Engadget Editorial: Palm, It's Time for an Intervention
Engadget has posted a scathing editorial/open letter piece entitled, "Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention" in which Palm is taken to task for a variety of issues surrounding their Treo and Foleo product lines.
Engadget’s Peter Rojas is the primary author of the lengthy piece, which begins with a retrospective look at Palm’s past innovations in the PDA world starting with 1996's Pilot. The article supports Palm’s efforts at changing the handheld computing landscape after numerous larger manufacturers failed to capitalize upon the tremendous potential of PDA-style devices. It goes on to offer a variety of suggestions for improvement targeted at Palm's hardware, their OS, their bundled software and "other stuff" which is essentially advice to jettison the Foleo immediately and reshuffle Palm's development and marketing efforts.
While Engadget’s article offers a good summarization of Palm's past, present, and future efforts, it does not go into details to differentiate what is legitimate wishful thinking from users (for example, a large-screened 320x480 Treo) versus product improvements that Palm has actually claimed are in the works, such as wi-fi in future Treos. Additionally, some of Engadget’s suggestions are a bit vague or unrealistic, such as implying that Palm and Google need to team up ASAP for an entire suite of Google-branded apps or that the Palm Centro and 800p need to be immediately axed. In reality, Palm’s product roadmap, pending FCC approval, is likely planned out with their carrier partners for at least the next 8-12 months, so any plans to cancel an imminent handset release would be disastrous.
The Engadget article also fails to address concrete issues surrounding the Palm community at the present time. For example, the myriad of 700p/w/wx woes, the no-show WM6 upgrade for the Treo 750, and the huge delays behind the beta release of a Vista-compliant Palm Desktop are just a handful of genuine issues not addressed.
Nevertheless, the article makes for compelling reading and discussion, especially for non-mobile or Palm-centric site. The suggestions offered by Mr. Rojas, while by no means comprehensive and sometimes haughty in tone, do at least provide a fairly comprehensive litany of the various aspirations and criticisms voiced by the Palm faithful over the past several years.
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