      Poor 3rd party support is going to be one of the things which will listed on the death certificate as probable cause of death alongside people wanting the same os on a PDA as their desktop.

      Goodbye Palm, you had your day....
      • (Quoting reversed for rhetorical purposes)

        Poor 3rd party support is going to be one of the things which will listed on the death certificate as probable cause of death alongside people wanting the same os on a PDA as their desktop.

        Really? For the late 90s, early 2000s the Palm seemed to have a pretty substantial and substative library of 3rd party fact I thought I remember hearing a lot of envy from the WinCE / Pocket PC camps.

        I don't think people "want" the same OS on their desktop as their P
  • Before you get worked up about the CE threat. Ask yourself how many carry and phone and a PDA. If you had to choose one which would it be?

    As devices get smaller, the PDA functions will migrate to the phone so look to phone manufacturers to set the trends.

    • Before you get worked up about the CE threat. Ask yourself how many carry and phone and a PDA. If you had to choose one which would it be?

      I carry both. I have a Symbian based Smartphone, and a PalmOS based PDA. My PDA is far faster at doing PDA-ish stuff (PIM and games), than my phone. My phone has a very nice web browser (Opera), but it's piddling 146MHz CPU means that on some pages, it's fully loaded. And that plays havoc with battery life (the CPU being pegged at 100% utilization will easily drain most
  • You have been such a geeks friend through the years. I guess my Palm Tungsten E will be my last Palm. GPRS/EDGE connections are coming down in price, and affordable for mortal people like us. I'm betting on Symbian, it has some neat features.
  • As most who keep tabs on this stuff know, PalmSource has been working on moving Palm OS away from a proprietary kernel to a Linux kernel (and mostly Linux drivers as well) ever since they acquired China MobileSoft.

    This acquisition of PalmSource by Access should help keep that transition going. But, I expect it to be somewhat disruptive and add some time to their roll-out schedule. That's not good, especially when everybody and their mother (except Microsoft) is jumping on the Mobile Linux bandwagon.


  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds ( 262647 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:14AM (#13518931)
    As the owner of a Treo 650, let me say, when I purchased the device, I pretty much knew that Palm OS was dead:

    - PalmSource has halted development on Garnet (the version of Palm OS that the Treo runs)
    - Palm's Treo 670 will probably run Windows Mobile

    That said, I don't really care:
    - My previous device, the Danger Hiptop2 / T-Mobile Sidekick II, was far less expandable and far less usable than my Treo is *today*, even assuming that Palm development ceases tomorrow
    - I already have an SSH client, IRC client, web browser (two of them, actually), email client (with IMAP sync and IDLE support, even when the phone is off), MP3 player, Bejewled 2, and a lot more.

    It does far more than the Sidekick ever could do or ever will do. As nice as the Sidekick is, it, like many smartphones, is a closed platform. I can't add features that aren't already there. With the Treo I can.

    That said, Windows Mobile is a much better platform in many regards. The UI isn't as good, but it can multitask, has a real filesystem, has more web browser choices, and doesn't have stupid heap size limitations.
  • by poopie ( 35416 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:16AM (#13518953) Journal
    I maintain that Palm has never really done a good job at much of anything and that their pinnacle was the release of the Palm V.

    Microsoft's inability to compete with a mobile OS that worked well on low-spec hardware, and the WinCE hardware vendors' inability to make good portable hardware really was the factor that kept Palm alive so long.

    Palm's ability to release new versions with differerent amounts of ram or different case colors can hardly be considered as innovative.

    Palm's inabliity to bundle wireless sooner is inexcusable.

    Palm's purchase (back) of Handspring for the Treo 600 just proved they didn't have a good new product. ... and then they found out that all Treos have a shielding problem that cause them to start buzzing!

    The fact that Palm has never released a real successor to the Tungsten T|3 is painful to all longtime faithful Palm power users.

    The PalmOS6 fiasco... It must have been even worse than I could imagine because even Palm didn't want it.

