Comments on: Palm Buying Wireless Email Company

Palm Inc. is buying ThinAirApps, a privately held developer of applications that allow secure wireless access to corporate email and other critical enterprise data. Palm is paying $19 million dollars worth of common stock and the deal is expected to close by the end of this month. This is part of Palm's drive to provide corporate users a secure, server-based messaging solution for their Palm handhelds.
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I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:03:34 AM #
ThinAir go down da hole...

Anyone notice that anything that Palm purchases just begins to degrade, like the touch of death.

For example, Multimail Pro. Was a great program, then Palm got a hold of it and all but shut it down.

RE: ^sigh^
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:07:53 AM #
What do you mean?

Palm bought that WeSync web based datebook thingy and integrated the technology into the Palm OS and turned the MyPalm portal into a great collaborative tool!

Oh wait, nevermind...


RE: ^sigh^
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:15:42 AM #
>and turned the MyPalm portal into a great collaborative tool!<

Correct - but just last week Palm announced to close MyPalm down.
So far for the correctness of the former poster.
Every company sinking into palms arms fast and forever dissapears - sorry to say: Like m$ way

RE: ^sigh^
Xian @ 12/12/2001 11:18:20 AM #
Looney Tunes put it best

"oh no.. not again..."

RE: ^sigh^
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:37:35 AM #
>Correct - but just last week Palm announced to close MyPalm down.
>So far for the correctness of the former poster.

Gee, did you note the sarcasm in his post?

RE: ^sigh^
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:37:56 AM #
Funny that hard earned (investors) money is by Ed. not anymore money, but some form of worthless token.

Learn: So better stay away from the stock exchange and store your money under the mattress or in secured state bonds. What a shame!

A fine example how the stock market has changed from former being a serious finance tool for promising bright ideas into pure speculation objects of crooks.

Palm always criticized and made truly funny jokes on MS for randomly buying companies (and integrating them on there luncheon meal) as not having the capacity and brain to develop themselves anything.
The only difference today between M$ and Palm is that Palm will run our of money soon...

And a stock deal is very well also money – just the investors one – but there not asked.
True – how can you ask a fleeing crowd if they want to have their investment spend on another "great initiative”. To integrate something clowdy what was long promised– and will be delivered free (without giving away stocks) by a sober Linux / Zaurus PDA’s initiative in a couple of months.
Sad to say – the investors money would be much better spend on keeping core developers and not sacking the feet instead of keeping the top managers with big checks with as broad backsides as small visions.

RE: ^sigh^
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 12:10:00 PM #
>>>Correct - but just last week Palm announced to close MyPalm down.
>So far for the correctness of the former poster.

>Gee, did you note the sarcasm in his post?

It is not sarcasm - it is sad mourning.

Employees into ThinAir?

mikecane @ 12/12/2001 11:16:17 AM #
So is that what they did with the cash they saved by firing hundreds of people this year?

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
Ed @ 12/12/2001 11:20:08 AM #
Cash? What cash? Read the second sentence of the article again. This was entirely a stock deal.

News Editor
RE: Employees into ThinAir?
bcombee @ 12/12/2001 11:36:09 AM #
Not entirely stock, since Palm will also take on support and salary for the ThinAirApps staff -- there is a real immediate impact on cash flow.

ThinAirApps has always been an interesting company. They executed better than companies like Veriprise (I was employed there before Metrowerks; they had a similar product, but they collapsed back around last March), but they didn't have the early mover advantage of Aether or Avantgo. Having their mail PQA bundled with every Palm VII and VIIx was a big win for them.

I hope Palm keeps them going on their current mission... I'd hate to see another "Actual Software/Multimail" deal where the core product gets abandoned.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
peter167 @ 12/12/2001 12:05:19 PM #
If you have heard the story about a donkey, a father and a son, you know someone will trash talk you no matter what you decide to do.

So right now, hopefully this acquistion will successfully close by the end of the year, and that should be a move to reinforce the launch of the all new i series that have been rumored around. These two should be strong and yet have always-on email that TREO is not expected to have until mid-year 2002 at an extra monthly cost. (THIS is confirmed by Handspring Inc., and do NOT make up your thoughts anymore. Only facts are welcome.)

And I don't understand what in the world a stock deal or a cash deal have difference in cash flow. If you acquire a company, you have to pay the employees' salaries and you get their business revenue in return. What's so special about that?

Let's wait for the I series. Please, no more trash talk.

