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Palm Announces Next-Generation Treo for Europe

New Palm Inc Logo ~ Click for largerPalm today announced it has forged a new relationship with Vodafone targeted at expanding the adoption of wireless push email in Europe. Palm has officially announced that a new Windows Mobile powered 3G/UTMS Treo will debut on Vodafone in Europe before the end of the year. However, Palm has not released any other specs or pictures at this time.

The Palm Treo smartphone that will result from this collaboration will represent an industry first by operating on Vodafone's 3G/UMTS network and delivering the hallmark Palm experience on top of the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. The new Treo smartphone will be available first to Vodafone customers in multiple European countries, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands, before the end of the calendar year.

"Partnering with Vodafone, a world-class mobile operator, is a significant step to accelerate our geographic expansion and serve more European customers," said John Hartnett, Palm senior vice president of worldwide sales and customer relations. "This collaboration will provide a powerful tool for enterprise customers that delivers on the Palm promise of ease of use and lets mobile professionals be fully productive away from the office."

Today, only an estimated 2 percent of business email inboxes worldwide are accessed via mobile, according to market research firm The Radicati Group. Palm, Vodafone and Microsoft will target this large, untapped market with real-time push email using Microsoft's Messaging and Security Feature Pack available on Windows Mobile 5.0, which includes Direct Push Technology and enhanced security features.

"Vodafone's business customers expect us to help them increase productivity and make the most of their business and personal time," said Nick Jeffery, global director of Business Marketing, Vodafone. "The new Treo smartphone will be a market-leading device, which combined with our high-speed 3G/UMTS network and real-time push email, will make this an invaluable business tool."

"The new Treo based on Windows Mobile will offer a unique experience for mobile business users in Europe and will be an attractive proposition for organizations considering mobile deployments. The combination of powerful and familiar software, a fantastic user experience and world-class service through one of the leading mobile network operators in the world is a winning formula for businesses and organizations in Europe," said Suzan DelBene, corporate vice president of marketing for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft.

Palm says that information on the new Treo smartphone will be released closer to commercial availability. Images of a antenna-less treo running Windows Mobile were previously leaked back in April.

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HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q, BenQ

Surur @ 7/13/2006 1:24:36 PM # Q
P51, FSC Loox T830, Blackberry 7130g, SE P990, etc etc...

That's just some of the devices awaiting this Treo in Europe.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 1:35:48 PM # Q
P51, FSC Loox T830, Blackberry 7130g, SE P990, etc etc...

To say nothing of the Nokia 9000 series, which from my understanding sell very well in Europe.

On the other hand, you've got roughly triple the smartphone penetration in Europe that we have here in the US. There's room for more models without saturating the market. It'll be interesting to see how it goes for Palm.

The burning question, now that Treo #3 has gone from promise to rumor to official announcement, is what's Treo #4 going to be like. I'm told that it's *not* going to be Lowrider this year--which makes sense to me: Lowrider is for all intents and purposes here in the form of the Treo 650. It's supposed to be Palm OS, though, and presumably it's going to be for GSM networks since the 700p is fresh. But unless Palm has figured out a way to make a Garnet phone comply with the UMTS standard you have to wonder what the selling point of another EDGE-radio Treo will be.

* iTunes integration?
* iQue-style GPS navigation?
* Integrated screen whine reduction software? ;-)

I'd love to see Palm open up a GPS API, and it shouldn't be too hard or costly, given the fact that there's already a GPS receiver installed in the 650 to make it E911 compliant. But so far it doesn't seem like the operators (excluding Sprint/Nextel) are very convinced they can make money off of location-based services.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q, BenQ
Surur @ 7/13/2006 2:44:58 PM # Q

If there is another Treo, Im sure it will be the Lowrider, and the selling point will be the price.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
rened @ 7/13/2006 3:02:57 PM # Q
>I'd love to see Palm open up a GPS API, and it shouldn't be too
>hard or costly, given the fact that there's already a GPS receiver
>installed in the 650 to make it E911 compliant.

