Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Aug 2006 22:16 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Palm on Friday warned investors that development delays by PalmSource on Palm's next operating system have hurt the hardware maker's ability to compete in the smartphone and PDA markets. PalmSource, Palm's spun-off software division, has also violated a royalties contract, Palm said in its annual report. Despite those potential hurdles, Palm says it is continuing to work with PalmSource to develop a new operating system featuring a Linux kernel, though no timetable has been set.
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Did I miss something?
by Knuckles on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:23 UTC
Knuckles
Member since:
2005-06-29

Palm hit by PalmSource delays?
This is the same palm that never used palm OS 6 "Cobalt" in any device (for whatever reasons) and continues to pile patches on top of palm OS 5 "Garnet" instead isn't it?

I'm not quite sure that 'development delays' by PalmSource have hurt Palm's ability to compete, I think that it is Palm's fault for wanting to stick with the old stuff that isn't really enough for most people these days (and then for whatever reason trying to enter a already overcrowded windows mobile market with the treo).

Also as far as I know (and wikipedia seems to agree, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PalmSource ), Palm DIDN'T sell PalmSource to japanese Access, they had split in 2003 to two independent companies (and creating the mess Palm's offerings are now in).

So I'm not sure what to make of this article.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Did I miss something?
by memson on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 00:50 UTC in reply to "Did I miss something?"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Palmsource was still a division of the Palm holding company. PalmOne was also a division. AFAICT, this meant that, though they worked independently, they were under the same ultimate banner. That is to say, someone/some organisation somewhere was still the ultimate owner of both companies.

The Wiki page quoted implies this.

"In August 2003 Palm, Inc. was split, and both PalmSource and palmOne, Inc. became independent divisions."

i.e. they were running as seperate entities, but still had an ultimate parent holding company/body/organisation. A bit like Sony Europe, Sony Japan and Sony Ericson. Sony Europe is a semi autonomous division of the Sony Group in Japan - they are effectively a branch division for different markets. Where as Sony Ericson is a seperate independent division. Ultimately, Sony Ericson is still part of the Sony Group.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Did I miss something?
by Cloudy on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 01:52 UTC in reply to "Did I miss something?"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Palm didn't use Cobalt because they believed it wasn't ready or suitable to their needs, depending on which source you believe. PalmSource abandoned Cobalt in early 2005 to start a project that outsiders routinely called "PalmLinux". PalmSource was purchased by Access in late 2005. Early this year, Access/PalmSource announced "Access Linux Platform", which was different than "PalmLinux" in various ways.

Palm, which was at that time still called PalmOne, bought back the Palm name from PalmSource, and updated their annual royalty contract with PalmSource. One of the clauses of the renewal was that Palm would pay PalmSource guarenteed minimum royalties, no matter how many units they sold, but only if PalmSource hit certain milestones.

The contract did not say what those development milestones are, but Palm is now saying that they weren't met.

One can assume that if your supplier for a key part of your software doesn't deliver that software on time, this places you at a competitive disadvantage, since you are missing features that the competitors have.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Did I miss something?
by jack_perry on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Did I miss something?"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Palm didn't use Cobalt because they believed it wasn't ready or suitable to their needs, depending on which source you believe.

Not just Palm, but none of PalmSource's licensees took up Cobalt. I recently bought a Palm after going 4 years without one, and while wondering about Cobalt devices I did some research. I found an announcement that a company was going to release a Cobalt-based smartphone by the end of 2005, and they released another Garnet-based phone instead. I don't get it; Cobalt looks great (I downloaded the simulator and toyed with it) and certain has a superficial look of quality. But no one bought it.

http://news.com.com/PalmSource+to+unveil+smart-phone+software/2100-...
http://www.allaboutpalm.com/news/item/Oswin_Technologies_Demonstrat...
http://www.firstadopter.com/fa/archives/000719.html
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3413

I recently bought aZ22, and it runs okay. I'm thinking about a T|X. Why I can't run Cobalt on either is a mystery to me, and Palm's sales representative waffled when I asked about their next product announcements. Talk about a story that's ripe for a conspiracy theory!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Did I miss something?
by Cloudy on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 01:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Did I miss something?"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I found an announcement that a company was going to release a Cobalt-based smartphone by the end of 2005

That would be GSPDA, who worked on a Cobalt based product, but never shipped it. I have no idea why they never shipped, but I don't beleive the garnet phone was instead of the Cobalt phone.

Cobalt looks great ... But no one bought it.

The official story was that customers were unwilling to deal with the learning cover required by the rather unusual driver model for Cobalt.

One joke I heard was "there are only six people in the entire world that can write drivers for Cobalt, and they all work for PalmSource."

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Did I miss something?
by jack_perry on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Did I miss something?"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

The official story was that customers were unwilling to deal with the learning cover required by the rather unusual driver model for Cobalt.

And the solution to this is a Linux-based PalmOS? I know nothing about drivers, but it sounds curious. Still, that's the most sensible explanation I've heard so far. Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Did I miss something?
by WorknMan on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 14:00 UTC in reply to "Did I miss something?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm not quite sure that 'development delays' by PalmSource have hurt Palm's ability to compete,

And the reliability issues and piss-poor customer service probably isn't helping either. Go to Amazon.com and look at the reviews for the Palm TX. All kinds of issues being reporting from broken power on switches to the thing just rebooting in an endless loops. I'm not saying that PocketPCs are any better .. seems that nobody makes a stable, full-featured PDA these days, near as I can tell.