P.S. The story is like this. The father and son are travelling with a donkey. When the father sits on the donkey, people will bash about the father why he does not let the son take the seat. When the son takes the seat, people will bash about the son. When both of them sit on the back of the donkey, people will bash that both of them are too heavy for the monkey. When neither of them sit on the monkey, people will bash that they are stupid and why don't they sit on the donkey. That is life and the ignorance of people.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
peter167 @ 12/12/2001 12:15:41 PM #
It should be donkey, indeed. Not monkey.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
mikecane @ 12/12/2001 12:30:57 PM #
Oops! Bad me! And I forgot, Palm just got $50M from someone. I wonder what they will wind up doing with that?

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
Scott @ 12/12/2001 12:34:30 PM #
I'm lost. Is the donkey sitting on the monkey? That's just cruel.


RE: Employees into ThinAir?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 2:28:47 PM #
> Not entirely stock, since Palm will also take on support and
> salary for the ThinAirApps staff -- there is a real immediate impact
> on cash flow.

What would ThinAirApps have used to pay their salaries and
support costs if Palm hadn't bought them? The cash they
have on hand. So suddently this cash disappears because
Palm bought them? No. ThinAirApps will continue to
pay for ThinAirApps' costs. Look, if you don't have a clue how
business works, keep your mouth shut. You'll look less silly.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
palmcoder @ 12/12/2001 3:47:04 PM #

Look, if you don't know how to READ, keep your mouth shut. You'll look less silly. :P

I think Ben was referring to the impact on Palm's cash flow, not TAA's. If Palm acquires a company, then they ARE taking on significant costs associated with salaries, benefits, etc for the acquired employees. Ben never said that TAA's money would magically disappear.

Hey, Ed. Have you registered the following domains yet?

jeez, people, get a grip.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 4:26:02 PM #
I'm hesitant about entering this flame war but I'm confused. I'm NOT a business guru and you all lost me. If ThinAir had the cash to pay their employees before, why don't they have it any more if Palm buys them? Palm also bought all the cash Thin Air had. Before the deal ThinAir sold enough software to cover their own expenses. Won't ThinAir actually ADD to Palm's cash if they are a profitable company? Could someone please explain how buying a profitable company with plenty of cash can cost the buyer cash when no cash was paid for it and the bought company is covering its own expenses through sales.

Father, son, monkey and donkey
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 8:41:14 PM #
I have a similar, shorter and more fucused one: the dumb father, the stupid son and a brave everage donkey are sitting on the hard working sweating poor monkey (shareholder, user and developer) and have no clue where to go.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
peter167 @ 12/12/2001 9:30:30 PM #
That's why we have I.M. posters. They are afraid to tell us they are the poor monkeys.

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/13/2001 12:42:42 AM #
Indeed corretct - we poor Palm monekys, e.g. shareholder, user and developers are nameless stupids falling in the trap binded by the "Zen of Palm"

RE: Employees into ThinAir?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/13/2001 9:27:39 PM #
I just want to say Veriprise was bought by Centura Software/Mbrane, a company I worked for. Then it went out of the business itself in September. All my options were gone with it. Sigh........

I personally think the market is in Asia and I have pretty good connections there. Anyone want to try expand the wireless applications business can contact me.


RE: Employees into ThinAir?
digichimp @ 12/16/2001 1:18:43 PM #
I think the market is in Europe and Asia too, but wireless infrastructure is the key. Acer is playing both sides first with the s-10 and now they are licensing PPC. PPC recently came out with a chinese version of PPC2002
I think the Palm Platform can muster but Symbian is another contender. We can't we just all get along!?!@!
Get a standard then compete on other grounds towards innovation.

Consumers would win.

More donkey parable...
Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.
Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey.
As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story; "If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass good-bye."

Another purchase?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 12:08:50 PM #

RE: Another purchase?
mikecane @ 12/12/2001 12:31:48 PM #
Please, not so loudly! Palm is trying to concentrate on their next acquisition.

RE: Another purchase?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 12:39:53 PM #
Is there anybody developing anything anymore at Palm or are the core chaps playing in the aquiring sandbox only?

Bets taken

When I hear Palm today it remembers me of the great british masters and high piched founders of the PDA universe at Psion Inc. - shuffling out press releases in true bulk till the last breath (last investors cent) - until they went down the sewer.

Do they have a clue?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 11:24:24 AM #
They tried to buy Extended Systems - and backed out. Now they announce they are buying Thin Air Apps. Palm does not understand the software business or the enterprise.

