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Comments on: Palm OS Cobalt Phone Shown at DevCon

Palm OS Developer David Beers was at the PalmSource DevCon last week and caught some time with a working Palm OS Cobalt smartphone. David wrote up his impressions of the device and took some comparison pictures of the Oswin Cobalt prototype.
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What will people foam about now?

rcartwright @ 5/31/2005 4:57:59 PM # Q
Well, the rumors of Cobalt's stillbirth appear to be in error. I do wish he had taken it for a test drive of some sort. I guess we will have to wait to see if the market goes for it.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill
DOA vs. MIA: it's all semantics
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 7:01:30 PM # Q
Until a Cobalt device is actually AVAILABLE to end users, this is as useful as saying the PalmOS 6 was completed in late December, 2003.

Until I can buy it and use it, it's technically VAPORWARE.

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: What will people foam about now?
Timothy Rapson @ 5/31/2005 8:29:27 PM # Q
Yes, once the emperors new suit was finished everyone of his advisors agreed that the naked emperor was clothed in the most wonderful outfit even sewn......until a three-year-old saw him and blurted out the naked truth.

Where are the honest three-year-olds when you need them?

RE: What will people foam about now?
rcartwright @ 5/31/2005 9:24:35 PM # Q
VoR,

Gotta disagree with you on the definition of "Vaporware". To me at least, vaporware is something that has gone no futher (or not much further) that the geeks napkin sketch, but is promoted as something shipping RSN (Real Soon Now). This is a real tangible product that is search for an OEM and carriers. Not the same thing really.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

RE: What will people foam about now?
Gekko @ 5/31/2005 9:33:41 PM # Q

>This is a real tangible product that is search for an OEM and carriers. Not the same thing really.

Copland was a "real tangible product" too...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copland

http://www.businessweek.com/1995/51/b345595.htm



RE: What will people foam about now? Plenty.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 9:40:31 PM # Q
VoR,

Gotta disagree with you on the definition of "Vaporware". To me at least, vaporware is something that has gone no futher (or not much further) that the geeks napkin sketch, but is promoted as something shipping RSN (Real Soon Now). This is a real tangible product that is search for an OEM and carriers. Not the same thing really.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this. Vaporware includes hardware that is announced (often repeatedly) well in advance of presumed shipping dates that fails to materialize in the hands of consumers. [Exhibit 1: Samsung's PalmOS smartphones...] Vaporware also includes software that is announced as a final product well before it's ready for Prime Time [Exhibit 2: Cobalt] or that does not exist on any real, shipping devices [see Cobalt again].

Vaporware isn't just bogus mockups that are presented as real, functional items [Exhibit 3: those legendary Panasonic SD peripheral from a few years back]; [Exhibit 4: Palm T5]

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: What will people foam about now?
twrock @ 6/1/2005 5:30:58 AM # Q
So then the continuing saga of Longhorn would indicate that M$ also has the vapors? Am I getting that right? (These confusing computer terms are so hard to understand!)

RE: What will people foam about now?
Surur @ 6/1/2005 5:53:03 AM # Q
http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,61935,00.html

Meanwhile, dishonorable mentions go to SCO for the as-yet-unseen Unix code that the company alleges was ripped off in Linux, and to Microsoft for its "secure computing initiative" and the ever-slipping ship date for Longhorn, which is shaping up to be a very promising candidate for the Vaporware awards in 2006, 2007 and maybe even 2008.

Looks like it.

Surur

RE: What will people foam about now?
dagwud @ 6/1/2005 8:51:02 AM # Q
The term "vaporware" defines a product that has been identified and promoted, but has not reached the consumer. Vaporware can be fully developed and demonstrated. But it's just "so much vapor" if the product never makes it into production and into the marketplace.

In reality, until a company goes under or a product is clearly no longer in development, accusations of vaporware are supposition.

But that doesn't mean that they're wrong, either.

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

Cobalt isn't really vapourware
ChiA @ 6/1/2005 9:42:53 PM # Q
I don't see Cobalt as vapourware; I presume the Cobalt box is sitting on the shelf waiting to be bought and it appears that some companies have already bought that box off the shelf. The real problem is that those companies seem to have come home, left the box in a corner and not bothered to use what's inside; maybe they don't like what they see now they've brought it home and peeked inside.

Bear in mind that PalmSource's customers are not us as the end-users of Palm OS devices but the companies which make those devices for the users.

----------
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog"
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Foaming Formula Latte.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/1/2005 11:06:04 PM # Q
I don't see Cobalt as vapourware; I presume the Cobalt box is sitting on the shelf waiting to be bought and it appears that some companies have already bought that box off the shelf. The real problem is that those companies seem to have come home, left the box in a corner and not bothered to use what's inside; maybe they don't like what they see now they've brought it home and peeked inside.

More like this:

Your baby's hungry and needs to be fed. The cupboards are bare and you're almost broke. You go to the store. On the shelf are a few remaining cans of the good ole formula you know she loves. Sitting beside them are on the shelf are hundreds of black cans with the "poison" label on them, no writing and a price tag double what the regular formula sells for. Which do you buy? Probably the same one that all of PalmSource's licensees are buying. At least that way you might be able to keep baby alive until she's old enough to eat other foOdS.

"PalmOS 5: Milk it, Baby!"

TVoR

RE: What will people foam about now?
dagwud @ 6/3/2005 10:30:38 AM # Q
Bear in mind that PalmSource's customers are not us as the end-users of Palm OS devices but the companies which make those devices for the users.

Only in the direct transfer of funds. The only reason that PalmSource has those "customers" is because consumers will hopefully buy the products that those "customers" make.

The product itself, even if delivered to hardware companies, is vaporware because the hardware companies were never the end-user of the product.

Now, the PalmOS Software Developers Kit, on the other hand....

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: What will people foam about now?
dagwud @ 6/3/2005 10:40:23 AM # Q
... is vaporware because ....

Sorry, that should read "could be vaporware because...."

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

It's not vapourware, it's PalmSource's Concorde!
ChiA @ 6/3/2005 1:56:10 PM # Q
could be vaporware because

But it's not vapourware; the cobalt phone shows that it's very real. By your argument the Concorde plane never existed because none of the airlines wished to buy it. In the end the eighteen that had been produced were practically given away to British Airways and Air France. Despite this they proved to be profitable (at least with British Airways anyway) and very popular with the jet-setting elite until the crash and 9/11 took their toll.

By the same token Cobalt is a finished product looking for a company to use it. No doubt judging by all the interest shown here Cobalt will be very popular once a manufacturer commits to it. The real mystery with Cobalt is why these companies seem so reluctant to commit.

----------
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight � it�s the size of the fight in the dog" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

RE: What will people foam about now?
dagwud @ 6/3/2005 5:21:09 PM # Q
But it's not vapourware; the cobalt phone shows that it's very real.

There are two definitions of vaporware in play here. You're using the "promised but never developed" definition. I'm using the "promised, developed, but never got it to the consumer" definition.

And the OS isn't developed for the hardware companies. They're the middlemen using it to sell their hardware - just like Power Computing did with the MacOS in the 1990s. The ultimate consumer of the OS is the user.

By your argument the Concorde plane never existed because none of the airlines wished to buy it....