As far as i know, E911 compliance does not imply a gps receiver. Localisation by means of gps-signals will do.

It's pitty the new treo is not a PalmOs machine, but WM without an antenna will definitly sell...


rened

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
PenguinPowered @ 7/13/2006 3:16:46 PM # Q
given the fact that there's already a GPS receiver installed in the 650 to make it E911 compliant.

Are you sure? The E911 standard does not require a GPS and at least one US carrier is complying using triangulation techniques rather than a GPS.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
fishtastic @ 7/13/2006 3:33:27 PM # Q
Now Palm say it with me

240x240 bad
320x240 good

Don't continue to mis-read the winmob market just because HP have too.....

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 4:12:54 PM # Q
As far as i know, E911 compliance does not imply a gps receiver.

Turns out you're right. I knew it is was requirement for Sprint and Verizon (presumably any CDMA network) but apparently triangulating position from network towers is good enough to satisfy the government on GSM networks. Not sure why that is, but you learn something new every day.

Frankly even if you can only expose tower triangulation location data (accurate to within ~150-300m) it would still be useful for some kinds of location based applications. Not useful enough to be an important selling point for a GSM Treo, unfortunately.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 5:19:44 PM # Q
surer wrote:
If there is another Treo, Im sure it will be the Lowrider

Just reviewed my notes and correspondence to make sure my memory was correct. You may be right that the 4th Treo will be aiming at a lower price point.

It's interesting because from what I hear Palm doesn't seem terribly worried about the competition. I got this comment in April from my contact who talks regularly with Palm management:

Looking at the competition roadmap Palm is feeling pretty confident that they can keep the upper hand without rushing new products out the door.

What he is referring to that Palm decided not to rush out the door this year was the Treo with the significantly new form factor. When we spoke in April he said Palm expected to deliver that in 2007.

Still, I'm sure they recognize that cracking the European market will be a challenge with uncertain results, even with Microsoft's massive marketing engine thrumming away under the hood this time.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
fierywater @ 7/13/2006 5:48:07 PM # Q
Turns out you're right. I knew it is was requirement for Sprint and Verizon (presumably any CDMA network) but apparently triangulating position from network towers is good enough to satisfy the government on GSM networks. Not sure why that is, but you learn something new every day.

So that would mean that the CDMA Treo models must have a built-in GPS receiver, correct? I know Palm just released new CDMA models, but I wouldn't be surprised to see access to the GPS added in a future model.

That said, it probably wouldn't be too hard for Palm to add a GPS to a GSM Treo, would it? I understand that on the CDMA Treo it may be integrated with the chipset, but it still couldn't be that difficult (or costly) to add. It'd almost justify the price points Palm has been aiming for.

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
SeldomVisitor @ 7/13/2006 6:09:34 PM # Q
> ...I got this comment in April...

And when was the Motorola Q announced (pricing)?

The universe is not static.


RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 6:54:00 PM # Q
And when was the Motorola Q announced (pricing)?

End of May, I think. Point taken. Although if you've listened to guys like Colligan and Hawkins much I think you can guess that they understand the market quite differently from the way a lot of the Palm OS handwringers do. Right or wrong, Palm sees a real distinction between "mobile computing" and "computeresque mobile phones" and is convinced that the former segment is one they can grow and prosper in without worrying too much about what happens in the latter. The Q can do some things that people want to do with computers (like send and receive email) but Palm probably does not consider it to be a mobile computer. I believe they'd see it this way: anyone who is looking for something like a Pocket PC phone will be sorely disappointed in the Q and those who are not probably wouldn't be in the market for a Treo even if the Q never existed.

Personally, I suspect Palm gets a good number of Treo customers who don't care that much about mobile computing and just buy a Treo for (1) email and (2) status. Those are the ones who will be siphoned off by the likes of the Q. What percentage of Palm's customer base that is I don't really know, but while it will surely make a dent I don't think the Q is a Treo-killer by any means.

The universe is not static.

I tend to think that it revolves around me, so you won't get any argument from me there. ;-)



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q, BenQ
AdamaDBrown @ 7/13/2006 7:08:37 PM # Q
So that would mean that the CDMA Treo models must have a built-in GPS receiver, correct?

No. As far as I'm aware, almost all devices available in the US, both CDMA and GSM, rely on what's called AGPS, or Assisted GPS. This is where the heavy lifting of calculating the phone's position is done by the towers, rather than by the phone locking onto satellites directly. Because this places a burden on the network, it's why GPS-based services aren't more commonly available in phones that don't have a full-scale receiver.

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 7:27:42 PM # Q
Assisted GPS. This is where the heavy lifting of calculating the phone's position is done by the towers, rather than by the phone locking onto satellites directly.

That is not a correct characterization of A-GPS. While you are correct that A-GPS supplements satellite GPS data with cell tower triangulation, the GPS is (in the most common usage) the primary source of location data. The software I've developed for A-GPS phones is roughly equal in precision to unassisted GPS receivers operating in the same conditions. Even on a sub-$100 iDEN phone I can usually get accuracy within 30-50 meters from a standing position. The iDEN location APIs give you the ability to query the device for different levels of precision or rates of acquisition (which naturally trade off of each other).

AGPS actually has some advantages over unassisted GPS: if you need a quicker (and dirtier) fix on your position you can get it, and if you need a fix indoors you can get it--at least a rough one. The A-GPS phones I've used acquire a usable position noticeably faster than my standalone GPS receivers. I don't know how the AGPS algorithm works, but my guess from using it is that if you are in range of multiple towers but only have a lock on two of the needed three GPS satellites the towers can effectively substitute for the missing satellite without a great loss of precision.

The Sprint and Verizon Treos definitely have A-GPS systems. All new digital CDMA handsets activate in the US since December 31, 2003 have had to have A-GPS under federal law. I don't know why this isn't a requirement for GSM networks like Cingular and T-Mobile but it seems that it isn't.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
PenguinPowered @ 7/13/2006 7:54:56 PM # Q
As far as I'm aware, almost all devices available in the US, both CDMA and GSM, rely on what's called AGPS, or Assisted GPS.

In addition, recall, that e911 is a rolling upgrade, and many phones are grandfathered in. The carriers have until the end of next year, IIRC, to reach 90%.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 7:58:55 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
The carriers have until the end of next year, IIRC, to reach 90%

According to http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Wireless/News_Releases/2001/nwl0127a.pdf">this FCC document the end of last year was the deadline and that was to reach 90% of total subscribership. New phone activations (which is what we're interested in here) had to be 100% compliant after the end of 2003.

Was this changed? Either way, I don't think Sprint or Verizon are going to be picking up any phones that don't comply between now and the end of the year, do you?



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 9:21:11 AM # Q
Just noticed something else that's marginally relevant to the topic but interesting to think about. The Nokia E61 has a Java location API (JSR 179), but does not have a built-in GPS receiver. There are two reasons for this. First, you can still do server-side localization and make that data available to applications. Second, you have a nice, standard API to use for working with location data from a connected BT GPS receiver. What Palm and/or PalmSource really should do is create this native location API and offer it on all future devices just as Nokia is starting to do. Whether there is a receiver onboard (CDMA) or not (GSM) it would enable a whole class of new applications to be developed for Palm devices.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q, BenQ
Surur @ 7/14/2006 12:09:08 PM # Q
AFAIK Win Mob also has this. It certainlı has GPS multiplexing built-in.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 12:53:49 PM # Q
Oh yeah, with the .NET CF you're totally set for doing location-based applications. Surer, do you know what the WM smartphones are that have GPS built in? I know there are a few. Do any come with navigation software built-in?

I'm not saying you can't do location-based apps on a Palm without a specific API or a built-in receiver. I've wrote a couple Palm OS apps some years ago that used GPS and ran on the old Handspring Visor. But including a well-designed API in the system like Garmin does with their version of Garnet and then including in ROM some nice navigation and PIM integration (tap a button in a contact and view a mapped route to their address or fire up audio driving directions) and you'd have a selling point for the device itself. Obviously, you'd need to sell it with an SD card containing all the map data.

Note, if you did the PIM app modification right you could enable mapping and driving directions even on a device that had no access to location information at all. It would work like this: you select someone in your Contacts and tap a button that says "Get directions." If the device doesn't detect a source of GPS data it prompts you with a choice of "Mapped directions" or "Turn by turn text directions." You make your choice then you sync up (cradle or wireless). The device (or desktop conduit, as the case may be) sends a server the two addresses you select (your home or office address and the destination address). The server creates the map images or turn-by-turn directions and installs them in the Contacts database on the device for future reference. You won't be prompted with real-time audio driving directions as you travel if the device didn't detect any position data, but you would be able to thumb through the image tiles or text directions as you go, like the AAA club's TripTik service. In other words, Palm or PalmSource could do this in a way that would degrade nicely when you don't have GPS so it would be useful on *any* Palm OS device. Make it a cool experience and people would be encouraged to upgrade to a device that had full GPS for the full treatment.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q,
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 1:26:23 PM # Q
David Beers wrote:

I've wrote...

I did graduate from high school. Really. I did.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: HP hw6915, SE M600, Nokia E61, Samsung SGH i320, Motorola Q, BenQ
Surur @ 7/14/2006 2:27:24 PM # Q
Surur, do you know what the WM smartphones are that have GPS built in? I know there are a few. Do any come with navigation software built-in?

Theres quite a few. Here's a collection from GPSPassion.

http://www.pbase.com/gpspassion/image/63431234/original.jpg

There is a lot of competition in the WM space. In the pic there is the either the HP hw6515 or HP hw6915, the FSC Loox T830, the Mitac Mio A701 and the Eten G500. There are a few upcoming ones, such as the Gigabyte gsmart i300 and the Benq P51.

Surur


They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

I hate you Palm!
scstraus2 @ 7/15/2006 4:03:58 AM # Q
It's official, palm's a bunch of blithering drooling idiots! How many goddamn windows mobile gsm phones do we need? How about 1 single new palmOS model? I'm fed up. I'm going nokia.

Screw You Palm!

Bad day at the office, hon?
freakout @ 7/15/2006 7:17:33 AM # Q
Settle Gretel, it's coming.
Reply to this comment

PalmOS Death Spiral

Gekko @ 7/13/2006 3:59:12 PM # Q

The trend is clear, PalmOS is over. Cascade Failure.



RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
medevilenemy @ 7/13/2006 5:06:23 PM # Q
gekko, can it.

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
cervezas @ 7/13/2006 5:17:36 PM # Q
Please don't feed the troll.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
fierywater @ 7/13/2006 5:51:52 PM # Q
/attempting Gekko-like vague post

When the wall breaks, fortune leads the underwhelming cyclops into the abyss of non-integrated watering squares.

Thus, Palm must fall.

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
pmjoe @ 7/13/2006 5:51:55 PM # Q
Oh please, Palm OS was dead 2 years ago. Unless you call milking Garnet out to version 5.99.999 "living".

They had three of Palm's PDAs (E2, TX, LifeDrive) on display in Best Buy when I was there last weekend, and I nearly had to shed a tear. Nice designs, the hardware was there (and could keep coming), but Palm had zero interest in spending the money to move the Palm OS into the 21st century and keep the Palm platform going. I really hope a lot of people are enjoying their pennies a share and stock options, because that's where it all went.

It really has to be one of the saddest stories of corporate failure in the computing industry over the past decade. They were on top and it's been like a 5 year train wreck in the making. All correctable, even today, but instead you can see in plain sight that they're doing absolutely nothing about it. Somebody is taking this one all the way to the bank.

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
SoS @ 7/13/2006 6:00:47 PM # Q
far more logical than anything gekko could dream up...

I'm sure things were easier before they became more simple

Tungsten T, Lexar 256Mb, Mac G4Ti OSX

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
medevilenemy @ 7/13/2006 6:57:14 PM # Q
Sorry, I don't mean to feed the troll... I'd prefer to fool the troll into staying out until daylight (you LOTR people know what happens next).

