Palm Powered Devices Have Less Support Problems

A user survey in the December issue of PC World shows that Palm Powered handhelds have fewer support problems and leave their owners more satisfied than Pocket PC devices.

Palm OS owners had 22% fewer support problems, and were more likely to be highly satisfied than their Microsoft-powered counterparts according to the 32 thousand subscriber respondents.

PC World wrote: "There's a clear consensus in our survey of handheld owners: Respondents with PDAs that run the Palm operating system had a better time than those running PocketPC-based PDAs. The three companies at the top of the reliability class, Handspring, Palm, and Sony, all use the Palm OS. Meanwhile, companies including HP, Dell, and Toshiba--all of whose PDAs run the PocketPC operating system--lag behind this group."

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Palm OS isn't perfect, but...

budrowilson @ 12/22/2003 4:14:22 PM #
Anyone who owns a Palm product knows it isn't perfect. But relatively speaking, it's much easier to deal with than any Pocket PC handheld. It'll take hell freezing over before I buy a Pocket PC...

RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
4s @ 12/22/2003 4:30:59 PM #
I briefly switched to PPC because I grew tired of waiting for a Palm with virtual grafitti, hi-res, that did not involve sliders or memory sticks. I had problems with power buttons and dead pixels on more than one model. I am back with Palm, which seems to never let me down.

Even though I babied those PPC, they had problems, unlike my Palms, which have been much more rugged.


RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
conflagrare @ 12/22/2003 7:20:02 PM #
Just had a look at the PPC forums.

They have a fun time with memory leaks, driver conflicts, and "system stability when there is less than 20MB free".

Sounds fun to me.

RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
NumLock @ 12/22/2003 9:56:58 PM #
RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
LiveFaith @ 12/23/2003 8:45:14 AM #

It's sounds just like Windows! That was the goal and it looks like they did it.

Pat Horne;

RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
rsc1000 @ 12/23/2003 8:38:04 PM #
>>Even though I babied those PPC, they had problems, unlike my Palms, which have been much more rugged.

So true! A few years ago, I was using a Casio EG-800 'ruggedized' PPC (check out this big ol' beast: It cost $1400 cdn at the time - almost double the non-ruggedized version (it was basically a rugged E125). I dropped it 3 feet unto carpeted floor and it died (im not making this up!). If i had a buck for every time my old Palm Vx was subjected to the same or greater torture (in some cases MUCH greater) and lived, i'd be rich.

RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
devildoc @ 12/26/2003 2:30:41 PM #
Particularly if it was USD.

RE: Palm OS isn't perfect, but...
mikecane @ 12/26/2003 4:05:43 PM #
Or Euros!

Shame about Sony Clie PEG-TJ35-G

elmo @ 12/22/2003 5:53:23 PM #
Shame about Sony pushing up the statistics (Palms needing support), I have had a Palm for as long as I have had a hand held, and they have been brilliant!

However, I finally convinced my Father to come over from the dark side ;) to get a palm. After many years of PPC usage, he purchased a Sony Clie PEG-TJ35-G with Palm OS 5.2.1

Purchasing a palm was when the problems started, every second day, he would have to do a hard reset and restore from memory stick. Did sony give a damn about this? Hardly at all. After a lot of battling, they replaced the unit with a new unit..TWICE (with the error still occuring).

I'm throwing it open to any Sony support representatives to contact me, and show that they care about their products and keeping the reputation of "Palm Powered Devices Having Less Support Problems"

email: cybercrutch [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] au

RE:No Shame about Sony Clie's
Hal2000 @ 12/22/2003 7:17:53 PM #
All of my Sony PDA's have been tough on the inside and out with none of the problems mentioned above. Certainly, Sony's reliability, tech support not included, should not bring down the palm OS average.

"One hour martinizing! Who is this guy martin anyhow?"
RE: Shame about Sony Clie PEG-TJ35-G
timepilot84 @ 12/22/2003 11:03:09 PM #
Aren't those being recalled?

RE: Shame about Sony Clie PEG-TJ35-G
xpan @ 12/23/2003 4:37:33 AM #
yes. You were unlucky to buy the only clie that has been recalled because of internal problems. Thank God I managed and cancelled my order before completion and turned to T|T2.

At least in the USA and Canade there has been a major recall. check and
for further info

home is where my computer is...

Don't want to start a war here but....

mr_yellow @ 12/22/2003 11:27:25 PM #
I'm a Palm to PPC convert that's looking for a way to get back to Palm. But statistics can be manipulated in many ways to prove an hypothesis.