Not really. Companies didn't want to buy the finished product because they didn't think they could run their business with it.

The equivalent OS example would be Windows XP, where companies are still choosing not to upgrade because it would cost them too much.

It's not as if Cobalt is available as an upgrade an no one is willing to buy it.

By the same token Cobalt is a finished product looking for a company to use it.

That depends on your point of view. Not only is Cobalt a finshed product, but it is, more importantly, a component of a PDA. Without the rest of the PDA, the OS is worthless.

No doubt judging by all the interest shown here Cobalt will be very popular once a manufacturer commits to it. The real mystery with Cobalt is why these companies seem so reluctant to commit.

On those two comments, we very much agree.

Look, my point isn't to slam Cobalt or to say that it's not a functional OS. My point is that unless it gets to the market so that you and I can buy it, it's the same result as if it was never fully developed. Vaporware.

And, for the record, I do hope that Palmsource dispells my fears.

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

Reply to this comment

I love that form-factor

javispedro @ 5/31/2005 4:59:00 PM # Q
I think I'll love that phone. Smallish screen but reasonablely sized phone.
However, price? 1000? 2000?

RE: I love that form-factor
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 5:12:12 PM # Q
Too early to say about price. Since Oswin wasn't really in "official" release mode with this I don't want to say anything that might get them in trouble with their vendors, but let's just say that the price I heard they gave to the few demo units they sold to developers at the conference were "competitively priced". With a little bit of rebate added in there I think they'd sell very well at that price.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: I love that form-factor
twizza @ 5/31/2005 6:20:27 PM # Q
I'd personally like to get my hands on this phone just for review purposes. It'd make for a nice evaluation as to where the PalmOS was going before PalmLinux made the main news.

mobileministrymagazine.blogspot.com
antoinerjwright.com
Reply to this comment

A couple other things

cervezas @ 5/31/2005 4:54:55 PM # Q
As far as I could tell, this device is identical except for the color of the enclosure to the Zircon Axia A108 (http://www.oswintech.com/) that Oswin displays on their site. In fact, I'm pretty sure the device the Oswin General Manager used to show me how they were able to dual-boot between Palm OS and Windows was the Axia. If so, you can get a pretty good idea about some of the specs:

* 64Mb flash ROM, 64Mb SDRAM
* 266MHz Freescale processor
* external mini-SD card slot
* tri-band GSM/GPRS radio with 180 hrs standby and 270 minutes talk
* 1.3 Mpx camera resolution
* no Bluetooth
* if I remember correctly, no IrDA port either

Note, some of this is supposition based on what I'm reading on Oswin's site, but I think it's a very good bet that this applies based on what I saw at DevCon.

David
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: A couple other things
rcartwright @ 5/31/2005 5:21:20 PM # Q
David,

Were you able to do anything with the phone? (run apps, etc) Dare I say make a call. (Although I do not see how they could easily get on a network)


"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

RE: A couple other things
hkklife @ 5/31/2005 5:30:38 PM # Q
I feared this day would come sooner or later. IR ports are nearly extinct on modern notebooks & laptops & cell phones. I knew it was just a matter of time before they started to disappear from PDAs as well. However, any OEM would be foolish to release the first Palm-powered device in a decade without an IR port! Lacking both BT & IR would nearly be a deal breaker.

While a phone like this would not be a revolutionary device, it'd quell much of the "Cobalt is vaporware" talk AND probably serve as a swift kick to the arse of P1 to put FrankenGarnet out to pasture and get _something_ running Cobalt out!

Also, I like the stylus in the pic next to the Sammy i500!

RE: A couple other things
gregjsmith @ 5/31/2005 5:38:01 PM # Q
If it had BT, I would absolutely buy it to replace my T3 and SE k700i. Even with OS 5.4.

http://homepage.mac.com/gregjsmith
RE: A couple other things
JKingGrim @ 5/31/2005 5:38:29 PM # Q
David, in the article is says it has 320x480 QVGA screen. Did you mean HVGA or did you mean to say 240x320?

RE: A couple other things
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 6:21:42 PM # Q
"David, in the article is says it has 320x480 QVGA screen. Did you mean HVGA or did you mean to say 240x320?"

Hmmm. You know what, I have to apologize... I was pretty sleep-deprived at the time and now that I think about it I'm not positive. When I said QVGA what I really meant was 320x480 (same as T3) but of course QVGA is 240x320. Logically I want to say it is 320x480 since QVGA is kind of a trick on Palm OS. Not unprecedented (Handera 330, right?) but unusual in that it requires some special API support (which might actually be baked into Cobalt, I haven't checked) and icons with a special resolution if you want them to look good. But I'm thinking I *may* actually have heard one of the Oswin guys say QVGA.

One reason why I'm still inclined to think it was the higher 320x480 resolution is that the fonts, icons, everything was noticeably very small and sharp--more so than I think would have been the case on a 240x320 screen.

Sorry I didn't get this clearly. I'll try to find out from one of the guys who bought one and report back.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

The screen is 240x320, camera will be 2 Megapixels
clievideo @ 5/31/2005 7:10:41 PM # Q
(Hi David! Nice meeting you at the conference.)

I brought one of these gems with me back from MSDC and I must say that it is a very nice device!

The screen resolution is 240x320, same resolution as the Qool QDA-700 smartphone running Garnet.

One other thing, when this phone goes into production the camera will be at 2 Megapixels, currently at 1.3.

I will try to get some comparison photos online with the other Palm OS smartphones soon.

--
Jonatan Fernstad
Palm OS Certified Developer
www.clievideo.com

RE: A couple other things
palmdoc88 @ 5/31/2005 7:18:05 PM # Q
Absence of Bluetooth on a phone for me would be a major deal breaker. Hopefully Oswin will wise up and release one with BT.
BT headsets are just so necessary ;)

T3 & T5 user
RE: A couple other things
DogBite @ 5/31/2005 7:32:20 PM # Q
cervezas,
How difficult would it be to add bluetooth and wifi? Wifi so you did not have to burn cell min. when in hotspot area.
RE: A couple other things
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 8:28:14 PM # Q
Bluetooth and WiFi would be a no-go. Even if the drivers existed for the SD cards, this thing doesn't have an SDIO slot.

RE: A couple other things
JKingGrim @ 5/31/2005 8:34:13 PM # Q
QVGA is a deal breaker for me. When will they come out with a full HVGA phone? OLED screen with no keypad. Just Dpad, answer/hangup buttons, and 4 hard buttons.

RE: A couple other things
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 9:02:58 PM # Q
It's probably not as bad as you might think. QVGA can make a good screen, and at the pixel density you'd be talking about here, it would look even better.

RE: A couple other things
rcartwright @ 5/31/2005 11:47:26 PM # Q
With the US push for banning handheld mobile phone use in cars they gotta have at least BT in the US market. Wired headsets are so 20th century. Also, while I tend to agree with the post that IR is on the way out it still has a use in connection with a keyboard.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill
RE: A couple other things
JKingGrim @ 6/1/2005 1:06:08 PM # Q
It's probably not as bad as you might think. QVGA can make a good screen, and at the pixel density you'd be talking about here, it would look even better.

