Handango Taking Over the Palm Software Connection

In what is definitely a major coup, Handango has taken over the Palm Software Connection from PalmGear. This is the section on Palm's own website that lists third-party software. Since March of last year, this has been hosted by PalmGear but earlier today developers with software listed on Handango were informed that Handango would be taking over. The switchover happened at noon today, Pacific Time. An official statement from Palm and Handango is expected tomorrow which might give reasons for the change.

Update: The officicial announcement has been made and no reasons for the change were given. PalmGear wasn't even mentioned.

Palm's Software Connection has been redesigned to include new categories of software which will hopefully make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.

As part of this change, software listed on Handango will be required to follow Palm's trademark guidelines. This may require some to change the names of their software or even their companies. Palm Inc. doesn't allow products or companies to be listed on their site that have "Palm" as part of their name. For example, it wouldn't allow an application named "PalmCheckers" to appear on the Software Connection. It would need to be changed to something like "Checkers for Palm OS". All applications need to comply with Palm's trademark rules before December 15 or be removed from Palm's site.

In return, developers will get greater exposure for their products. During 2002, all Palm handhelds will come with a CD of trial software from Handango. Software from Handango will appear in Palm's email newsletters.

In addition, Palm's sales teams will use software listed on Handango in presentations to Enterprise customers. Handango will work to educate Palm's Enterprise Alliance Partners on the software that is available.

Thanks to Eston Bond for the tip. -Ed

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loudpocket.com @ 12/5/2001 8:02:30 PM #
Well, in a way I think this is nice because it puts a nice interface on top of Handango. I can't stand their own site because the interface is just bad. And since they use JSP it will hopefully stand under the pressure of traffic better than PalmGear's ColdFusion does. I know we've all gotten the telltale ColdFusion error message on the PalmGear site.

However, I will probably continue to use PalmGear because I am used to it, understand its interface and the way it works and because I've never had any trouble with purchases made there. It also seems like it is supported by developers better than Handango is, although that just might be a false assumption on my part. I'm interested to see the reasoning behind this.

toby sterrett

RE: Interesting
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:19:12 PM #
One reason for PalmGear being a lot more complete than Handango is the plain simple fact that PalmGear allows users to publish their products even if they don't sell them through PalmGear - something they have announced of changing, but so far it was only empty threats as PalmGear probably knows that if they loose quite a substantial part of their catalogue they will loose their reputation of being the most complete Palm OS software site. Handango however only lists freeware and shareware which is sold through their site.

Handango also recently started taking 30% of the sales, compared to the 20% PalmGear takes. As a developer with my software on both sites I have to say that those 30% are a blunder for the services Handango offer.

By now means am I a big fan of the recent late payments of PalmGear and the unprofessional way they have dealt with, and are dealing with, the developers requesting a solution to the fiasco.

How Handango persuaded Palm to take them as their official software partner is anybody's guess. But Palm has to make sure that they cut down their available software/developer claims, otherwise users will quickly realise that a lot of them won't be in the 'official' palm.com listing now.

My only wish now is that someone comes along with a working, non-rip off, well thought out site (hey Palm, how come you never thought of doing that yourselves?) where developers get treated fairly and customers have a one-stop source for all their software needs.

RE: Interesting--New Developer Website
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 8:00:59 AM #
A new developers website has recently surfaced that may fit the bill you're looking for. Check out www.palmvenue.com

Try and build it up so that mammoth sites like Palmgear and Handango will become more competitive.

Handango Fine Print
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/16/2001 1:09:02 PM #
The fine print on the Handango Developer Agreement is ridiculous -- they stipulate that if you go with Handango, you may ONLY sell through their service:

"All trial versions of the Software provided by Software Owner pursuant to this Agreement must clearly direct the customer ONLY to [Handango] to register and/or purchase the Software."

Trademark lawyers should not run a company

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 8:04:15 PM #
That's just great -- many of the 10,000+ applications developed by the Palm community will fall off of the site because developers don't know about this, or because it will take them time to make the change. Some probably never will.

Does Palm get that a developer community is one of its most valuable assets, and that unilateral moves like this are the best way to risk that asset? I wonder. They seem to have taken developer relations lessons from Apple 5-10 years ago. Great move.

At this point there seems to be declining value in the Palm OS, given that its owned by Palm. Maybe Handspring can free itself from that boat anchor and do a better job. If not, PocketPC, here we come.

RE: Trademark lawyers should not run a company
kevdo @ 12/5/2001 9:49:59 PM #
> Palm Inc. doesn't allow products or companies to be
> listed on their site that have "Palm" as part of their name

Does this mean that PalmGear will have to change names? (he says only half jokingly...)

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Trademark lawyers should not run a company
Ed @ 12/6/2001 12:08:39 AM #
> Does this mean that PalmGear will have to change names?

It is my understanding that PalmGear pays a licencing fee to Palm Inc. for use of that word.

News Editor

Handango & PalmGear

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 8:24:24 PM #
I am a developer that uses both Handango and PalmGear. All I have to say is that Handango is much much better. They have a great online interface where you can check sales revenue and upload full versions. With Palmgear, you have to email them to the ESD Administrators and wait days. The best thing about Handango is that you get your checks on time. PalmGear is just starting to pay August checks and Handango (bound by their own contract) must send out the checks every 13th of the month. PalmGear is also having financial problems. Maybe that is another reason for the switch. PalmGear is great, but Handango is better for any developer, and they hold most of the Pocket PC software as well.

RE: Handango & PalmGear
Davy @ 12/5/2001 9:51:50 PM #

RE: Handango & PalmGear
Foo @ 12/5/2001 10:32:00 PM #
PalmGear will begin selling PocketPC software next year anyway. So what's the big deal?

RE: Handango & PalmGear
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 10:59:02 PM #
Hmm, I've heard NOTHING that indicates this... PalmGear has always been committed to selling JUST Palm OS software and accessories and I doubt this is anything more than rumor (posted by a Handango groupie.. egad, is there such a thing???)

RE: Handango & PalmGear
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 12:10:43 AM #
That's not true. Early on, PalmGear had announced they were going to sell software for Windows CE but later backed off from it.

RE: Handango & PalmGear
jeremyf @ 12/6/2001 4:08:04 AM #
Maybe from a developer's standpoint Handango is nice, but Palmgear is approximately 400x better for users. =( Me, anyway.

I've bought software through Palmgear instead of a developer's website just so I could support Palmgear a little.

RE: Handango & PalmGear
Foo @ 12/6/2001 8:33:40 AM #
Um..yes it is true, because I received an email from the webmaster (Kenny West) saying that they were planning on it, and hoped to have it ready after next month. Straight from the horses mouth.

RE: Handango & PalmGear
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 2:32:47 AM #
Handango better for developers? I doubt it. Read the Handango contract, they reserve the right to grab your software and rebrand it with their own slice and dice bundles. They can do what they please.

We dont and many others dont intend to *ever* list with Handango just for that reason, but more so if Handango's lack of integrity (or rather the guy behind Handango) is any guide to go by I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. I'm talking about the 2 year legal battle against our man of highest moral character - Kenny West. Integrity is king in the biz world.

I'm pissed.

RE: Handango & PalmGear
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/16/2001 1:12:58 PM #
Amen. I posted about the handango fineprint in another thread, but here it is again:

"All trial versions of the Software provided by Software Owner pursuant to this Agreement must clearly direct the customer only to the Publisher to register and/or purchase the Software."

According to Handango's agreement, developers that use Handango may ONLY use Handango to sell their software!

No ScreenShot in Handango

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:01:54 PM #
Only complaint is Handango doesn't offer screenshots of programs.

RE: No ScreenShot in Handango
Davy @ 12/5/2001 9:34:06 PM #
uhhh.... yeah it does.


RE: No ScreenShot in Handango
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:37:53 PM #
Sure they do. There's screen shots on most products on Handango.

RE: No ScreenShot in Handango
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2002 9:42:36 AM #
And that is the responsibility of the author to uploada a screepshot!


I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 8:57:51 PM #
I am aghast, once again, at how Palm, Inc. has treated and continues to treat PalmGear HQ. This is just one more pie in the face of a company that quite frankly was and still is a major contributor to the popularity of the platform as a whole! Does anyone that's familiar with the last few years success of the Palm OS line of devices honestly think that it would be where it was today without PalmGear and its continuing support for developers and the Palm community??

Sure, PalmGear is in some financial difficulties right now. Anyone know why? Because they are still working on paying off the legal fees of a lenthy and VERY expensive lawsuit brought about by one of the financiers of Handango!

Has PalmGear been perfect? Of course not. Their success is due in large part to sheer luck more than any business acumen on their part. However, they *HAVE* been there, from close to day 1, and have always been steadfast in their support of the Palm community (Unline Handago who has for some time now "split the fence" and offered Pocket PC products).

I find it almost impossible to believe that Palm, Inc would go with a company that directly supports the competitor, over one that has been such a major contributor to the success of their own products.

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:19:08 PM #
I was wondering the same thing. PalmGear just sell Palm OS products. Handango sell both Palm and Pocket PCs. Makes no sense that they would go with someone that sell a rival (competing OS) product to theirs.

RE: Sad...
Foo @ 12/5/2001 10:15:18 PM #
PalmGear is going to start selling PocketPC software next year. I wonder if this coup has something to do with that?

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 12:13:56 PM #
This comment makes absolutely no sense.. by the same logic, they shouldn't sell their devices at CompUSA because they sell Pocket PCs right next to them.

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/8/2001 10:47:44 AM #
Dont be daft. CompUSA is one of many retailers that sell devices of all types, including Palms. Palm only has ONE software connection for it's site - the are pickong only ONE premier online store... and they chose to kill the people that chose to support them only for a company that supports the enemy.

RE: Sad...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/13/2001 8:16:17 AM #
I made a purchase last Thursday. On Monday I emailed Handago support because I still did not have a registration code. They had not responded within two days as promised. I called late Wednesday and the voice mail for support was full.

It looks like it takes forever to receive a refund when they and the developer do not perform as promised. I'm going to my credit card company and contest the charge as it is not worth my time to jump through their hoops to receive a refund.

Given the quality of support and promptness from Handango and Palm, I'm growing very negative on my Palm, but doubt it is unique to Palm.

BTW, I've been selling shareware for 10 years, so I am familiar with how to market and support shareware. I would never go with a company like Handango given my experience nor will I make another purchase from them.


Takes more money?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:11:51 PM #
Perhaps its that Handango appears to take more money from its developers
than PalmGear which has give Handango more money to put into PR and

(It would not be the first time a company who charges more has been able to
dominate as they have more money to force a higher profile for themselves,
and so start winning contracts on that perceived basis of being higher profile.
Its all about image, but its not so good for the customers or developers).


RE: Takes more money?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 9:38:55 PM #
That may be, but I still make roughly three times the sales through PalmGear as I do through Handango.

RE: Takes more money?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2001 10:02:41 PM #
That's good news for your product (and PalmGear :), although its still
hard to know if that is the case, on average, for everyone's product
sale numbers compared between the two companies. (Also, now Handango
have Palm's support, perhaps your Handango sales will go up and
PalmGear sales go down?, at least to some degree?).

But Handango do seem to be financially stronger than PalmGear which gives
them an immediate advantage even without having to earn any more money.
And for each new sale Handango gets to take more money from the developer
than PalmGear does, so over time Handango can build on is current advantage
more than PalmGear.

RE: Takes more money?
jtopf @ 12/6/2001 12:00:13 AM #
My ratio is like 20 palmgear sales to 1 handango sale. I was planning on pulling my product from handango when the rate went to 30%. Old developers get grandfathered into the lower rate until the end of the year.

This news may make me change my mind.

FYI I like the palmgear interface much better but I get better service from handango


RE: Takes more money?
mashby @ 12/6/2001 5:23:29 PM #
I think everyone would agree that DateBk3 and DateBk4 are one of the most popular datebook replacements for the Palm OS. I know that there are other products out there that may be better or worse, but if you break it down I think everyone would agree that the DateBk series is one of the most popular software titles out there.

Ok, now, let's have a little excercise - go to Handango and look it up so that you can purchase it. Here's the results of my search:


So, they don't sell it. Hmmmmm. I wonder how many MORE applications Handango doesn't carry...

This company finally

peter167 @ 12/5/2001 10:34:45 PM #
listens to what I say, although it is a bit harsh for software developers to change their names containing Palm before Dec 15. That deadline should be delayed somewhat before the end of the year, unless these developers have received notice long time ago.

Furthermore, Palm needs to focus on high-end products but not the dirt-cheap m10x series. They should also ask all hardware/accessories manufacturer to sell under their site so that it is more unified for buyers and sellers. It is a one-place site so that you can virtually do everything.

Are you listening to me Palm? Your next handheld should have bluetooth built-in because it will be the 1st Palm OS device (in consumer field) with blue-tooth built-in. Priced it $100 above the m505 and put 8MB more RAM in it and stuck it will a brighter light.

And Mr. Nagel, please, please shows us your talent you can dislodge Steve Ballmer's Claw. Ha Ha.

What's in a name??

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 11:41:25 AM #
>>Palm Inc. doesn't allow products or companies to be listed on their site that have "Palm" as
>>part of their name

Could this be the reason that 'Palmgear' is no longer used????

RE: What's in a name??
mashby @ 12/6/2001 5:16:49 PM #
PalmGear HQ has paid a licence to Palm, Inc. for the use of the Palm name. It's rumored that PalmGear has paid over $100,000 for the use of the Palm name. They are the ONLY vendor to do so, I might add.

I'm dumbfounded as to the factors that led to this decision. Small troubles or not, PalmGear has been a major force in the Palm Community. This choice is a bad one - plain and simple.

Why Handango???

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 11:56:57 AM #
Handango promotes certain products only because they use the word Handango in the purchasing information screen. Their featured software and top picks are almost always the same titles. This is very deceptive to a customer, since most of those products are very low quality. Who reviews software for them and is he/she on the take?

Also, Handango has their own software line, which are competing with other developers, creating an unfair market place.

Why would Palm choose such a partner?

Handango at Palm Software Connection

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 1:47:01 PM #

As a Palm software developer, let me say that you won't find a more dedicated professional to work with than Kenny West at PalmGear. PalmGear has been drained of over $1 million from the lawsuit. Nevertheless, Kenny has always responded promptly and courteously to my complaints. He doesn't shift blame; he takes responsibility himself. In my opinion he deserves our support.

Tom Wessel

RE: Handango at Palm Software Connection
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/7/2001 2:12:18 AM #
Yes I second this. Kenny West has been great.

RE: Handango at Palm Software Connection
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/7/2001 8:54:41 AM #
Doesn't shift blame? Give me a break. Every e-mail, there's been some excuse. "Our website is unstable because our former web development team screwed up." "We're three months behind in paying you and it's all Handango's fault."

Get real...

When is PIC taking over Palmstation?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 6:56:43 PM #
Hal is a great guy but Palmstation is dead over there. Last article posted was on Nov 27 about MyPortal closing. Unfortunately, the site has become a waste of bandwith. Hal should just take it behind the barn and put it out of its misery. Congratulations PIC, you are #1.

Handango & pocket PC!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/6/2001 7:03:22 PM #
Did'nt Palm inc. notice that Handango also caters to pocket PC? Why did they grant exclusive rights to a company that does not carry Palm exclusively.

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