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Comments on: Palm Lays Out 2002 Hardware Timetable

Palm's Chairman and temporary CEO Eric Benhamou gave an updated timetable for his company's plans for new hardware releases this year in a NY Times interview.

First off, he said that Palm's much delayed wireless handheld will be out within two months. It had originally planned to release a VIIx replacement before the end of 2001 but had to push it back until this year.

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More features

vincenzosi @ 1/2/2002 9:35:20 AM #
I know they have to up the palm ante to compete with Pocket PC's or possibly risk losing market share. However, the thought of a $600 palm with all these bells and whistles a-la a PPC machine really frighten me. I hope Palm doesn't deviate too much from what has made them successful. A major overhaul isn't what's needed, just a couple of tweaks.

RE: More features
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:41:12 AM #
Yeah, what they have been doing, so far, has been WILDLY successful. At this rate, the stock price will be back into double digits by 2005.

RE: More features
Ed @ 1/2/2002 10:40:37 AM #
In a interview back in November, David Nagel, the head of Palm's Platform Solutions Group, was quite scornful of the PPC's belief in bells and whistles for their own sake. He promised that future versions of the Palm OS would not suffer from feature bloat.

www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=2582

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News Editor

RE: More features
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 3:26:08 PM #
Maybe not wildly successful, but going the MS / PPC route would absolutely be a colossal failure. I would consider their market share a success, contrary to the complete mishandling of the company for two years.

Benhamou's Promises and Hype

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:50:14 AM #
"Promising better products, Mr. Benhamou said Palm would introduce a wireless e-mail device within two months, turn a profit again by midyear and incorporate a faster processor and wireless standards like Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11b into Palms by the fall."

1. Faster Processor? 48Mhz would keep the promise but underwhelm everyone. It ain't going to cut it.

2. Wireless Standards? SD Bluetooth Card? How long have we been waiting for this? Old news.


RE: Benhamou's Promises and Hype
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:14:44 AM #
Critics abound...

1.) It obviously won't be 48 Mhz. It'll likely be 200-400 this 1st go around.

2.) He also mentioned built in 802.11 which is the 1st anybody has heard of this. This is actually good news if done correctly.

Glass half empty, huh?

RE: Benhamou's Promises and Hype
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:45:01 AM #
Past Performance is indicative of future results in Benhamou's case. Talk is cheap. Deliver!

RE: Benhamou's Promises and Hype
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 11:12:26 AM #
For his defense regaurding the bluetooth sd card it is not his fault that they have just finalized the i/o standard for sd. Hence this is why havent seen any type of sd hardware add on other than flash based apps/memcards.. Dont be so ignorant next time.

RE: Benhamou's Promises and Hype
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:15:04 AM #
I don't want excuses! I want RESULTS! JUST GET THE JOB DONE OR END UP IN THE ASH HEAP OF TECH HISTORY!

RE: Benhamou's Promises and Hype
Ed @ 1/2/2002 11:29:13 AM #
This is starting to turn into a flamewar which no one but you two is interested in. Give it up and move on.

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News Editor

Whos in charge?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:52:51 AM #
They need a dynamite CEO to carry this off. The first thing they should do is come out wiht a M5XX series with a bright 320X320 screen. I wonder if this means to improvements to the current line until the ARM Palms come out.

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:04:19 AM #
My guess is that we won't see much of this till the ARM/OS 5 devices are out. He only seems to be promising i7xx devices before then. If Palm does a hi-res hack like Sony's screens are, I'm dropping my Palm in the garbage and moving to Pocket PC or one of the Linux devices. I can't imagine they would be stupid enough to do that to their APIs, since they've been doing some fairly good things in the underlying APIs in recent years.

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:24:15 AM #
But there is also a point where you must move on to bigger and better technology. There is only so much you can do with a 160x160 screen.

Although I do think that the 240x320 is a better standard (or a size that uses the full screen). Wasting space with a fixed graffiti area simply doesn't make sense.

DRG

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:24:16 AM #
Actually, I'd hope for a 320 x 480, replacing the silkscreen area with more display screen. That is the one thing the PocketPC designers did right.

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:06:02 AM #
Well, if the APIs were right you could support all of the above resolutions. What HandEra did with the hi-res API would seem to be in the right direction, but there could probably be some better tools to simplify developing for screens with different resolutions. I really hope Palm has something nice designed for OS 5 to handle this, but I fear we won't see it on the OS 4.x devices.