Its not that I think the pixel density is good, its the fact that QVGA is an odd screen size for Palm OS. Few apps support it, and everything must be scaled. The simulator does not look good at all in QVGA. I refuse to buy anything with a smaller screen than my zire71.

RE: A couple other things
dagwud @ 6/1/2005 3:16:15 PM # Q
Wired headsets may be "so 20th century," but not everyone uses them in attempts to be fashionable.

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???
RE: A couple other things
Surur @ 6/1/2005 3:51:05 PM # Q

In Europe its "no Bluetooth, no Sale".

Surur

RE: A couple other things
ChiA @ 6/1/2005 8:07:51 PM # Q
rcartwright said"
Also, while I tend to agree with the post that IR is on the way out it still has a use in connection with a keyboard.

Take a look at the Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard:

http://thinkoutside.com/stowawaybt_product.html



----------
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog"
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower

RE: A couple other things
rcartwright @ 6/2/2005 2:02:00 AM # Q
Point taken with BT, but to my knowledge Palm does not support a BT PAN. So you can either type or Net. Not both. Hence the possible continued use of IR.

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill
Reply to this comment

Nay sayers

JKingGrim @ 5/31/2005 5:20:52 PM # Q
All you trolls who kept saying Cobalt is dead can shut up now. I've been saying the whole time. Cobalt is NOT dead. Palm OS is alive and well. Go away trolls and drool over a LD or a treo. I'll be waiting for Cobalt.

RE: Nay sayers
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 8:28:24 PM # Q
It's hardly trolling to point out that Cobalt has been MIA. The idea that the 2 year wait--more like 4 years, since the beginning of the hype--is somehow acceptable now because there may, someday, be actual hardware running the OS... that isn't flying.

RE: Nay sayers
Timothy Rapson @ 5/31/2005 8:34:48 PM # Q
This proves nothing. Orange was showing a MS Mobile Smartphone for 2 years and never did ship one. Not one. They sued the folks who finaly did bring one out for violating their patents, but never actually sold any. They switched to Symbian.
Will this phone ship with OS 6? That is far from a closed question. And the OS will be two years old by the time this is shipped even if it works out as it looks now. IF.

Timothy will you please get your facts right! !
ChiA @ 6/1/2005 8:33:56 PM # Q
Timothy Rapson said:
Orange never did ship [MS Mobile Smartphone] Not one.
then can you tell us what OS the Orange SPV100, SPV200 and SPV C500 all use?
I'll give you two clues: it's a Microsoft OS and being mobile smartphones they didn't use XP Professional!
Orange operates in at least 16 different countries and just because it's not available in your country doesn't mean that it's not available. All the handsets above have been available from Orange UK, in fact the 100 and 200 have been discontinued.

They sued the folks who finally did bring one out It's actually the other way round: Sendo sued Orange:
www.3g.co.uk/PR/June2003/5459.htm
but later dropped the case.

but never actually sold any
Oh yea? How did all those secondhand Orange SPVs end up on ebay then? If you want to buy one brand new then:
http://www.freedom-mobiles.co.uk/orange-spv-c500.html

They switched to Symbian
I think the Orange Symbian smartphone is news not just to myself but to Orange and Symbian!

----------
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog"
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Reply to this comment

Arrgh! Stop showing that %@~$ Samsung phone!

Masamune @ 5/31/2005 5:45:44 PM # Q
Look, we've been waiting for that damn Samung phone to show up since the bloody Olympics and there's still no sign of it! Either release it in the US & UK or cancel it altogether. Enough with this vapourware c*** already!

RE: Arrgh! Stop showing that %@~$ Samsung phone!
LiveFaith @ 5/31/2005 6:19:29 PM # Q
Masamune,

Cool your jets their afterburner-boy! I thnink that's the old OS4 SPH-i500, that's been on the shelves for 2 years now. It has a Sprint logo on it.

... I know whatCherSayinTho!

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Arrgh! Stop showing that %@~$ Samsung phone!
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 6:54:25 PM # Q
Had you fooled didn't it? Yeah, that's my beloved old SPH-i500. Terrific little smart phone. Still like it better than the Treo.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

Reply to this comment

Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave

Gekko @ 5/31/2005 6:30:35 PM # Q

That Cobalt Phone is as dead as Nagel. Bury it in his grave - but make sure you put a stake in both their hearts first.



RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 6:37:20 PM # Q
Mind if I ask, Gekko: why are you still hanging around in PIC? It's not like you are an enthusiast or that you have anything insightful, thoughtful, or newsworthy to contribute. I've never got the feeling that you particularly care about Palm OS--am I wrong?

Not that someone can't be critical about certain decisions or disappointed by developments, but really, is there a point to reflexively vomiting up vitriol at every possible point here? If it's that you're hoping to effect some kind of change, then you need to realize that this kind of talk completely discredits you in the eyes of those who develop for the platform or work for PalmSource or its licensees. Their customers are mainly adults.

So why are you here?


RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
Gekko @ 5/31/2005 7:17:20 PM # Q
>Mind if I ask, Gekko: why are you still hanging around in PIC?

I love when the baby Apologists ask this question like it holds some sort of "Gotcha!"

PAY ATTENTION - I STILL OWN A PALM T3 AND AM HOPING/WAITING FOR ITS TRUE WORTHY SUCCESSOR AND OBVIOUSLY SINCE I STILL OWN THE DEVICE I RELY ON THE FEEDBACK FROM OTHER USERS.

IS THAT CLEAR TO YOU????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!

"Mi engranaje de pesca está en la cocina!"



RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
DogBite @ 5/31/2005 7:22:31 PM # Q
RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 6:37:20 PM

Mind if I ask, Gekko: why are you still hanging around in PIC? It's not like you are an enthusiast or that you have anything insightful, thoughtful, or newsworthy to contribute. I've never got the feeling that you particularly care about Palm OS--am I wrong?

Not that someone can't be critical about certain decisions or disappointed by developments, but really, is there a point to reflexively vomiting up vitriol at every possible point here? If it's that you're hoping to effect some kind of change, then you need to realize that this kind of talk completely discredits you in the eyes of those who develop for the platform or work for PalmSource or its licensees. Their customers are mainly adults.

So why are you here?

This gentleman, is the true "Voice of Reason". Follow his post. He makes sense. Plain, simple sense. Keep up the good work. Maybe I will continue to follow this board. We need more with thoughtful commentary and an opinion worth consideration.

RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 8:01:21 PM # Q
IS THAT CLEAR TO YOU????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, Gekko, the CAPS really clarified things a lot, thanks. I can now see that I underestimated the influence your posts will carry with the decisionmakers at PalmSource and palmOne.

To be clear about my own position, I think (in 20/20 hindsight) that the Palm OS Linux move should have been made 3 years ago instead of buying out Be. I don't think Cobalt is stillborn and I don't think the mistake is by any means fatal. The mistakes (to the extent that I'm aware of them) have had a big impact, but are not as fundamental or "stupid" as the kind that Redmond has made for years in the mobile space. The kind it continues to make despite being able to afford to throw billions down the Windows Mobile rathole with nothing but losses to show for it.

You can call it being a PalmSource "apologist" but I think PalmSource has sized up the situation, figured out what they can take from their Cobalt experience (it's not just lessons, there's software too) and come up with a good--maybe excellent--course correction. From what I can see they are already executing well on Palm OS Linux.