    The LifeDrive. Never has a machine with a 416mhz cpu seemed so slow! Hey, let's make all I/O go through a hard drive and let's not include an effective disk cache! I'm sure people won't mind waiting 3 minutes to reset, and I'm sure our power users won't mind STARING AT A FRIGGING BLANK SCREEN FOR 40 SECONDS WHILE THEY TRY TO SWITCH APPS! It makes me feel like an idiot for having purchased your product every time I switch apps.

    Palm, I was your best advocate, and I don't know how you could have disappointed me more.

    Let's hope that someone else can succeed where you failed.
  • Hear my tale of woe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmccarty ( 152630 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:17AM (#13518972)
    Way back in the day I used to be an independent Palm developer []. I didn't do it full time or anything, but it brought in a little money here and there.

    I took some of my proceeds and decided to invest in the hand that fed me, so to speak. I bought 200 shares each of Palm (PALM) and Handspring (HAND). Shortly after I bought, Palm decided to do a reverse 20:1 split to bolster their share price and buy Handspring. My 200 Palm shares became just 10, and after they bought Handspring that left me with 15 Palm shares and a fractional share in cash, which I was paid about $10 for.

    Palm then split to PalmOne (PLSO) and PalmSource (PSRC) and my 23 PALM shares turned into 8 PLMO shares. Again, I received some fractional share payout. Today I hold exactly 8 shares of Palm, Inc (again PALM) that I won't sell because I don't want to take the $15 or $20 eTrade comission hit.

    I'm only satisfied in the fact that I knew going into this that it was a risky investment and only played with money that I didn't mind losing. If there's a moral to this story, maybe it's that Palm may yet stage a comeback, but this is not a good company to invest in.

    • Hah.
      I did some toying around with PocketC but never got into real coding.

      But I remember thinking ... ooh! Palm is being spun off...they have a GREAT product....I should buy! For once my geekish knoweldge about what rocks can pay off in cash!

      Kind of glad I never followed up on that impulse, even though it was just laziness stopping me, thanks for the reassurance.
  • by joshsnow ( 551754 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:19AM (#13518997) Journal
    ...quick OPEN SOURCE BEoS!! Wait..this isn't, is it?
  • Good (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Tidal Flame ( 658452 )
    Good, maybe they'll finally change it now. Palm OS is becoming incredibly outdated, even as they add new features. I don't have much time to rant on about it, but I will say that the lack of a user-accessible filesystem is ridiculous. No, drive mode doesn't count.

    PalmOS's database/object model (wherein everything has to be either a database or an object) was an excellent idea back when PDAs had
    I'd really like to write more about this, but I've got to go to work. Anyway, hopefully this means they'l
  • Palm was relevant years ago, and they're still okay for basic PIM functionality. But without multitasking and other modern features, they've long since dinosaured. I don't blame anyone but Palm.

    And of course us early-adopters are still pissed at Palm for failing.

    Ironically, yesterday I just got an Axim and swapped it out with my Palm. Despite some minor annoyances, the OS is polished and multitasks extremely well. It has Wi-Fi, modern browsers, instant messenging galore, VNC, RDP, and does 640x480. After ad
    • I'm an early adopter, and it's still my favorite for the PIM stuff.

      Were you able to transfer your old Palm data into the PIM of the Axim?

      Also, how are the formfactors with that?

      My Sony CLie is great formfactor wise...unlike Palm they realized it's better to be a little thicker than wide...much easier to hold than the Tungsten.
      • Were you able to transfer your old Palm data into the PIM of the Axim?

        Yes. Towards the end of my Palm days, I was using iSync to sync things. Upon my Axim purchase, I also bought Missing Sync and fired that up and it synced everything (Address Book, iCal) to the Axim.

        The Missing Sync software has been great so far, and integrates with iPhoto and iTunes as well, although I don't have much of a need for that functionality. Well that's not true, I'm going to like having pr0^H^H^Hfamily photos synced to my Axim
  • So PalmOS is doomed to suck as much as their NetFront browser?
  • According to this [] link, ""The existing deployments of Palm OS, including Palm OS Garnet, will continuously be supported. The purpose of the agreement is to maximize the synergy between the two companies. We really don't expect any changes in the relationships that we have with licensees."

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham