OS 3.5 Upgrade Available Soon... for About $20

As had been rumored, Palm is going to charge for the upgrade to OS 3.5. It will be available for less than $20 in about 30 days. You can get it from the Palm Web site or on a CD that will also have a new version of the Palm Desktop.

This is the first time Palm has charged for an upgrade and is certain to cause a great deal of controversy, especially after Palm announced in February it would be free. "Typically what you have seen in a Palm upgrade has been very incremental," said John Cook, senior director for consumer product marketing. "We think we have added a lot more value."

Why Palm took so long to make this upgrade available is still a mystery. It has been shipping on new Palms since February and the much talked about memory leak was cleared up early last month.

Thanks to the New York Times.

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pfloyd @ 9/14/2000 11:05:46 AM #
It seems so bizarre that they'd charge for this. A friend complained to me lately that IBM wanted to charge her to download updated device drivers for a laptop. We both commented that it created a sense of desperation on IBM's part. I'm using 3.5.2 on my Vx and it's got some cool new tweaks but I don't see anything fundamentaly improved.


I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 11:24:39 AM #
I would be interested to see a list of "enhancements" over OS 3; it's time to quantify so that consumers can make a comfortable decision about upgrading. And, I'd like to know what makes my IIIxe w/ 3.5 so much better than my brother's III (yes, yes ... besides the hardware). You know, at some level, changing the batteries in my Palm is a "significant upgrade."

RE: features
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 10:28:43 PM #
I am using OS3.5.2 now. Features that satisfy me include better grey-scale graphics support (You can feel the difference in Tealpaint, ImageX, etc); New option of masking private records instead of hiding them. The latter one is my favorite because these records are hiden to the password owner too in OS3.3. I will easily forget the existence of them. In 3.5 I can see the masked record and access them with password but still maintain the barrier to others.

So I guess OS3.5 is still a lure to somebody although the price is indeed a discouragement.

os 3.5

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 11:39:51 AM #
What will be new with the palm desktop? Well, no one ever said that all new version of OS would be free. We've been spoiled. However MS has no problem with charging for new OS . I'm not saying the MS model is a good ting. Just that charging for upgrades is not withour precedent.
I'm a IIIc user using 3.52 but I will pay for the upgrade for my husbands IIIx

RE: os 3.5
FireMage @ 9/14/2000 12:23:40 PM #
That's ridiculous. If you read, they actually _did_ say that it would be free. So far, you had to buy hardware to upgrade from 1.0 or 2.0. We've gotten a total of one minor upgrade for our flash units, and I would concider that far from spoiled. This isn't even really a new OS, this would be something like PalmOS 3, Service Pack 2. Or OS Release 3, at the most. They might have a case if they were going all the way to 4.0 or including extra software (datebk4, or such) in all that wasted ROM, but most of the changes to 3.5 are minor tweaks and color enhancements useless to the users who would upgrade. This will also limit the developers because there will be a good reason (beyond lazyness) to not be running the newest version of 3.X, and they will have to develope to an older standard, or keep up two versions. This is not what the Palm is about. First they trumpet how great flash is, and then we all worry about buying flashless Visors, and now they're going to charge us to take advantage of a feature we paid for? Goodbye, Palm the hardware/software developer. Hello, Palm of the Handheld OS monopoly.


RE: os 3.5
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 5:03:50 PM #
Hey dumbass theres a big difference between chargin for major upgrades and minor upgrades. Also we've already bought the device from Palm, Microsoft isn't forcing you to buy software.

RE: os 3.5
palmdiva @ 9/15/2000 9:34:05 AM #
Name calling is an obvious sign of immaturity and ignorance. Palm is not requiring you to buy the upgrade either you twit!

You don't have to upgrade!

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 1:40:47 PM #
I hear everybody complain about paying for a little bit extra. If you don't think the extras are worth it don't buy it. 3.0 works just as well.

RE: You don't have to upgrade!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 2:02:58 PM #
Sure, upgrading the OS is voluntary. The problem will come in when developers start (foolishly) writing software that REQUIRES OS 3.5 to run. Palm really should have stuck to their word and kept this upgrade free.

RE: You don't have to upgrade!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 2:02:58 PM #
And guess what... here's an example already! While a bit crude, this piece of software already requires OS3.5! http://www.minordemons.com/finger/index.html
How long until others follow suit?

RE: You don't have to upgrade!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 4:41:34 PM #
The POINT is the principle here is flawed. Yes, I don't have to upgrade. But if I want to upgrade from 3.3 to 3.5, I shouldn't be charged for it. Apple doesn't charge for upgrading to 9.0.4 from 9.0; Quark doesn't charge for upgrading from 4.04 to 4.1.

Yada, yada,


Vx with 3.3

magoo @ 9/14/2000 1:59:01 PM #
I bought my Vx and it came with 3.3. I have a friend who bought one at about the same time and it came with 3.5. Hardly seems fair!
RE: Vx with 3.3
Ed @ 9/14/2000 2:25:28 PM #
There is a tiny note on the Palm V Series page ( http://www.palm.com/products/vseries.html ) that says: Early Palm Vx handhelds, shipped in the US and Canada, feature Palm OS software v3.3

Maybe you could call Palm and ask for a free upgrade. It probably won't work but it is worth a shot.

Palm InfoCenter

RE: Vx with 3.3
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/18/2000 12:46:49 PM #
Your unit is actually older, thats all - regardless of when you bought it. If you look at the serial number of the unit, the 5th number back from the end is the YEAR, the ones to the left represent month and day. You'll see that his unit was manufactured after yours, probably by a few months if not more.

Example: a Vx serial number would probably be something like 10GK17B07ETG. In this case the 0 signifies the year 2000, the B signifies the 11th day (1-9 are used, then A-V with A being 10 etc) and the 7 signifies July (the 7th month, again, after 9, A-C are used for the remaining months).

Palm Tech. Employee

No Big Changes

Bob Shacklock @ 9/14/2000 2:29:03 PM #
I just upgraded to a PalmXE and it has v3.5.0 Palm OS installed on it. I don't notice any big improvements over the last OS release. The desktop is the same aswell! The upgraded OS seems like a waste of money to me.

OS 3.5 agenda view on a non OS 3.5 device?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 2:43:11 PM #
Yes, with WeSync 1.5 beta. I have it installed on my III, and it does have the agenda view for the WeSync calendar program, just like Datebook on a OS 3.5 device. Sorry Palm, no you may not have my twenty dollars! (Say that like the comic book guy on the Simpsons...)

How to get free upgrade

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 2:35:47 PM #
Send your Palm in for warranty service. I have twice exchanged my Palm Vx (The phone & to-do buttons came unglued on my original Vx. The first replacement Vx had the 8MB DRAM disease plus a bum battery. The third one works perfectly so far. I give Palm A+ for warranty service and C- for quality control.) My original Vx had OS3.0 upgraded to 3.3 with Palm's free download. The latest replacement came with 3.5.2. Of course, this technique will only get you a free upgrade if you exchange your Palm under warranty. . . .

BTW I liked 3.3 better than 3.5.2. I don't notice any increased functionality, and 3.5 uses about 100K more ROM than 3.3, most likely to support the color screen my Vx does not have . . . . so the net result is that FlashPro is less useful than before. I agree with other commenters who wonder what value 3.5 adds as an upgrade to owners of grayscale Palms.

RE: How to get free upgrade P.S.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 2:53:06 PM #
Does Palm really intend to charge people extra for the enhanced datebook that every Visor owner has as standard equipment? Talk about dumb marketing strategy! (I forgot to mention the datebook difference between 3.3 and 3.5 in my previous post because I use DateBk4 & so the OS datebook is not something I ever see.)

RE: How to get free upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/18/2000 12:54:29 PM #
As a Palm Tech support employee I find your method of getting the new OS devious and dishonest - albeit a Good Method :P

Nonetheless - Anyone calling in asking to have a replacement because they want the new OS will be turned down. Your chances of getting the new OS are not that good, refurbished units are just that, units that have been previously owned and sent in for repair. There are never guarantees that the unit you would receive back would have a newer OS, and its possible the unit you receive back would have an older OS.

Palm Tech. Support Employee

Somebody wake me up . . . .

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 3:50:22 PM #
. . . . when Palm does something interesting. I've seen more innovation from my cats over the last 3 years.

We'll see

Scott @ 9/14/2000 4:15:19 PM #
My guess is that they'll change thier model to charging for the CD but downloads iwll be free. Then again, that is the M$ model so we'll see.

What's wrong with PocketPC ?

Panos @ 9/14/2000 4:41:35 PM #
I read some comments regarding people returning back their iPAQ PocketPC and I would really like to know what is the reason they did that. I have a Palm IIIc and a Cassiopeia E-115 and I have no complaints from the PocketPC. I don't like comparing the two PDAs because I think they are quite different technologies and they follow different design philosophies. I am very happy with Windows CE 3.0 and the high performance of the Cassiopeia so I am curious to know what kind of problems people have experienced which forced them to return their PocketPC.

We'll see how long this lasts...

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 4:41:51 PM #
You realize that this all will be free with warez. One person gives it to two people, those two people give it to... etc. You'll see how it easy it will be to get free of charge.

Not that I condone such action...


RE: We'll see how long this lasts...
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 5:05:45 PM #
I do condone such action. As if Palm isn't making enough from overcharging for the hardware they have to gouoge us for the OS as well. What a bunch of no innovating ripoff losers this company is.

RE: We'll see how long this lasts...
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2000 6:43:37 PM #
What a f*cked argument!

Who's the loser? The seller of non-innovating rippoff products, or the buyer?

FWIW, Palm are a public company so can't go giving stuff away - the shareholders wouldn't like it very much. Would you if you had shares?

RE: We'll see how long this lasts...
EGarrido @ 9/14/2000 9:32:16 PM #
Ah, my friend who chooses to remain behind the curtain (as I just realize I was when I made the post), you have a great point indeed.

There are two ways to look at it, however.

As a shareholder, sure, I'd like to see some revenue anywhere possible. More money for the company = more money for me. Greed. A powerful thing.

Step back and look at it through an analyst's perspective: if you know anything about this industry, this could either be a complete flop and drive customers away or it could be a major success. Chances are option 1 would be correct, so the analyst would not like Palm's plan. They would know that driving away customers who then go to another manufacturer, lets just say it's the opposite of Macrohard, they will lose even MORE money.

So yeah, two faces to that game. This could be developed more, but it's longwinded as it it...


Will this work on Palm VII?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2000 3:09:37 AM #
I remember the free OS 3.3 upgrade was not available for Palm VII users. Any news on whether this one is? I might pay for faster HotSyncs...

I've had OS 3.5 on my Palm IIIx for months and months!

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2000 5:47:53 AM #
It's available on the web from a few web sites for free! I've had it on my Palm since Easter. It's got some neat new features (though nothing ground breaking) such as a nicer battery level meter, a new mode in the datebook which shows appointments with the to-do list, masked records and erm, um... that's about it...

RE: I've had OS 3.5 on my Palm IIIx for months and months!
hylesstudent @ 12/11/2000 11:05:22 AM #
What sites did you find the Palm OS 3.5 upgrade for free?

What sites have the Palm OS 3.5 upgrade for free?
RE: I've had OS 3.5 on my Palm IIIx for months and months!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/4/2001 4:27:39 AM #
can you send me a copy of the upgrade?


Another feature of 3.5

Ciarán Bohane @ 9/15/2000 7:12:46 AM #
Little icons pop-up when you use the command stroke. Saves you having to remember the letter after the stroke.
$20 is way too much.

Palm OS 3.5.2

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2000 4:57:27 PM #
If you check the Palm website, you'll find its available free now.

RE: Palm OS 3.5.2
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2000 6:08:00 PM #
I believe that is just an upgrade from 3.5 to 3.5.2, not that 3.5 is free.

RE: Palm OS 3.5.2
GregGaub @ 9/15/2000 6:28:52 PM #
No. The patch to update 3.5.0 or 3.5.1 to 3.5.2 is free. But there is no option to download a full 3.5.x of any kind. Even in the developers site, I could only find ROMs for testing. Are these what people are upgrading with? I know it's possible, but they supposedly have debug code and other hooks in them, they aren't designed to actually upgrade hardware so much as server as ROMs for the emulator.

To all those who have 3.5.2 who did NOT get it with their device, what did you do? Feel free to post anonymously. ;-)

RE: Palm OS 3.5.2
kupson @ 9/16/2000 8:40:34 PM #
I got mine from the developers site. I have a PIII that I had previously flashed to 3.3. You can get either a debug or nondebug rom from palmos.com: just make sure that you get a rom that is appropriate for your processor (in my case, the non-EZ). You can use the 3.3 upgrade install tool to flash it.

I have not had any problems with mine in the month since ugrading to 3.5, but I don't do this for a living, so... ?

RE: Palm OS 3.5.2
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2000 11:19:17 AM #
You can download the Vx version for free. The hotsync before the upgrade validates the handheld as a Vx. However, I bypassed this by doing an advanced setup and putting my IIIx into debug mode, thereby skipping the validation. Everything works fine!


Curious @ 9/17/2000 11:53:28 AM #
To the guy who wrote that he already had OS 3.5-what website did you find it at??

palm updates.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2001 5:12:10 PM #
I'm a dutch user and had before a palm a Psion. I switched to Palm while the user became software updates.
Now you have to pay for the software i switch back to psion. You have there also to pay for updates, but that are versions in the Dutch language.
Palm, you lost a great advantage in the battle with your concurrents.



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