They may or may not succeed, but I am more hopeful than I have been. PalmSource just got a huge $$$ commitment from palmOne, which has been seeing good growth in its margins and volume (7 consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth). The Treo continues to be the smart phone to beat, and even the folks who buy Zires are 70% new PDA users. PalmSource now is positioned well in China and is taking appropriate measures (with Linux) to move down into the fat "feature phone" market. Microsoft will fail to follow them successfully, IMO.

The next couple of years are going to be very interesting.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
DogBite @ 5/31/2005 9:05:31 PM # Q
David,

Not to change the subject, but what do you see as some of the advantages and dis-advantages to the Lineux platform as applied to Palm. Also, same question, as applied to the smart phone platform?

RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 9:34:35 PM # Q
I'm not a Linux guru, I'm just someone who makes a living developing apps on Palm and Pocket PC. But I'll give it go.

Disadvantages of moving to Linux: there's always risk, there's time and money that has to be invested when PalmSource seems to have little of either. The disadvantages that I see are more like hurdles between here and there, not technical limitations of having Palm OS run on a Linux kernel. Frankly, Cobalt was a bigger risk since PalmSource was taking it upon itself to write a completely new OS from the ground up. But that doesn't mean there won't be challenges with Palm OS Linux.

Advantages:
1. They're a lot less likely to have problems like they did getting WiFi support software to work. They don't have to develop all the drivers and support software any more since so much of it is already done for Linux and there is an open source community that adds support for new hardware all the time.

2. Rolling out a new device will be faster and more predictable since Linux is a known quantity. This gives ODMs more confidence.

3. Linux has standard ways of doing many things (like file and networking IO) that Palm OS has lacked. Standards are good because it's easier for developers to innovate when they don't have to learn special stuff that's particular only to Palm. Palm OS has always been an open platform, which is why we see so many Palm apps, but Linux will make it even more so.

4. There is already a lot of support for Linux but no de facto Linux application stack. So companies trying to roll out Linux phones have a lot of work to do--duplicated efforts that make it more expensive and time-consuming than necessary to get to market. Palm OS on Linux can be kind of a de facto mobile Linux solution (kind of the way Redhat was for Linux on the server) and make it much cheaper/faster to roll out new products.

5. The fact that the Palm OS is going to remain as a layer on top of the Linux microkernel just as it does on top of the Cobalt microkernel makes Cobalt itself more credible and less risky to ODMs, which PalmSource needs. They are assured they will have a smooth migration path from Cobalt to Palm OS Linux, so they worry less about Cobalt's staying power.

From a user standpoint I'm not sure if they will know much of a difference except that there will be more devices, more licensees, more innovation, probably lower cost. A lot of stuff that seems to be hard to do well today should be easier with Linux since it doesn't all have to be invented and developed by PalmSource.

Another thing we'll see are lower-end "feature phones" with PalmSource OSes on them, not just smart phones. Many won't run regular Palm apps or be completely open to 3rd party developers but they will have PIM apps that are data-compatible with the real Palm OS so people will be able to migrate up to smarter phones very easily. That will be good for the health of PalmSource, but maybe less interesting to the people on PIC.

That's the pitch and it makes sense to me.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Bury that Phone in Geeko's Grave
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 10:08:35 PM # Q
palmOne, which has been seeing good growth in its margins and volume (7 consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth). The Treo continues to be the smart phone to beat, and even the folks who buy Zires are 70% new PDA users. PalmSource now is positioned well in China and is taking appropriate measures (with Linux) to move down into the fat "feature phone" market.

Sounds like SOMEBODY was taking notes during Palm's presentation at DevCon...


;-O


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Bury that Phone in Nagel's Grave
relyons @ 5/31/2005 11:13:08 PM # Q
Gekko screamed, "PAY ATTENTION - I STILL OWN A PALM T3 AND AM HOPING/WAITING FOR ITS TRUE WORTHY SUCCESSOR AND OBVIOUSLY SINCE I STILL OWN THE DEVICE I RELY ON THE FEEDBACK FROM OTHER USERS. IS THAT CLEAR TO YOU????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!"

You want feedback? I'm happy to oblige!

1. Sell your Tungsten T3.

2. Buy a Dell Axim X50.

3. Leave this forum permanently.

4. Start posting daily at pocketpcthoughts.com.

Oh, and keep your caps lock on for that mental patient touch...

Reply to this comment

More Photos from DevCon

Gekko @ 5/31/2005 6:44:51 PM # Q

These are a little more realistic than the viability of a Cobalt phone -

http://tinyurl.com/6s78u

http://tinyurl.com/dkzjz

http://tinyurl.com/96m6d



RE: More Photos from DevCon
JKingGrim @ 5/31/2005 8:48:57 PM # Q
Wow. Thats funny, considering somebody (mikecane, I believe) has made this exact same joke before.

RE: More Photos from DevCon
rcartwright @ 5/31/2005 11:54:00 PM # Q
Hmmm...using Mike Cane's material. I believe that's a capitol offense in Mikeland. Of couse Mike did it once. That makes him a wit. Gekko uses it a second time. Does that make Gekko a half wit?

"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill
RE: More Photos from DevCon
mikecane @ 6/1/2005 10:51:50 AM # Q
Geez! I have more taste than to use those pics. That's all classic Gekko material.

RE: More Photos from DevCon
Masamune @ 6/1/2005 11:21:45 AM # Q
Wow - its an employee line-up of PIC Inc!

Reply to this comment

Can't be limited to Smartphones

vesther @ 5/31/2005 7:11:10 PM # Q
I hope that Palm OS Cobalt isn't limited to Smartphones because there should be a standalone PDA that has Cobalt as well.

But if PalmSource wants to make Palm OS Cobalt more oriented towards to Smartphones, oh boy....

Powered by Palm OS since March 2002

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 7:21:44 PM # Q
Personally, I've always thought Cobalt was mostly about phones and Garnet was mostly about PDAs. There's a reason why Palm OS has always been a single-threaded OS and it has a lot to do with why the platform was so successful while Windows CE languished for years. Most people want to do one thing at a time on a PDA and to do it simply and well.

It's true that Cobalt is a better OS overall in certain respects and would be very nice on some devices that aren't smart phones, but most of the new features (including multi-threaded applications) were added with smart phones in mind: they needed a platform that was built around the concept of interruptibility, and that coped with the challenges of this in a secure, stable way. They needed to accommodate the desires of wireless operators for customizing the platform without fragmenting the API the way Symbian and Nokia did to their developer community. And they needed to bake in stuff to make streaming multimedia and games easier because wireless data is what would make the mobile operators money and encourage them to sell (and subsidize) Palm OS devices.

I'm not saying that there won't be Cobalt PDAs or that Garnet is going to be around as long as there are Palm OS PDAs, but PalmSource is going after a market that's at least an order of magnitude bigger than it was in the heyday of PDAs and the focus since Cobalt was announced has been on phones. If they help sell some more PDAs with Cobalt or with Linux (and I think they will eventually) that's gravy for them, not the meat and potatoes.