But it's really hard to say which OS is more "stable" than the other. From what I've seen, Palm owners come in two fronts: no-effort dummies, and typical gadget geeks. There are more "dummies" than "gadget geeks" palm users.

PPC owners come in the same 2 fronts, but with more gadget geeks than dummies.

If you're a gadget geek, you will spend the exact same amount of time setting up your palm as your ppc to your liking and have it operating to it's limits (like any power user would). PalmOS has the same amount of quirks and tricks as any PPC device.

But if you're a dummy user, It takes a lot more effort to setup a ppc to operate for day to day uses than a palm. PalmOS is just "easier".

So let's not get into a big war here. This survey says nothing about the actual abilities and stability of the OS's... It does say a lot about they type of users found in each group.

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
Larken @ 12/23/2003 12:55:28 AM #
I think in the circumstance of the individual user, you are correct. Because I have supported PDA users in the past, I think a bit differently. When you work in an environment of 2000 users, and you are supporting handhelds, the vast majority of users are not what you would call power users. Most are only using their handheld for PIM functions. In this instance, you get a real feel for how much easier Palm is to support and how little support they need compared to PPC. I would say in a given month, there were at least 3 times the number of calls for PPC as there were for Palm. And the resolve times for Palm is almost always shorter than PPC.

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
jodpel @ 12/23/2003 1:25:09 AM #
I've had a lot of PPCs and a few Palm OS devices (Casio E100, E105, Jornada 420.. 4XX something anyway, iPAQ 3650 and 3955 as well as Sony T series, a Palm m505 and a Tungsten T... I just returned a T3 for a refund.) Would you believe that the only unit that I ever owned that had to go in for repair was the Tungsten T? The #@$! digitizer messed up. They sent it back the first time without doing much to it. This time I got a new screen and have had it back for about two weeks.

I really like the Palm OS, but there are some things that I do with my PPC that work better on that platform. If I loaded enough 3rd party software on either one, I could make them flake out (PPC or Palm). The T3 that I tried for a few days would hang the HotSync manager every time I synced Versamail with my Exchange account. I keep trying to go Palm, but it won't do everything my PPC will do yet. I thought the T3 would be the one, but it's still not quite there yet. The Sony wound up with my daughter, my wife uses the Tungsten T, the m505 went to a friend, and I'm still stuck with the iPAQ until OS6 comes out. I am frankly bored to death with the Windows CE user interface.

I guess user mileage varies. I suppose a magazine poll isn't terribly scientific. I really think(hope) that when everything settles in with OS6 and stabilizes, I'll find PDA nirvana.

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
LiveFaith @ 12/23/2003 8:49:26 AM #
Remember that classic TV advertisement from the 80s from Apple Computer which showed a large corporate office environment with a PC and a Mac sitting side by side for all users to access? Two managers are discussing which system is best as they stand inside a glassed in office.

One gives the normal canned conehead response "Well it's the one with the most MIPS, mhz and throughput etc etc". As users get up and down from using the Mac, they more discerning manager says "But, you know a lot more people use the Mac than the PC". Immediately, the conehead says boldly, "Yeah, but that's an unfair comparison ... PEOPLE LIKE USING THE MAC". Then the two managers stare at each other in the amazement of epiphany!

Enough said about why Palm.

Pat Horne;

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
talos4 @ 12/23/2003 1:14:14 PM #

The T3 Versamail problem was due to the fact that your default MAPI client is incorrectly set to Outlook Express, not Outlook. It's in the documentation and reminds you in the Versamail configuration/setup.

That said, as an owner of various Palms since the original PPP, I wouldnt exactly say that they in general are the most reliable devices I've ever owned.

Which to me says that PPC's must really suck.


RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
mikecane @ 12/24/2003 3:21:52 PM #
>>>Which to me says that PPC's must really suck

Oh stop. They don't suck. Not completely. Nor are PalmOS devices Manna from Heaven.

PalmOS 6 had Better Be Something Amazing, is all I can say... it's the culmination of *years* of PalmOS user frustrations. And if they don't please the living hell out of us, there will be war.

Sharpening my WMDs...

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
TASKA @ 12/25/2003 9:59:59 AM #
OS 6.0 would be so slow and unstable, I'll have enough comic material till 2006.
RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
mikecane @ 12/25/2003 10:13:06 AM #
We'll see.

What will WinMob04 require? 1GHz XXXScale just to get past the logo screen?