RE: Whos in charge?
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 11:20:39 AM #
OS 4 is toast, its a basically a patch to 3.5 with some eyecandy. OS 5 is where Palm will once again take the spotlight. With the recent acquisition of Be (Which if you have looked there apis they are extremley clean) we will be seeing the next level. Palm dropped the ball the last couple of years, but I predict that they're going to make a huge comeback. You have to remember the original intentions of the palm pilot platform and the success of the 3.0 os. Palm overlooked multimedia capabilities, but they got the UI dead on. Microsoft stole Palm thunder with Pocket PC, but dont count em down yet!

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:43:33 AM #
> OS 4 is toast, its a basically a patch to 3.5 with some eyecandy.

Wrong. Every Palm OS update since 3.0 through 4.1 added significant improvements to the underlying APIs and performance improvments. The latest API improvements are likely a key to a smooth transition to OS 5.0 and compatability with legacy apps. Even though the user-visible feature changes from 3.5 to 4.x may seem minor, the underlying OS additions, changes and improvements are huge.

If Palm is seriously going to compete with Pocket PC, they need to have a real OS underneath there to compete with and those improvements are more critical than your eyecandy.

RE: Whos in charge?
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 12:12:36 PM #
I've been developing palm apps since the 2.0 api's, and yes i agree there have been improvements. But OS 5.0 is a complete overhaul, which is definitally what the apis needed. Plus we will be running on a platform in which the memory strains will not be as evident as in the previous os versions. I cant tell you how many times i'm getting out old books to look for more memory saving features. The addition of the Attention manager is deffinetly a plus, but take a look at the 4.0 new feature set in the Palm OS Reference Manual, its not all that great. One of personal pet peves with the current api is how now portable the code becomes. Porting ansi standard librarys to the palm can be a major headache. I'm hoping for some supported encryption api in 5.0, that would make my day! I agree overall though palm has come along way, but lets also say that we need a C++ api, which the Be programmers were kings at!
Later,

Phil

RE: Whos in charge?
bcombee @ 1/2/2002 1:37:36 PM #
Phil, I disagree with the wish for a C++-based API. The big problems with that scheme are:

1) The OS API is tied closely to one language.

2) With C++, you can't change base classes without destroying binary compatibility with older software.

A C API is very portable to bindings for other languages, like C++, Pascal, Perl, Python, Java, etc. You can build a class library on top of the core API. If they were going to do an OOP API, I'd suggest something like COM which at least provides a reasonable cross-language object binding method.

RE: Whos in charge?
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 7:16:14 PM #
Oh by no means was i trying to say that C++ should become the main lang. But i do wish they had a c++ api built on top of the exisisting one. Actually a fairly nice one is called POL. But if you've ever used the conduit classes you can see where palm was lacking expierenced c++ programmers. The classes are poorly documented, the code is horrid to sift through and they were designed for a very specific purpose, the Palm pims. None the less, Be has shown they have it where counts in that side of things, they're classes were outstanding.

In a nutshell the point i was trying to make was:
1) The Palm OS API is imho in need of an overhall.
2) The current implementation is way to platform specific and does not comply with the base ansi standards.
3) Having the Be programmers on board are going to make OS 5 shine like a silver dollar in sunlight.

RE: Whos in charge?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:37:32 PM #
As a developer, I think Palm has done a great job in OS 4. There's some pretty cool stuff in the OS 4.0 APIs if you look close enough. Anyway I agree, 4.0 among other things, is mainly a precursor compatibility release for OS 5.0

I dont know about you guys, but I met the Palm guys and have seen what they have bashed together and I'm impressed with how smart these guys are. Feel secure in the fact that the guys creating the OS are smart. I believe they made some good busness decisions with upcoming releases and I also think people that frequent this site will also bitch about it when they see OS5.0. But then again they bitch about everything.

-W

RE: Whos in charge?
bcombee @ 1/4/2002 2:06:50 AM #
Just a quick note: I've used POL for C++ app development a bit, just finishing a survey application for the Metrowerks team at MacWorld to use on the show floor. I personally like it a lot -- don't be surprised if you see closer integration between it and CodeWarrior in the near future.

Ben (CW tech lead)

That's geat and all but.....

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:39:21 AM #
I just want a 505 + brighter + hi-res for <= $450. Don't hate me because I'm boring....

RE: That's geat and all but.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 2:45:01 PM #
Right on. It already does what I need. Just do it better.

RE: That's geat and all but.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:37:05 PM #
What's wrong with a T600 from Sony?

RE: That's geat and all but.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 8:58:10 AM #
That sounds like Clies ......


RE: That's geat and all but.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 9:03:52 AM #
a 600 series would be perfect. the new one should be announced next week.

Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 11:27:22 AM #
My guess is that Sony will come out with these in mid-2002 and a superb form factor which will bring the Palm designers back to the drawing board.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
kevdo @ 1/2/2002 12:10:52 PM #
>My guess is that Sony will come out with these in mid-2002
>and a superb form factor which will bring the Palm designers
>back to the drawing board.

If you're talking form factor the m500 series is the best, imho for overall usability. I like some of the things on the Sony models but rather than improve the awful buttons on the s320 and s6XX models they go and make them EVEN WORSE on the T415!

I've found many of the Sony models (not the 415) to be bulkier than the Palm counterparts. Lack of bulkiness is important to me.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:17:04 PM #
Other than putting a hi-res color screen in the N series, what has Sony designed that is at all interesting?

Anyhow, Palm is developing OS 5 (thank goodness). Sony will not be releasing devices with it before Palm does.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:21:19 PM #
Integrated MP3, relatively thin form factor (width wise), great battery life for all of the features, added the ability to integrate pictures into address book, memory stick slot which now has the capability of adding a camera or GPS MS.

If you dont own a 320x320 Sony, you would really understand how great the screen really is. The screen by itself, is a great innovation for a Palm based unit.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:28:22 PM #
I will bet you a million dollars that Sony releases one at the same time or before palm does. They have the hardware connections and the money.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 12:33:56 PM #
Pocket PC did MP3 a long time ago, and sticking an extra chip in to decode it isn't news anyhow. Making a narrower (width wise) device, is exactly what I hate about the N series. The screen is smaller in part because of it, and it feels like a cell phone. Sorry, but as the other poster said, the Palm V/m50x form factor rules. Just give me that m50x form with a big hi-res screen and virtual graffiti. The bigger the screen, the better. MemoryStick is a slow, dated, lame expansion type and adding a camera or GPS to a Palm platform device is old, old news. Why would I want a device like that in the expansion slot where I'd want to store my pictures and maps anyhow?

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
Altema @ 1/2/2002 1:23:04 PM #
Ironically, the hi-res screen is one of the three things that changed my mind about buying the Sony, as text on the Palm was easier to read from a distance. I know the case will be different for almost everyone else, but there are times when I have to lay my handheld down and work, while still being able to read the screen from two or three feet away. There's a software fix for the thin font problem on the Sony now, but that should have been an included option. The Sony screen turning brownish in sunlight was another turnoff caused by four times the grid lines. Not an indicator of a bad product by any means, just a side effect of the design choice.

Please hold off flaming... I have told people specifically to buy Sony based on their needs... my needs were just a little different.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 1:56:46 PM #
Sony manufacturing quality is better. Too many quality control problems with the m505. I trust Sony quality.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 7:23:34 PM #
Personally I keep flipping between my m505 and my n710c. I love the form factor of the m505, but the clie's vibrant color screen and hi-res keep me coming back. And every time i want to play tetris i reach for the m505, it is near impossible to on with clie's buttons. As for the mp3 compatibilty, i found it the coolest thing at first. I had the whole look what my handheld can do, can your's do that thing going on. But the novelty wore off. Overall design my vote goes to the m505 for usability, and the n710c for making other techies drool :)

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
pstreck @ 1/2/2002 7:28:03 PM #
In addition to my comment i wanted to add the sony is making the same mistake that palm just fixed. a universal connector on all there devices. End users dont want to buy all those accessories again. A case is one thing (i still use the trusty velcro ones :), but keyboards, modems... You get my drift.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 9:19:52 PM #
Bigger screen? Amen to that, brother.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/19/2002 8:26:28 PM #
I still like the QVGA resolution and collapsable graffiti on the Handera. Sony should do this instead of pixel doubling. QVGA is much sharper, and being able to do away with the graffiti area for viewing spreadsheets, pictures, or movies (screen rotation for "wide screen" viewing?) would be a big plus on the Clie.

And for crying out loud, get rid of the Memory Stick complex! Use the industry standards like CF or MMC/SD (preferable both)!

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
Dan @ 2/8/2002 1:16:25 AM #
"I still like the QVGA resolution and collapsable
graffiti on the Handera. Sony should do this instead of
pixel doubling."

When the Handera has to scale 160-pixel screens to 240
pixels, it looks AWFUL. Doubling the 160 pixels to 320
is a much better design, and allows Sony to advertise
"higher resolution than Pocket PC devices" (not that
they do this, but it's certainly an ad line *I'd*
respond to). I agree that a soft Graffiti area is A
Good Thing, but the best solution for that would be a
320 x 480 screen, as a previous anonymous poster
mentioned.