So, while I think it would be nice to see Cobalt on something other than phones and there could be some advantages, I don't think getting Cobalt on PDAs is nearly as critical as fighting the phone battle well.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 8:30:56 PM # Q
Originally, OS 6 was supposed to be the high-end handheld OS, and they decided that they were going to keep a special new version of OS 5 for smartphones because it would be less resource demanding. Then they changed their minds, and decided that Cobalt does everything. No, wait, Cobalt is for smartphones. Yeah, that's it.

Anyway, though they touted the wireless applications, Cobalt isn't really any more suited to a smartphone than Garnet is.

Does anyone remember the days when Palm was talking about how the original Tungsten T might be upgradable to OS 6?

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
JKingGrim @ 5/31/2005 8:31:33 PM # Q
Cobalt wasn't made for smartphones in particular. They of course had smartphones in mind, but it is as much a regular PDA OS as Garnet is. Just like Garnet, it can be used on smartphones or PDAs.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
Timothy Rapson @ 5/31/2005 8:44:59 PM # Q
I have been a Palm OS user for several years. Palm OS needs real files, real fonts, and real multitasking OS 5 has become a mess, an absolute MESS. It is doing work in my pocket every day that it was never intended to do and it resets and locks up as nearly as much as my Ipaq did.
Now, PalmSource claims they have seen the light and they are going to do PalmLinux right? Sorry, I am not waiting around for another two years when this is all they have to show for the last set of promises. It's too late for PalmSource.

Symbian messed up the APIs for their OS? WHAT???!?? They announced all their possible screen resolutions and the three separate sets of features availabe in the plan years and years ago. Now, it is true they never completed the "Quartz" PDA version of the OS they announced, but the rest of them are there and working just fine. I don't see the applications for them that we see on our Palms and PDAs but phone users are not as interested in add-on software. It is not that this software can't be developed. It is not in as high of demand.

We'll see. If this OS is so good, there will be a Treo with it next year and who knows, maybe a dozen other models from China will head out to worldwide markets. But, I highly doubt it. PalmSource probably hasn't evens started to think about the language problems that are coming. I just do not trusts them to keep up with the work needed to support three OS's when they haven't even gotten the old one working right on the new LifeDrive.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 9:18:42 PM # Q
Timothy Rapson wrote:
Symbian messed up the APIs for their OS? WHAT???!?? They announced all their possible screen resolutions and the three separate sets of features availabe in the plan years and years ago. Now, it is true they never completed the "Quartz" PDA version of the OS they announced, but the rest of them are there and working just fine. I don't see the applications for them that we see on our Palms and PDAs but phone users are not as interested in add-on software. It is not that this software can't be developed. It is not in as high of demand.

I'm not a Symbian developer, but what I see when I look at developing for Symbian devices is Series 90, Series 80, Series 60, Series 40, none of which can run the same apps. You've got all these different UI layers on top of the base OS and from what I understand the operators frequently make customizations that break apps that otherwise should work. The reason you don't see developers on Symbian is because it's hell developing for Symbian. And the reason you don't see demand for Symbian apps is because there has never been enough stuff available that people thought of their Symbian phones as something they *could* install 3rd party apps on. There's no awareness.

As for comparison with an iPAQ, have you actually tried using a Windows PDA to keep important information? Most people I know (myself included) routinely lose data. You just pick it up and its dead or it just crashes while you're doing something important. Multiple times a week. Palm OS has its problems and they need to be addressed, but they're nothing as serious as the crap you have to deal with in Windows Mobile.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 10:16:37 PM # Q
Originally, OS 6 was supposed to be the high-end handheld OS, and they decided that they were going to keep a special new version of OS 5 for smartphones because it would be less resource demanding. Then they changed their minds, and decided that Cobalt does everything. No, wait, Cobalt is for smartphones. Yeah, that's it.

Anyway, though they touted the wireless applications, Cobalt isn't really any more suited to a smartphone than Garnet is.

Does anyone remember the days when Palm was talking about how the original Tungsten T might be upgradable to OS 6?

Of course, in a brilliant piece of revisionism, PalmSource now states the previously reported OS positioning was all a "misunderstanding" and that people "misinterpreted" what the individual versions of PalmOS were expected to do. Michael Mace - PalmSource VP of Spin Doctoring - has done damage control here at PIC regarding this issue in the past.

The REAL problem: only a very stupid - or very new - manufacturer would risk complete failure of their product by shipping it with a NEW OS that hasn't yet been field tested. Just ask Treo 650 and Tungsten T5 owners what it feels like to beta test new configurations (PalmOS 5 + NVFS CrapRAM™)




------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 10:59:51 PM # Q
As for comparison with an iPAQ, have you actually tried using a Windows PDA to keep important information? Most people I know (myself included) routinely lose data. You just pick it up and its dead or it just crashes while you're doing something important. Multiple times a week.

You either got a lemon, or you're doing something to kill it. I use PPCs all the time, and I have yet to see a spontaneous hard-reset due to the device just being dead. System crashes are also pretty rare--I'd be surprised to see one once a month, let alone more than once a week. Were you testing beta software on it? What model of iPaq is this? And what were these other people doing to their machines? Mistreat any device, of any make or model, and you can screw it up.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 11:37:19 PM # Q
You either got a lemon, or you're doing something to kill it.

Let's see: I've used a Toshiba E740, Dell Axim X5, iPAQ h2215, and a ViewSonic something or other. None has been as stable as any of the Palm OS devices I've owned. It's not just the device OS. ActiveSync sucks, too. I talk to Pocket PC users and developers all the time in my work and they mostly just take it as a fact of life that you get regular resets and occasionally find the device has drained its battery to zero for no explicable reason. It's true that they're not as bad as they used to be, and some devices seem to be worse than others, but the point is that Microsoft has not been able to develop an OS for mobile devices that makes it easy for ODMs to roll out products with the stability people take for granted on Palm OS devices.

The bigger point: this stuff is hard, people. Everyone who tries it makes mistakes. PalmSource is no exception but they deserve a bit of credit for doing better than most, IMO.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
Foo Fighter @ 6/1/2005 12:08:09 AM # Q
>> "Originally, OS 6 was supposed to be the high-end handheld OS, and they decided that they were going to keep a special new version of OS 5 for smartphones because it would be less resource demanding. Then they changed their minds, and decided that Cobalt does everything. No, wait, Cobalt is for smartphones. Yeah, that's it."

Ah yes, the old slight of hand, bait and switch strategy. After a long winding road of promises and broken promises, this story reminds me of a bit of bathroom humor I picked up way back when I was in college about a brothel named "Grandma's Cathouse".

A man goes into this brothel looking for some evening "entertainment". The manager of the establishment recommends the gentlemen try the "Golden Shower" treatment, a customer favorite. The gentleman eagerly agrees and hands the manager $100 for the service. He then enters a room where a large women slams him onto the floor and proceeds to urinate all over his face. Horrified, he runs out of the room and angrily approaches the manager, demanding a refund. Rather than give the man his money back, the manager then recommends a different service..."The Hershey Highway". Reluctantly the man hands over another $200 for this service and proceeds to enter yet another room. Suddenly another large women appears out of nowhere, slamming him onto a bed, where she proceeds to sh!t in his face.