By doing this they are alienating every other email/groupware/gateway vendor in their space. How will companies that develop leading edge technologies and advance the platform will react to this since now they will be competing with the platform itself?

How will enterprise customers react to having one "official"/standard solcution from Palm, Inc. instead of being able to select the technology and vendor that better fits their needs and better integrates with their existing technology?

Palm, Inc. is losing market share as a device manufacturer and as a platform vendor. Why do they keep trying to expand to other businesses (e.g. middleware) intead of focusing on its core competencies.

Anyway, I wish Palm the best of lucks, and hope they succeed despite "brilliant" moves like this. I sure prefer that to having Microsoft own yeat another piece of the world.

RE: Do they have a clue?
Scott @ 12/12/2001 12:47:08 PM #
I certainly have my concerns about this purchase. Just when they get some extra money, it seems that they have to go and find a way to spend it. Still, while I'm a firm believer in not going the MS-route of bundling apps which reduce 3rd party development, I think that exceptions are allowed. Some examples of apps which, IMHO, make sense to include as new core apps (in a wireless world) include a browser and an email solution. If they can get the PQA region humming, I could even see a browser as being a non-bundled app. Palm wants to get some of the RIM market and to do that, they need a built-in method for email retrieval for wireless devices.


Palm Has Strong Enterprise Presence (ThinAirApps and XTND)
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/13/2001 5:40:30 AM #
Why all the doom and gloom???????

ThinAirApps is a perfect fit for Palm, if you look at both companies and product offerings. FULL STOP.

Palm Has Strong Enterprise Presence
November 30, 2001

Many analysts and journalists criticize Palm for having a small percentage of sales to large companies and claim that PPC has a much higher percentage. David Nagel, head of Palm's OS and software division, recently called this a triumph of wishful thinking over data. Several recent studies back him up.

Palm has a nose for quality......

ThinAirApps and Extended Systems have partnered to provide enterprise customers with real-time groupware access from mobile devices. ThinAirApps offers products that allow businesses to navigate the wireless market effectively. They have a multi-device, open platform approach that enables wireless access to any type of data, securely, and in real-time. Through key enterprise installations as well as partnerships with VAR's, hosting providers, OEM's, and integrators, and by winning awards and nominations such as the PC Magazine Editor's Choice and in eWeek excellence awards, there technology has proven itself to be world-class and unique.

Palm Takes Aim At The Enterprise With Acquisition
December 12, 2001 | Wireless News Archives
By Thor Olavsrud

Palm Inc. (NASDAQ:PALM) furthered its ambitions in the enterprise space Wednesday with a deal that will help it create enterprise servers that can wirelessly push e-mail and messaging to Palm wireless handhelds.


Palm is integrating XTND Bluetooth Software into there own Platform and resells the XTNDConnect Server under there own brand. You may remember that Palm had planned to acquire Extended Systems but eventually the companies came to a mutual agreement to end the acquisition. The slowing economy, market conditions led, price (2 low) and shareholders led them to conclude that a termination of merger plans would best serve both companies and their respective shareholders.

Extended Systems, based in Boise, Idaho, is the best public market play on the convergence of the Bluetooth and corporate wireless data synchronization (sync) markets. As PDAs and mobile phones increasingly penetrate enterprises, calendars/contacts are updated both on and off line and sync is required to resolve differences, keeping “good” data and discarding old data. Extended Systems is the leading Bluetooth SDK provider (the software link between hardware devices and applications), their solution is used by market leaders Palm and Hewlett-Packard and that lead will translate into an advantage as sync is increasingly done wirelessly.

-Bluetooth Makes Headway in Consumer Products

-PalmSource 2002; BLUETOOTH integrated into PalmOS

-(Palm has a nose for QUALITY...) Extended Systems has licensed its Bluetooth software development kits to more than 100 companies for implementation in next-generation products. Customers include PALM, 3Com, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, FlashPoint, Xircom, Red-M, Nissin, Taiyo Yuden, NEC, Mitsubishi (TRIUM, France), Crossbow, and Visteon, just to name a few.