"QVGA is much sharper"

Hm? Presumably you mean as compared to 160x160, not as
compared to 320x320, right?

"And for crying out loud, get rid of the Memory Stick
complex! Use the industry standards like CF or MMC/SD
(preferable both)!"

The Memory Stick is a strategic technology for Sony
that they feel (no doubt correctly) helps draw in Sony
product owners to purchase more Sony products in order
to gain Memory Sticks interoperation capability. I
don't expect them to lay off that strategy unless it
starts perceptably hurting them (doubtful) or some
other technology comes along that truly obsoletes the
Memory Stick.

RE: Lets see if Sony beats Palm acording to this time table....
Dan @ 2/8/2002 1:31:18 AM #
Hmm, that's a lame bug. I picked "Dan Harkless" as my
UserName and it shows up as such on the post page, but
then when the actual article is posted it truncates
anything after the space, so I'm just "Dan".

m500 or visor edge

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:11:44 PM #
hi folks
i never had a pda. so i'm thinking about buying one, the next week. which one would you recommend? m500 or visor edge? in switzerland the pricing of both is nearly the same (about 500 swissfrancs). or shall i wait for the new palm device (m7xx) ? then i expect a similar pricing as the m500 has been (up to 700 swissfrancs) few weeks or months ago? what shall i do?
thanx for your recommendations.

greets

thomi

RE: m500 or visor edge
kevdo @ 1/2/2002 4:46:03 PM #
Both are comparable machines. Other than style and perhaps price, the main difference is the type of expansion:

Palm m500:
SD/MMC card slot
Universal Connector

Visor Edge
Springboard slot (via clip on adapter)
USB connector

There have been very few add on devices to use the Edge connector (keyboards, modems, and such). The support for the Universal Connector for the m500 is just now getting pretty good.

Also, Palm does include a nice software bundle, plus it uses Palm OS 4.0. That's a plus for it, over the Edge. That said, both are pretty good.


-Kevin Crossman

Off topic
Ed @ 1/2/2002 5:18:46 PM #
thomi, this isn't an appropriate place to have this conversation. Please jump over to the Forums and read over some of the topics in the General area:
www.palminfocenter.com/forum/FORUM.asp?FORUM_ID=35&CAT_ID=2&Forum_Title=General
This should give you a good idea of your various options. If you still have questions, you can post them there, too.

Thanks

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News Editor

RE: m500 or visor edge
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 9:23:34 AM #
hi ed
sorry 4 that. i didn't know. I just found this excellent site some days ago. So I didn't know alrealdy all features it has. i will go and have a look in the forums. thanx 4 all. your reviews (those i know already) r really great!

bye!

thomi

Anyone knows something about the display?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 7:55:33 AM #
Anyone have an idea if we will finally see the (in)famous oled displays? with all these new wireless features (aka batterysuckers) we really need to save power somewhere.

(and, btw, if I remember well, oled display are also cheaper than tft ones)

RE: Anyone knows something about the display?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 8:24:25 AM #
Yes, they use less power, are cheaper to produce, and the OLED screens are supposed to be considerably brighter. Unfortunately, I think 2003 is what I saw in some posting for them. Yes, then finally a color screen will be worth getting. Not these crappy, dim, high power ones that everyone else keeps drooling over. Monochrome/greyscale screens will probably rule the PDA market till then.

RE: Anyone knows something about the display?
Ed @ 1/3/2002 8:50:20 AM #
Here's an article on OLED displays you might be interested in:
www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=2497

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News Editor
RE: Anyone knows something about the display?
aardvarko @ 1/3/2002 4:21:00 PM #
I have a Motorola TimePort T8767 that has an OLED display, and if it's any indicator, we're going to be getting some DAMN bright Palms soon. It's a *nice* screen.

-aardvarko
webmaster at aardvarko dot com
http://aardvarko.com
RE: Anyone knows something about the display?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 4:07:29 PM #
I greatly prefer b/w simple-low-power-consumption to todays colour displays, but with oleds, well... I think I'll readily buy the first palm coming out with one of these screens. and aardvarko's post just makes me more eager :)

I suppose I'll have to wait for the next year (thanks fot the link to the article Ed), stop dreaming about an m5whattheheck-witholed and clean my drool from the floor :)

speed between secure mmc card and 24X CF card

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/18/2002 6:44:03 PM #
I find the 24X Lexar CF card still consider faster when it come to staorage / processing hi-meg-pixels images. Very often, my secure MMC are lag, pretty disapointed.

Same case when you try use in the ipaq 3900 series pocket pc. Those images tend to load faster when using 24X CF card.

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