Disgusted and furious, he exits the room, approaching the manager once again demanding a full refund. As before, the manager refuses, but instead recommends...for the ultimate pleasure experience he should try the old gal herself..Grandma. The gentleman is highly skeptical, but the manager insists it is the best $500 he'll ever spend. Taking the man's money, he instructs him to walk down to the end of a long hallway and go through the very last door. Following his instructions, the gentleman walks down the long corridor, eagerly opens the last door and goes prancing through...only to find himself not in a bedroom, but in a parking lot. As the door slams shut behind him, he notices it has no handle, preventing him from entering the building. At this point he notices a large sign on the door that reads...."You have just been screwed by Grandma. Have a nice day"

I'm sure many developers feel they too have been led down a long winding corridor to a one-way door with the words "You have just been screwed by PalmSource" scrawled on back. Heck, I still have the sh!t on my face from Nagel's Hershey treatment.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
ocspub @ 6/1/2005 12:30:13 AM # Q
> I'm not a Symbian developer, but what I see when I look
> at developing for Symbian devices is Series 90, Series 80,
> Series 60, Series 40, none of which can run the same apps.

I am not a Symbian developer either, but I think you're mixing up some things here, David :-)

Series 60, 80, and 90 are Nokia device series that happen to run the Symbian OS. Series 40 runs a Nokia-proprietary OS and not anything Symbian. Oh, and Nokia has recently merged series 60 and 80, after folding series 90 into series 80. So we're left with one series... whatever it's called ;-)

Of course, I could have mixed things up myself; as I said, I am not a Symbian developer either.

Oliver


Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

Palm parable gone horribly wrong?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/1/2005 12:30:44 AM # Q
The Dungsten T "5" is a shining example of your story as it applies to end users. But some actually ENJOY taking it "Mike Cane style", so to each his/her own.

Smart consumers would go back in the front door, biotch slap the manager until he refunds their money, walk out with Grandma's 18 year old triplet nyphomaniac sizzling granddaughters, drive over to Grandma's house (picking up BubbaSteve's wife on the way), go into Grandma's room with the four girls and make a video.


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
LiveFaith @ 6/1/2005 9:35:00 AM # Q
(AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 8:30:56 PM

Originally, OS 6 was supposed to be the high-end handheld OS, and they decided that they were going to keep a special new version of OS 5 for smartphones because it would be less resource demanding. Then they changed their minds, and decided that Cobalt does everything. No, wait, Cobalt is for smartphones. Yeah, that's it.)

Yeah, what he said. I've been scratching my head too and beginning to wonder if I was having memory loss.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
margerum @ 6/1/2005 9:51:27 AM # Q
>Cobalt isn't really any more suited to a smartphone than Garnet is.

You dont know very much about Cobalt then. It was pretty much built for phones. There is nothing else out there with the security features cobalt has. If they would stop sucking at palmOne's teet and drop their draconian licensing, they have a winner here. m$ is making all of the same mistakes with pocketpc that they did on the desktop. Security was a second thought and as people begin to use phones more and more this will become more apparent.

I do wish they had gone the linux kernel route sooner but it's not too late if they can get some phones out in the next year or so.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
mikecane @ 6/1/2005 10:53:56 AM # Q
>>> But some actually ENJOY taking it "Mike Cane style", so to each his/her own.

Keep showing people what a sick stalker you are. I enjoy it.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
Scott R @ 6/1/2005 12:19:24 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown, you are correct sir! Back when OS6 (Cobalt) was first announced PalmSource touted it for anything *but* smartphone use and talked about how they would have a low-cost Garnet for smartphone makers. My response at the time (no doubt here at PIC in the comments attached to that news item) was that this was ridiculous because smartphones truly needed real multitasking support in order to better handle background IM, email fetching, etc.

So what's going on here is that PalmSource changed course (as with so many other things) and seems to be treating Cobalt as the smartphone-focused platform?

And as for the marketing-speak that David quoted, here's my interpretation and prediction: Cobalt will allow carriers to more easily lock down the platform and prevent users from loading Palm OS apps of their own. You'll have to buy apps through them that have been signed.

As for Symbian and Series 60...as ocspub stated, the platform is not nearly as divided as has been indicated. Series 60 is a Nokia-GUI on top of the Symbian OS and is available on a *huge* number of smartphones. And, yes, there is a readily available SDK and a very large and growing library of applications. That platform was designed from the ground up for smartphones so it has a leg up on the Palm OS there (so many of the apps I run on my Treo still look like they would be best used on a stylus-centric tablet-style PDA). It's certainly not perfect (which is why I don't own one), but it *ahem* does support multitasking and has been doing that for a few years now.

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
cbowers @ 6/1/2005 12:26:37 PM # Q
"You dont know very much about Cobalt then. It was pretty much built for phones. There is nothing else out there with the security features cobalt has. "

Open your eyes. That doesn't suite it to "phones". It suits it to North American CDMA providers (an overly restrictive subset of the phone market). It also suits it to Government, Military, Corporations, Developers, and even a portion of end-users. In fact indirectly greater security features benefits everyone from PalmSource to the licensee to the end-user. Only when the security features are abused, is it a detriment to the end-user. But abuses are seldom to the long term benefit of the abuser either. Unless there's a benefit strong enough for the user buy into it, they'll opt out. They'll opt out of the abusing developers products. They'll opt out of the abusing licensees hardware. And if PalmSource continues to support the behavior by no longer enabling the behavior, they'll opt out of the platform.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
margerum @ 6/1/2005 1:21:42 PM # Q
Why is security not important to the end user? I think everytime someone writes me a check for a hundred bucks to "clean" their pc, they would not agree. Cobalt supports pluggable authentication managers, digitally signatures, app level db encryption and protections all things very useful for the end user without adding any complexity for them. These things will go a long way to avoid the trojan mess we have on pc's and will soon have on pocketpc/symbian.

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
rsc1000 @ 6/2/2005 12:50:51 AM # Q
>>Series 60, 80, and 90 are Nokia device series that happen to run the Symbian OS. Series 40 runs a Nokia-proprietary OS and not anything Symbian. Oh, and Nokia has recently merged series 60 and 80, after folding series 90 into series 80. So we're left with one series... whatever it's called ;-)

Ahh - no. Series 60 still exists (check out the new nokia n90,n91,n70 phones)and the new generation of 'communicator' nokia symbian devices (that seem to have found there way with the new 9300 series) run series 80 - and it is definitely not the same as series 60 at all. But you are all also forgetting UIQ - Sony-Ericssons UI layer to Symbian. So - it is correct to say that the same software will not run on UIQ, Series 60, and Serie 90. But it gets worse: a series 60 device can be series 60 on top of Symbian OS 6 OR series 60 on top of Symbian OS 7 OR
series 60 on top of Symbian OS 8, Same for UIQ. And there are compatibilty issues becuase of this. Hell - thats whyn Symbian (despite having more devices out there than any other smartphone OR PDA platform still has way less software than Palm OS - it6 is pain in ass to develop for (no surprise as that is typcial of companies coming from the arcane telco engineering mindset such as ericsson and nokia - though nokia sure seems to be on trackj withy it devices lately!). But the point is that neither Nokia or Sony-Ericsson seems to be able to get their crap together wheen it comes to creating an OS that is easy for developers (Palm OS is not alone!). Worse - the 3rd party software market for symbian is further plagued by the fact that Nokia and SOny Erticsson do not do a good job of branding or marketi8ng the Symbian aspect of these phones - there are a hell of a lt of people using Nokia s60 phones who don't know they even have a s60 phone. Every Palm OS device owner knows its a 'Palm'.



RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
rsc1000 @ 6/2/2005 1:05:20 AM # Q
Wow - it's late and and I just produced a very lame and barely readable post that i should have proof read before posting. Sorry :) I hope you get the points i was making!

(PS - when will PIC add the ability to edit comments?)

RE: Can't be limited to Smartphones
cbowers @ 6/2/2005 1:41:54 AM # Q
"(PS - when will PIC add the ability to edit comments?)"

I second the motion.

Reply to this comment

Nice phone.

AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 8:37:15 PM # Q
Very ultra-micro design. Unfortunately, if you go by the price of the WinCE version already available, list price is $900. Ouch. And for that amount of money, is it really THAT hard to add Bluetooth? Without IR, how else are you supposed to beam information?

Question: You say that this has a 320 x 480 screen, but you also mentioned that it dual-booted between Windows and Palm. (Neat trick, that--I'd buy one.) I don't think Windows Mobile for the PocketPC supports HVGA, and I'm certain WM Smartphone doesn't. Are you sure that the device is HVGA, not QVGA? Technically, QVGA is OS-supported for Cobalt.

RE: Nice phone.
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 9:05:04 PM # Q
Cancel the question about the screen resolution, I've seen the new messages about it further up the thread.

RE: Nice phone.
cervezas @ 5/31/2005 9:08:06 PM # Q
AdamABrown wrote:
Very ultra-micro design. Unfortunately, if you go by the price of the WinCE version already available, list price is $900. Ouch.

I don't think they are the ones making the pricing decision about the Cobalt version. Notice that the WinCE version doesn't have their name on it. The Cobalt one may not either. All I can say is that the few "samples" that they sold at PalmSource were going for much, much less than $900.

Question: You say that this has a 320 x 480 screen...

Yeah, sorry... conflicting info. QVGA (240x320) is the actual resolution. My bad. And come to think of it, the reasons why I thought it was unlikely to be QVGA don't hold for Cobalt anyway. I was just half-dead from exhaustion by that point in the conference and wasn't thinking clearly!

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com


RE: Nice phone.
AdamaDBrown @ 5/31/2005 11:10:38 PM # Q
Yeah, but if they're selling the Axia branded units for $900, what do you want to bet that they'll be listed at around $600 if they ever get picked up by a carrier?

RE: Nice phone.
JKingGrim @ 6/1/2005 1:13:24 PM # Q
Thats $900 in SGD. Singapore Dollars.

900 SGD = 540 USD

RE: Nice phone.
AdamaDBrown @ 6/1/2005 3:11:50 PM # Q
Odd, I'd read several reports that listed it as being US dollars.

As a side note, assuming that this is identical to the Axia A108 (which it's supposed to be), this DOES in fact have an IR port.

Reply to this comment

Another New Cobalt Phone Has Appeared!!!

Gekko @ 5/31/2005 10:07:38 PM # Q
RE: Another New Cobalt Phone Has Appeared!!!
hkklife @ 5/31/2005 11:26:58 PM # Q
LOL!!!! That's almost as funny as the suckling piglets--ALMOST.

RE: Another New Cobalt Phone Has Appeared!!!
LiveFaith @ 6/2/2005 10:15:23 AM # Q
That's stupid. Nothing more than Cobalt's Bluetooth handsfree capabilities!

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
Reply to this comment

GSPDA TOO!!

wincat @ 6/1/2005 1:54:57 AM # Q
Hey,This Phone was from GSPDA. I've visit OSWIN's website, I found GSPDA is selling same product in China which appeared in OSWIN website.

RE: GSPDA TOO!!
AdamaDBrown @ 6/1/2005 3:13:46 PM # Q
Oswin is actually a sister company of GSPDA. They're owned by the same parent.

Reply to this comment

S60 Killer? Not IMO.

Scott R @ 6/1/2005 7:37:52 AM # Q
The resolution sounds great on paper, but how are generic Palm OS apps going to look on it? How will 160x160 apps scale up to 240x320? And with a screen that physically small, entering Graffiti (or simply tapping on buttons) is going to be a real pain, let me assure you. I used to own a Samsung i300 and the diminished screen size definitely hurt usability. This one looks even smaller.

Series 60, OTOH, was designed from the ground up to be a very good smartphone platform. This still looks too much like Palm OS 1.0 to me. That was great for a stylus-centric tablet PDA, but it ain't so great for a smartphone.

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: S60 Killer? Not IMO.
cervezas @ 6/1/2005 8:18:40 AM # Q
The resolution sounds great on paper, but how are generic Palm OS apps going to look on it? How will 160x160 apps scale up to 240x320? And with a screen that physically small, entering Graffiti (or simply tapping on buttons) is going to be a real pain, let me assure you. I used to own a Samsung i300 and the diminished screen size definitely hurt usability. This one looks even smaller.

The screen size was a concern of mine, too. The fonts are too tiny for a lot of people and, yes, the Graffiti area is small. Of course a lot of people use the whole screen for Graffiti now. And someone who buys a device like this (small size, no keyboard) probably has phone features and style as their #1 priority anyway. As for scaling of 160x160 apps, it presumably works the same as it has with devices like the T3: there's a dynamic input area that fills up the bottom 80 pixels of the screen to keep the aspect ratio square. Fonts scale beautifully in Cobalt because they are TrueType. I haven't looked into it, but I suspect that Cobalt uses its vector graphics capability to render things like icons, too, so those would scale to 1.5 very nicely even if the developer hasn't done anything special to support this. The apps I looked at looked great on the Oswin.

Series 60, OTOH, was designed from the ground up to be a very good smartphone platform. This still looks too much like Palm OS 1.0 to me. That was great for a stylus-centric tablet PDA, but it ain't so great for a smartphone.

I've been using a Nokia 6620 (Series 60) for a few months now just to educate myself. It's quite stable and the features are there once you learn to find them, but any time I want to input anything more than a menu selection I feel like throwing it against a wall. I'm starting to get pretty fast at typing with predictive text, but it takes a lot of concentration and still is much slower than using Graffiti or a thumb keyboard. Editing anything you have written is particularly hard. A phone like the Oswin works fine for one-handed navigation and you can use predictive text and the 12-button keyboard if you want to work with it the way you would with a Series 60. But then you have the option of pen input for when you actually want to write an email or edit a document.

Or here's the other thing: you can reliably sync data from your PC with Palm OS. I haven't found the SyncML client on my Series 60 phone to sync reliably at all. Not even just PIM data. I don't know if that's a standard problem or just my 6620, but it's frustrating.

From the little I was able to test, the Oswin seems at least 50% more usable than my Nokia 6620 and is more attractive as well.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: S60 Killer? Not IMO.
Scott R @ 6/1/2005 12:30:27 PM # Q
Just to clarify, the normal resolution on S60 phones is 176x206. If this phone offers 240x320, that's about twice the resolution, not 4x.

I agree with you about the poor method of input on S60 phones, which is why I don't have one. Note that you can use them with wireless foldaway keyboards, though. I'd also be surprised if we don't see some new S60 phone designs with integrated thumbboards within a year.

