Former Exec Calls PalmSource a 'Huge Strategic Error'

A recently distributed AP article about the latest sales woes at Palm Inc. reaches into the timelines of Palm Inc's not too distant past and pulls out some interesting disclosures and quotes. While the article focuses on the present situation Palm Inc. finds itself in, the author peppers up his piece with a few choice quotes from former Palm/HandSpring CEO Donna Dubinsky. Mrs. Dubinsky was one of the founding members of Palm Inc. and until last year retained a seat on Palm's board of directors.

In the midst of explaining the series of spin offs and corporate restructuring shenanigans that seem to have plagued Palm Inc. throughout its lifetime, Dubinsky admits that in hindsight the decision to create PalmSource and spin off the Palm OS was a "huge strategic error."

Dubinsky said all the shuffling took "critical resources and attention from product development." And even though it happened years ago, she called the decision to spin off PalmOS a "huge strategic error."

"As RIM, Apple and Palm all have demonstrated, these devices need to be highly integrated hardware and software developments in order to optimize the user experience," Dubinsky wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "When Palm no longer could advance the OS, and had to create a new one, it lost several years."

Thanks Gekko.

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A Salute to Captain Obvious

LiveFaith @ 3/15/2010 5:18:54 PM # Q
This is a salute to Captain Obvious.
A pretty good list of the perpetrators was being formed on the other news article. Now we just need the wanted posters to put the faces in. These people walked away with multi-million dollar bonuses!
Palm is what happens when corporate raiders work their magic. What a shame that our legal system is no match for such actions.
Pat Horne
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Adif @ 3/15/2010 8:37:35 PM # Q

See Borland --> Inprise.

We've seen this movie before.

RE: Ummm...
CFreymarc @ 3/16/2010 4:58:02 PM # Q
Yup! Believe it or not, word is that they were trying to follow the Microsoft OS licensing model on hand-held devices when PalmSource was created.

Unfortunately, the China Wall that worked in desktop computers did not work for hand-helds. With Apple, RIM and now Palm pulling everything from board layout to OS to user apps in one house, issues on one level that affected others could be handled under one management structure. Thus, product got out faster not to mention IP issues!

The lack of Access licensed devices shows that you can't just give a hardware manufacturer a CD full of a ROM image and an HAL to populate. Ironically, it has been said that many of the engineers that implemented some HALs for some handset manufacturers were lesser skilled than some of the app developers for that platform.

Now we have Android trying to go the way of the PalmSource hand-held OS licensing model. Only time will tell if they get it right or Android becomes one big strategic business write off.

RE: Ummm...
Gekko @ 3/16/2010 5:23:16 PM # Q

Steve Jobs speaks out

On the benefits of owning an operating system

"That allows us to innovate at a much faster rate than if we had to wait for Microsoft, like Dell and HP and everybody else does. Because Microsoft has their own timetable, for probably good reasons. I mean Vista took what -- seven or eight years? It's hard to get your new feature that you need for your new hardware if it has to wait eight years. So we can set our own priorities and look at things in a more holistic way from the point of view of the customer. It also means that we can take it and we can make a version of it to fit in the iPhone and the iPod. And, you know, we certainly couldn't do that if we didn't own it."

Last updated March 07 2008: 7:10 PM ET

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That alone doesn't explain it

madmaxmedia @ 3/24/2010 10:16:31 AM # Q
That alone doesn't explain Palm's failures IMO. Sure there were 2 different companies, but it's not like PalmSource then fell in bed with some other hardware vendor and ignored Palm. Sure they created artifical boundaries between hardware and software that didn't need to exist. But I think this was just one example in a long list of 'spinning the wheels' that has doomed Palm since then.
RE: That alone doesn't explain it
e_tellurian @ 3/24/2010 11:17:30 AM # M Q
Palm is not "doomed" its growing. Some have suggested creating a Palm Classic that will reunited the best of Palm past, present and future.


RE: That alone doesn't explain it
e_tellurian @ 3/24/2010 11:19:43 AM # M Q
Rock'n role.


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