Reply Score: 1

seperate companies
by Cloudy on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 01:40 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

Palm and PalmSource were separate companies, not divisions of the same company, when PalmSource, trading under the stock symbol PSRC, sold itself to Access, last year.

The Wikipedia article is wrong.

Reply Score: 1

Oh stop it...
by truckweb on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 03:19 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Palm should stop dicking around and admit they want to dump PalmOS in favor of WindowsCE. They have a new Treo that will launch soon with WinCE. They are making deals with Microsoft to try to beat RIM (Blackbery).

Anyway, PalmOS is starting to lack on features that you can have or add to WinCE. With device today, from PDA to smartphone, memory is no longer a problem, it's cheap so even if WinCE is more bloated than PalmOS, who cares?

And from my last experience, beleive it or not, WinCE was more stable than PalmOS. Microsoft did something good.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Oh stop it...
by Cloudy on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 08:41 UTC in reply to "Oh stop it..."
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

The problem is that they don't. If they dump PalmOS then they're just another WinMob player in a sea of WinMob players and they're not big enough to play in that field.

They need a differentiator.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Oh stop it...
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 05:01 UTC in reply to "Oh stop it..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyway, PalmOS is starting to lack on features that you can have or add to WinCE. With device today, from PDA to smartphone, memory is no longer a problem, it's cheap so even if WinCE is more bloated than PalmOS, who cares?

WinCE (and WinCE devices) may be more technologically-advanced, but Palm still has them beat in terms of usability. There was a review of the Treo 700w in the Globe & Mail which hit the nail on the head - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060105.gttreor... . It mentioned that Palm used to employ a "tap counter" whose job was to test routine tasks in the Palm UI and ensure that they required no more than 2-3 taps of the stylus. I have a Treo 650 through work and I think that sort of attention-to-detail is one of the biggest factors that makes it a good device.

From the reviews I've read of the 700w, at least, it sounds as if that level of attention to usability detail isn't present in WinCE. I think it's pretty telling that most of the 650 vs 700 comparative reviews focus on how much longer common tasks take with the 700 than with the 650 (E.g., 3-4 steps to enable speakerphone for the current call with the 700w, vs. 1 step with the 600).

Reply Score: 1

Point is...
by capricorn_tm on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 06:07 UTC
capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

That palm did not propose any new model this year. It normally did so around March/ April but no, none this year.

I think it is a bad signal.

I do not know what to think of Access Palm Linux, not until it comes out from the vaporware stage and gives us a Beta that can be called that (and no, sdk does not count).

Point is that I do see little innovation ideas in this last stage of Palm's life. The last was switching from the 160x160 and multiples squared format to the virtual pad and 320x480 format.

Stability of Garnet is there, but the system is aging quicker than you'd expect. Plus add some nutty ideas in design, like the Life drive, that was a slow poke that has absolutely no sense to exist at all, seen that a month after the 4 gb sd card came out as promised six months before (and the price, even if high at the time, was still lower than a new Life drive).

I come back to it on and on. I'm happy with my T5, but I cannot help to think that the top productivity I ever had was with my Vx. Small, classy, black and white, a week without recharging, no frills, organized, compact to death and with apps that did what you asked them to do.

PDA are something that have to be rethought or abbandoned and smartphones won't do the trick at all. you'll fall always inbetween the necessity to have a larger screen than a phone and the need of small measurements of a phone.

Still waiting Palm.

Reply Score: 1

Palm is still going well...
by sebpayne on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 06:54 UTC
sebpayne
Member since:
2006-05-11

I purchase a Z22 for a meager 66 on Monday. It has to be the nicest PDA I've ever used. Sure, the screen has a low resolution and no upgrade slot but it's quick, Graffiti 2 just works. It's also small and light. Pocket PCs are just like Windows - complicated to use with too many features. BlackBerry OS is too simple - Palm OS gets it right.

If they could only get their finger out and get their future upgrade path, Palm might have a better view for their future.

Reply Score: 1

Does all this matter any more?
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 10:22 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I haven't seen anyone using a Palm in a long time. They used to be everywhere in the healthcare community. I just don't think Palm is relevant anymore.

Reply Score: 1

Need a scapegoat
by mini-me on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 13:09 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

and they got one. Simple as that.
Let Palm die in peace :p

Reply Score: 1

Bummer
by lostnerd on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 14:50 UTC
lostnerd
Member since:
2005-07-27

I have to admit I love my Sony Clie and really want a new Palm. Personally I would be happy if they update the Z series with a higher resolution and an expansion slot (I didn't know it didn't have one). I don't need a lot of power or memory. a 32+ Mb palm would do me just fine. A Linux based palm would be sweet but I would probably wait till its in 2nd generation before I would buy. I'm poor and can't afford to be buying 1st gen pda software to become unusable. When I get my new Palm it probably be running PalmOS 5.

Edited 2006-08-02 14:51

Reply Score: 1

Desperatly needed!
by tinfoil on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 16:58 UTC
tinfoil
Member since:
2006-02-15

I was a long time palm user until the company I work for standardized on WinCE (against my advice, but why listen to the IT department?) I had gotten used to my various iPaqs and started to enjoy them.

Now that I bought a LifeDrive, I see that while WinCE has improved tremendously since I started using it (and let's face it, it had to), PalmOS has stalled. New functionality hasn't been added to the OS, and the only new functionality is added by third party. It's a mishmash of third-party apps from various vendors that rarely work well together.

Atleast the LifeDrive is fast. .... Oh, wait..

Reply Score: 1