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
TASKA @ 12/25/2003 1:59:34 PM #
No, that would be POS 6.0, with all the memory mapping, secure kernel and big fat emulator layers. :D

WM2k4 is jsut the same as WM2k2 right now, a couple minor up grade that's about it.

RE: Don't want to start a war here but....
Tuckermaclain @ 12/26/2003 11:59:03 AM #
>>.What will WinMob04 require? 1GHz XXXScale just to get past the logo screen?

MobyWin? Ahoy! That's one big piece of bloatware, Jack Sparrow! You're gonna need alot of wind in your sails to get past the logo!

I couldn't help it. I was watching Pirates of the Caribean again.

Apples to Oranges

DevPOV @ 12/22/2003 11:23:03 PM #
The Palm OS is quite a simple OS to deal with unlike the "comprehensive" Windows OS (mobile edition). Palm does not support multi-tasking, real device drivers, etc. Support *should* be less using an OS that is less complicated.

But if you look at the trend, I bet support requirements have been growing steadily with each major OS release. Devices running the 3.x OS are extremely stable. OS 4.x devices, aren't bad, but a few things started to crop up. OS 5.x has been making software development much more complicated. PACE is great, but some apps, hacks, etc. just don't "behave" well. Many apps don't even take advantage of all OS 5 has to offer. A user has to really check if they are running the right version of an application for their device. Sony, Handspring, and Palm flavors all have different features developers need to be aware of and code around. Even simple things like the virtual graffiti input area have different requirements on different devices with the "same" OS.

I bet when OS 6 devices start showing up, the complexity will start getting to the point where support may match the PPC levels. Especially the first few revisions. At that point, the "comprehensiveness" of the OS will start to resemble Windows.

So, comparing the support requirements of Palm OS to PPC is apples to oranges.

RE: Apples to Oranges
DevPOV @ 12/22/2003 11:52:27 PM #
hehe... I guess I could've just said "The more complicated an OS is, the more chances there are for bugs and therefore user-support issues."

RE: Apples to Oranges
mikecane @ 12/24/2003 9:57:32 AM #
>>>I guess I could've just said "The more complicated an OS is, the more chances there are for bugs and therefore user-support issues."

I wonder what you'll say when you see PalmOS 6? I hope you like the taste of your own words (I've had to eat mine several times!).

RE: Apples to Oranges
DevPOV @ 12/24/2003 2:38:54 PM #
Well, the pessimist in me says that since OS 5 created incompatibilities and whatnot, that OS 6 will also.

BUT, I'm still banking that Palm OS 6 will STILL be a better platform than M$.

RE: Apples to Oranges
mikecane @ 12/26/2003 12:10:39 PM #
I hope you get to laugh all the way to that bank.

I'm still waiting to hear the announcement that its finished On Time As Previously Announced.

Palms are like Macs

benixau @ 12/23/2003 2:00:20 AM #
Palms are like macs - they work and work. When something does actually go wrong 9/10 times it just needs a reset and all is fixed.

PPCs are, even by MS' admittal, Windows in your pocket. If you like the windows world and need PPC features (ability to extend no of inputs and switch seperately (little thing in bottom right of PPC bottom bar)) OR want PPC hardware features (HP4150 is a very good reason to switch) then go get them.

Just dont come here for help.

RE: Palms are like Macs
xpan @ 12/23/2003 4:45:22 AM #
almost... but don't forget that PPCs are much more expencive than Palms (as MACs are more expenive than PCs).

"home is where my computer is..."

RE: Palms are like Macs
mikecane @ 12/25/2003 9:19:35 AM #
>>>almost... but don't forget that PPCs are much more expencive than Palms

Not *that* expensive.

For just $50 more than the T3, you can get an hp 41xx with BT *and* WiFi built-in. (For $100 *less*, you can get one w/o WiFi -- the 1945!)

One can use the "But it doesn't have a 320x480 screen!" argument -- but that alleged "high res plus" screen is *still* only showing as much text as the *original* 160x160 screen (L->R).

And the hp 41xx is smaller and sleeker than the T3.

How odd that the *true* successor to the Palm V series is from hp and runs PPC OS!

RE: Palms are like Macs
jss1432 @ 12/26/2003 4:25:32 PM #
Yes, Palms are like pre-OSX Macs: they crash a lot, they don't multitask, they look pretty, and they have a zealous user community that thinks they are perfect nontheless.

RE: Palms are like Macs
mikecane @ 12/27/2003 11:01:17 AM #
And just like the Mac, MS steals all the best ideas from it...