-Why Bluetooth?
-Support for Bluetooth in EVERY NEW Palm-branded handheld.
-Palm m525 to boast built-in Bluetooth
-Palm and Wireless
-News: Palm Unveils Bluetooth SDK for Palm OS 4.0

-December 2001 -- Bluetooth Wireless Technology Addresses Desktop Computing Market

Microsoft Corporation outlines integration plans as Bluetooth SIG announces enhancements to include Input Devices for Computing Industry

-Windows XP to support Bluetooth
Wednesday 12 December 2001

Microsoft is to integrate support for Bluetooth wireless technology into Windows XP in the second half of 2002.

-Bluetooth Gets Microsoft Nod, Eyes Desktop PC Market

-Windows XP to get USB 2.0 and Bluetooth
10:15 Wednesday 12th December 2001
Joe Wilcox, CNET

Microsoft is to update Windows XP to allow networking using USB 2.0 and Bluetooth as well as FireWire and 802.11b

Off topic, but...

Scott @ 12/12/2001 12:35:22 PM #
I recently got a Samsung i300. Rumor is that it doesn't have flash ROM. Because of this, ThinAirApps doesn't work on it. For that matter, I've been extremely disappointed in PQAs overall. I've actually been a champion of the PQA concept (before I actually got a wireless device), but what I've seen has been disappointing. Half of the PQAs don't seem to be "alive" anymore (page not found errors due to the host site no longer being in operation or, at least, no longer supporting the pages that the PQA requests). Then, try to go to one of the web sites for the companies that make some of these PQAs and try to find the PQA to download, support, documentation, or screenshots for them. It's rare. Finally, I haven't cracked open the development information yet, but from what I've seen, there doesn't seem to be any built-in hooks to owner information. If you have a Palm VII, you can use a neat trick to find out what zip code you're probably in (using the radio towers). For other wireless devices, this won't work (it's Mobitex-specific). So, how about a simple way for an app to read your zip code (via the contact record marked as the "business card") or, better yet, any and all of this information. This would seem to be a relatively simple extension to the PQA development platform.

I'm still a believer in the concept of PQAs, but the PQA world seems to be a bit of a ghost town nowadays, with so many of them being DOA and several "great ideas" still not being done. I'm appalled by the number of PQAs which follow poor GUI design and which require a connection right from the start. People have been claiming that people need access to full web sites, and while that's nice to have, too, I'd much rather look up a phone number, address, map, or check my email via a well-designed PQA. It's a pity that I can't seem to find good ones for any of these purposes.

Rant over. I hope Palm breathes new life into the PQA market by adding new extensions to it and by cleaning house on the DOA PQAs that they have on their site.


That 50 mil' was just burning a hole in their pocket.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 1:54:18 PM #

Christ! They are worse than a 5 year old child. Give them a little money and they'll run out and buy candy.

Palm Bashing

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 2:33:52 PM #
I agree with the person above. To some of you, Palm can do no right. Absolutely everything they do gets criticized by you. I don't think some of you would be happy if they gave you a new PDA delivered by a stripper.

Before you fire off an accusation that I'm a Palm apologist, I'll say I think Palm has made plenty of mistakes. But not everything they've ever done was wrong, which some of you seem to think.

So you've demonstrated that you can bitch and whine. What REALISTIC move can Palm make that you would agree with? That realistic requirement means you have to exclude the physically impossible, like release OS 5 before the end of this year.

I'll bet most of you whiners are Sonyistas and your first suggestion will be "copy Sony". Which, if Palm actually did it, you'd scream "Palm is copying Sony!" and bitch and whine some more. Try to be original. You keep bitching that the innovation is gone for Palm. Think of something original then. Bet you'll find it is harder than you think.

RE: Palm Bashing
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 2:48:25 PM #
As much as I hate Micro$oft and PocketPC's, their business model seems to make sense. They create an OS and it's specs and let others deal with hardware aspect of it.

Since Palm has yet to out innovate any of the venders selling PalmOS powered hardware, they should stop working on hardware, and drive the innovators by adding great functionality to their OS (on which development has been anemic as well). Focus on the platform, and leave the hardware to those who are doing it better. With a little creativity (and true listening ability on the part of Palm, Inc.) the PalmOS can be an incredible platform.

The MS model looks great...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 3:08:37 PM #
Untill, of course, you realize that MS is making all the profits, and the hardware people are getting their lunch eaten with overstock, outdated models, and the R&D teams' having to keep up with M$'s fantasy-of-the-week (Hardware spec - Have you seen the HW spec on the new pen tablets? Those things are probably going to cost $2K+ each!)

