Monday, September 26, 2005

Palm drops the other shoe

Well, it finally happened. Earlier today, Palm (or are they still PalmOne? I can't keep track) issued a press release stating that their new Treo 700 will run Windows Mobile instead of PalmOS.

And, less than three weeks ago, PalmSource announced that they were being bought by the Japanese company ACCESS (who produced the NetFront web browser that was bundled with my Sony CLIE).

I can still remember how giddy with excitement I was, back in 1996, when I picked up my U.S. Robotics Pilot 5000 and found that it was every bit as useful and user-friendly as advertised. It's a testament to the product that it survived for almost ten years, despite gross mismanagement by its parent companies. Developers loved this platform, but the manufacturers never really understood what they had or how to properly exploit it.

So long, PalmOS, and thanks for all the fish. Here's hoping somebody else can learn from your owners' mistakes.

1 comment:

LC said...

This is so painful to me. My cell phone is getting antiquated and I keep thinking about a convergent device that will bring my PDA and cell phone into one. Several years ago, I painfully held out for a Kyocera that would combine a Palm and a phone. Now, I have to seriously consider whether I would get PalmOS with it on the fade.
The part that kills me the most --> PalmOS was an open platform that ignited a fire amongst the developer community and that community DELIVERED. We had games, medical apps, construction apps, applications developed with an entirely new context -- a handheld one. It was a heady time. I hadn't programmed in years and yet, I downloaded the SDK and read through it with the thought of several different apps.
And to think that it's giving way to RIM and WinCE, both of which don't seem to have nearly as vibrant or grassroots a developer community, is incredibly sad.
Does anyone know how PalmOS stumbled?