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: S60 Killer? Not IMO.
cbowers @ 6/1/2005 12:42:34 PM # Q
"How will 160x160 apps scale up to 240x320? "

Look at a HandEra 330 and see for yourself. It's pretty much a non-issue. The OS handles the scaling of form objects. They look the same.

160x160 apps are 1.5x scaled to a 240x240 screen. The app can also write to the full 240x320 display with the virtual graffiti area shrunk.

When an app has bitmaps included for the 240x320 display, as they are with apps written for both 160x160 and 320x320 apps (where the OS selects the bitmaps as appropriate), again the app will look no different on a QVGA screen then it would on an HVGA screen.

Where there is a slight difference is where QVGA bitmaps are not included in the app. Then the OS scales the bitmap 1.5x. This can't be done as seamlessly as pixel doubling. Sometimes the result is fine, sometimes it's less than optimal. Depends on the nature of the bitmap.

The solution, as always, is for developers to include bitmaps for the device screen resolutions popular with the user base.

For a small licensee, HandEra had tremendous success with this. Back when the 330 was my primary PDA, nearly all of my primary apps had specific HandEra support. Nearly all of the rest ran the same without specific support. About 1% required running in a compatibility mode (writing to a 1:1 160x160 palette on a reduced size area of the display), and another 1% wouldn't run at all. But then PalmOne is somewhat familiar with compatibility losses such as those on a new generation device.


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Missed opportunity!

mikecane @ 6/1/2005 10:55:17 AM # Q
What? No tapping on the screen? They only allowed pictures? Was *anyone* outside of the Oswin reps allowed to tap on the screen and actually give the OS a what-for?

RE: Missed opportunity!
cervezas @ 6/1/2005 11:02:04 AM # Q
Sure, I entered some stuff in the PIM apps and doodled around for a while. I'm told other people were making phone calls, which kind of surprised me. I don't think it has FCC approval yet but there it was running on Cingular. It looked and worked just like Cobalt on the Simulator as far as I could tell. Only really tiny.

It's not like the Oswin guys weren't letting people touch it. It was just lying out on a table and people were passing it around. They brought a few to sell to conference participants so I imagine you may hear more about this after folks have had a chance to use it for a while. Jonathan Fernstad got one and mentioned he'd post some information about his experiences with it.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com

RE: Missed opportunity!
mikecane @ 6/1/2005 12:21:38 PM # Q
Man, I hope someone does a comprehensive write-up. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for some real hands-on info. Some of us don't have the CPU horsepower to play with the sim -- and, really, how true can a sim be? Real handheld hardware is the ticket!

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Three things I want about Cobalt

AdamaDBrown @ 6/1/2005 3:29:12 PM # Q
We've been waiting for Cobalt for so long, it strikes me that we could use an opportunity to remember what it is we're waiting for.

1. Multitasking. Okay, so it's not as good as we were originally promised--we only get multithreading. If they actually use it, that'll work for the time being. I just want to be able to bounce between applications without having to reload the web page I was on, or reenter my last line of text, or whatever.

2. Fonts. You really can't overstate the value of fonts. Compare the default fonts on an OS 5 machine to the default fonts on anything else, and OS 5 will look funky. Now compare the fonts in the OS 6 sim--nice. The difference is font controls, plus sub-pixel font rendering, and other graphical touches. It makes a big difference.

3. Development. Cobalt finally brings around a more flexible core, which should aid development of advanced programs and--more importantly--drivers for things like WiFi cards, and all sorts of other peripherals.

Now, they just have to actually *deliver*.

RE: Three things I want about Cobalt
twizza @ 6/1/2005 5:14:35 PM # Q
I think in some respects that we all want that. Its what MS promised with PPC from the get go. The problem is making a versatile system that is also reliable. Hopefully, PS will knock it out of the box. I persoanlly do not think that they have any room for mistakes from here till the first palmlinux devices release. But until then, doing things to create more developer confidence will go a long way into us getting that tabbed browser for Cobalt seperately from having to purchas a new PDA.

mobileministrymagazine.blogspot.com
antoinerjwright.com
RE: Three things I want about Cobalt
mikecane @ 6/1/2005 8:13:13 PM # Q
>>>2. Fonts. You really can't overstate the value of fonts. Compare the default fonts on an OS 5 machine to the default fonts on anything else, and OS 5 will look funky. Now compare the fonts in the OS 6 sim--nice. The difference is font controls, plus sub-pixel font rendering, and other graphical touches. It makes a big difference.

It *sounds* good, but I've been told that the font handling is not general nor systemwide and is, in fact, much of a disappointment from what I had expected it to be. Still: I want.

RE: Three things I want about Cobalt
Gekko @ 6/1/2005 8:27:45 PM # Q

Cobalt? You're still daydreaming about Cobalt???!!! Get over it!

http://tinyurl.com/873pd


Anyone got ANY Cobalt-specific apps? ANYONE?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/2/2005 12:03:37 AM # Q







Cue tumbleweeds rolling.





Cue crickets chirping.
TVoR


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Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Three things I want about Cobalt
mikecane @ 6/2/2005 12:52:31 PM # Q
Why don't you two marry one another? I hear it's still legal, that sort of thing, in San Francisco...

About iPoo signature...
feranick @ 6/2/2005 3:46:27 PM # Q
It seems like the so called "Voice" hasn't dropped yet that disgusting iPoo signature. PIC forum is not all that easy to see in small screens PDA mostly when people put so much junk on their messages. Oh well, maybe it's only me...
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Waiting for "Voice of FUD" to apologize

Dr Opinion @ 6/3/2005 4:52:49 PM # Q
In the interests of being truely impartial, I'm sure Voice of FUD would like to apologize for suggesting Cobalt didn't exist.

Of course, if he waffles around the issue and gets pedantic, quibbling about the definition of "it" and "but" like his boss, we'll know he's really just full of cr4p.

Whoops! Too late. :)

------

"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience or imagination."

RE: Waiting for the VAPORs to strike again.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/3/2005 9:24:17 PM # Q
DocOp: Are you speaking to another one of those Voices in your head?

No one said Cobalt doesn't exist. It doesn't exist on a REAL, SHIPPING PDA/smartphone. You can't buy it. It's still vaporware. Sorry, Bubba. Don't cry.


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Waiting for
mikecane @ 6/4/2005 12:39:21 PM # Q
>>>You can't buy it.

Maybe HE can't buy it, but at least ONE person DID at DevCon.

Too bad you didn't see it. It would have been very interesting to see if you'd let the moths out of your wallet to spring for one. Just think of the series of posts you could have left in your wake. Like slime from a snail...

RE: Waiting for Cobalt [Godot]
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 6/6/2005 2:59:51 PM # Q
Let's see: pretend these guys actually get a real carrier to pick up the phone, then wait a year or so for FCC approval, beta testing... wow the phone MIGHT be available in 2007. Impressive. Not.

I would have bought one mainly because it's a curiosity - besides beta test sleds not much else is running Cobalt. Cobalt is of no use to me in its present form, especially since there are essentially no Cobalt-enhanced apps available.

The chicken + egg problem will make this phone a white elephant - even if it ever is released in quantities.


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

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