RE: Palms are like Macs
jss1432 @ 12/27/2003 2:03:51 PM #
Yes, and just like most of the stuff that Microsoft copied from Apple was stuff that Apple copied from other people, so most of the stuff that Microsoft is copying from Palm is stuff that Palm copied from other people. Overall, none of Microsoft, Apple, or Palm are very original.

RE: Palms are like Macs
mikecane @ 12/27/2003 4:09:13 PM #
Xerox PARC -- now *there* was originality!

Apple has been original. The iPod broke new ground. They've made many things very user-friendly, even if those ideas rested on the foundation of PARC's originality; they also went beyond PARC in many ways. MS has yet to catch up to Apple.

But, geez, no floppy with the iMac...?

As for PPC and Palm... I like PPC's Tap&Hold. I also like the way I can copy/paste **GOBS** of text w/o fear of crashing. Bloody hell, trying to edit simple DOCs on my CLIE above *20K* is like defusing a freaking bomb! OTOH, Palm has reliable PIM alarms (hear that, ska?!)...

RE: Palms are like Macs
abosco @ 12/28/2003 8:14:33 PM #
I'm surprised you haven't pointed to this yet:

I still laugh every time I go there.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Palms are like Macs
Foo Fighter @ 12/28/2003 9:05:06 PM #
Quote: "Say no to monopolies"

Gee, guess that includes Apple since they are even more monopolistic than Microsoft.

My blog:

Does One OS Really Fit All?

jdh @ 12/23/2003 9:00:13 AM #
I think the inherent problem here is the belief by Microsoft that their Windows OS should be extended to all possible platforms, and is a good fit in every situation.

Over the past few years, Windows has become a reasonable desktop PC OS, but in my opinion, that's about the only platform that it's even reasonably usable on. Unfortunately, Microsoft has tried to extend the same model to Servers and PDAs... I'm really not sure what thought process led them to believe that the same basic OS used on a desktop PC would work in a server or PDA environment.

Windows Server is a joke in terms of both performance and stability when put up against Linux, any Unix-derivative or even NetWare. As far as I'm concerned, Windows Mobile still has a long way to go before it's at the same level of stability, performance, and usability as Palm OS.

Think about it: Would you rather use an OS that was *designed* for your type of device, or something that was hacked down from another platform? Palm designed an OS for a PDA - it has never been intended or used for anything else, and it works really well as a PDA OS for about 99% of the "normal" PDA users out there.

And does your PDA *really* need to support multi-tasking?

I realize that there are a lot of "gadget geeks" out there that like the Pocket PC, but I think there are also at least as many "gadget geeks" who are using something like the Sharp Zaurus...

RE: Does One OS Really Fit All?
DevPOV @ 12/23/2003 1:21:13 PM #
You're right about that, and that HAS been what made Palm OS much better. Due to market pressures (M$ and "power" users), I'm thinking the Palm OS trend is going towards more complexity and "do everything" and that's going to really increase the support and usability.

I *loved* it when a Palm could run on a couple of dry cell batteries. Very usable. Now, if my Palm drains while on a long flight, I'm S.O.L.

RE: Does One OS Really Fit All?
SKA @ 12/23/2003 2:03:42 PM #
why don't we wait for Palm OS 6.0 and hear everybody scream how multi-tasking is the best envention since sliced bred.
RE: Does One OS Really Fit All?
the phoenix @ 12/23/2003 5:00:21 PM #
The "Multi-tasking" thing is a funny one though. My Psion mx5 multi tasked just fine, I could switch between one task to another and there it was just how I left it. My home computer does the same (either PC or Mac) ..... But funnily enough, I get the feeling my Palm device also does the same thing. I switch from an email to a memo, and then when I go back to the email, I am exactly where I was!

Yeah yeah, I know. It's not "multit-asking" as such. but it amounts to the same thing in practical terms, and isn't everyday use what matters in the end?

My point it that at the multi-tasking bone is a nice one to throw, and I guess a true one in the true sense of the word. But when it comes down to everyday use, it does just that as far as the end user is concerned. My treo 600 can pick up mail in the background if I so desire it to, and then I can switch back and browse. I can receive a phone call and talk to the person on the other end and check out my calender (using either the speaker phone or the ear buds of course!) I can listen to MP3's, write an email and get interupted by a call or a text message.

Though not officially multi-tasking... It seems to be doing a pretty good job of it to me...

But hey, what do I know?!

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