Yeah, it looks great to MS. Note that almost all the small WinCE manufacteurs have already left? Compaq and/or HP are the only two big enough to keep bleeding like this. I woulden't put it past MS to be holding the WinXP hammer over their heads to keep them in line, either.

The only reason the whole initiative hasen't collapsed is because of Microsoft using the money from it's Software monopoly to keep it on life support.

Or did you think all those PPC ads were given away free? MS pays a big chunk of those, too.

RE: Palm Bashing
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 8:27:18 PM #
It's a bit funny when you hear people suggest that Palm should abandon making hardware. No matter what you may think, they are still the leader in hardware sales (both volume and value wise) and palm products remain very popular.

Admitedly they've lost some market share, but like a war, you sometimes loose ground. But you also just as easily recapture lost ground with better strategy and execution.

No body can wish this company away...not Gartner, not MS and certainly not the professional bashers on this board...

RE: PPC doesn't make money for M$ either
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2001 10:35:00 PM #
M$ doesn't make any money out of the PPC. The fee structure varies, but it works out to about USD10-20 per copy for most of the manufacturers. Factor in the development cost and marketing, and the whole project has been somewhat less than a stunning success.


I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 4:27:36 PM #
Im glad to see palm living up to its promises to start to upgrade the os to something much better. This and the other companies palm bought will sure contribute to the Palm os

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 4:38:29 PM #
Don't kid yourself. Any company that would sell itself for shares of Palm common stock is on its last legs, anyway. One failing company joins a terminally sick one. This isn't news, this is a quarantine.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 4:46:07 PM #
Microsoft has shown that it is totally uncompetitive when it comes to handheld computers. After five years of failure, it is turning to guerilla marketing. If you cant fairly beat your competition, just spread lies and slander.

Maybe we should try it too. I heard that Microsoft has said that if Pocket PC 2002 doesn't get at least 40% of the US market in the next 6 months, Microsoft is going to cancel the project as a waste of money. Tell all your friends and post this on Usenet and the [few] Pocket PC web sites.

Well, I guess we can't blame Yankowksi for this one!

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/12/2001 5:37:59 PM #
Maybe the "Chief Competitive Officer" brainstormed this one???

RE: Well, I guess we can't blame Yankowksi for this one!
Michael @ 12/13/2001 12:38:03 PM #
Nah, the deal was driven by the new management team in the Palm hardware company. They're looking to strengthen the wireless e-mail systems they'll offer to organizations next year. If you want to compete with RIM, you need this sort of infrastructure.

Folks are right that Palm hasn't had a good record on acquisitions (although that's also true of most acquisitions made during the dot-com bubble). Anyway, it's a reasonable criticism, but you've got a totally new management team in place in the hardware company, and they thought this over very carefully to make sure there would be a good fit.

CCO, Palm Inc.

Ed @ 12/13/2001 12:54:20 PM #
I confirmed that this is really from Michael Mace. Nothing like getting your info straight from the horse's mouth.

News Editor
RE: Well, I guess we can't blame Yankowksi for this one!
jimrker @ 12/14/2001 4:02:51 PM #

Thanks for taking the time to answer. Speaks well of you.

I don't know if you can address this but what does this mean for the Corsoft agreement? According to their news release Corsoft and Palm have an "agreement to co-market Corsoft’s Aileron Desktop Access Service, a hosted consumer offering for individuals and corporate users, with Palm, Inc., a leading provider of handheld computers."


Jim Kershaw

RE: Well, I guess we can't blame Yankowksi for this one!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2001 8:06:55 PM #
Having witnessed what happened in one of these acquired companies first hand, I wouldn't blame the internet bubble entirely on the failed acquisitions.

Palm completely mismanaged every acquisition to date. They acquired all of the companies very quickly without having a definitive plan of what they were going to do with them. The people in charge of integrating the companies and filling in the missing blanks, had their own political agendas which had nothing to do with what was good for Palm.

Some of the acquired companies were ignored, others were DOA due to political infighting. All in all it was utter chaos.

I certainly blame Yankowski's management style for this chaos and I believe that with his departure a lot of the problems have gone away. I am hoping that the new crew will do a better job of taking advantage of the Thin Air deal and future acquisitions.

RE: Well, I guess we can't blame Yankowksi for this one!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2001 9:13:03 PM #
Extended Systems = Canceled Merger
Be, Inc. = Merger Complete?
ThinAir = Merger Complete?

So is the above guy from BE or was it while under 3COM's watch?


I.M. Anonymous @ 12/15/2001 3:47:36 AM #


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