Anyway, the PalmOS proper is dead. That isn't because it couldn't be kept up, rather it is because it has basically been abandoned (in development) in favor of ALP and Palm's Palm Linux (or whatever you want to call it).

Either way:
1) Gekko: do us all a favor and find a hobby.
2) There will soon be a successor to PalmOS... I just know nothing about it :-)

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
EdH @ 7/13/2006 11:24:18 PM # Q
medevilenemy said:

2) There will soon be a successor to PalmOS... I just know nothing about it :-)

Revelations 22:20 says the Second Coming will be soon too, but I am not waiting on pins and needles for the rapture. the Second Coming of the Christ may well happen before the second coming of Palm OS.


RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
Foo Fighter @ 7/14/2006 8:54:56 AM # Q
Yeah, there will be a "successor" to PalmOS...it just won't be PalmOS. People fail to realize that PalmOS, as we know it, is gone. The platform currently under development by Access will be a completely new model that bears little resemblance to Palm, with the only kinship being PACE, which will allow you to run Palm applications on this entirely new platform.

But those of you expecting ALP to be PalmOS version 6 (or 7) are in for a rude and very unpleasant awakening. I think the initial reaction among Palm enthusiasts upon seeing the new OS for the first time will be.."WTF is this????"

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 9:03:53 AM # Q
Foo Fighter wrote:
People fail to realize that PalmOS, as we know it, is gone.

I think what people fail to realize is that the statement that "Palm OS, as we know it, is gone" is so obvious to people as to be embarrassing in its repetition. Why is this empty, meaningless statement trotted out over and over as if it was some sort of exclusive wisdom? Do you honestly think there is widespread belief that Palm OS Garnet is the OS of the future? Or that a successor OS, designed to run on a modern, multitasking kernel and modern hardware is going to be substantially the same as the Palm OS released 10 years ago?

To me it's like someone stroking their beard, taking a puff of their pipe and coming out with "what people don't realize is that video tape, as we know it, is gone."


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
Foo Fighter @ 7/14/2006 1:36:38 PM # Q
>> "Why is this empty, meaningless statement trotted out over and over as if it was some sort of exclusive wisdom? Do you honestly think there is widespread belief that Palm OS Garnet is the OS of the future?"

Because I keep reading statements in these comments from people who keep talking about "the next version of PalmOS". Or that Palm is developing it's own PalmOS, which isn't true. In such cases it bears repeating; there isn't going to be another PalmOS. Until these comments stop, I'll keep stroking my beard and smoking a pipe, while sipping a fine vintage wine. Peasant! ;-)

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 2:28:57 PM # Q
It's hardly worth going on about it, but I suppose it's a PIC tradition to do so:

1. The poster you were responding to didn't say something like "Palm OS 7" or the "next version of Palm OS." The poster actually went out of their way to use the awkward term "successor to Palm OS" to avoid the implications that you nonetheless attributed to their remark. The point being that you are so determined to grind this peculiarly pointless axe that you mistake examples that disprove your point as evidence of it.

2. The successor to Palm OS, while it's unlikely to look or work much like the Palm OS we all know, may very well be delivered by the company that owns the Palm brand, and may, in fact be called "Palm OS" just as Mac OSX was radically different from Mac Classic but carried forward the name and tradition. If someone did want to talk about the "next version of Palm OS" I still don't see any implication that they are laboring under this fantasy that you are projecting on them. To the contrary, most people I see participating on forums devoted to the "Palm OS" would be surprised and disappointed if its successor turned out to be some kludgy incremental evolution like Palm OS Garnet was over OS4. Where you get the opposite impression after participating in discussions here for the last few years I'll never know.

But I guess we all create our own little worlds.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Sitting by the fireplace with a fine cognac and my trusty pipe...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/14/2006 4:20:17 PM # Q
Until these comments stop, I'll keep stroking my beard and smoking a pipe, while sipping a fine vintage wine. Peasant! ;-)


Bwahahahah!

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
freakout @ 7/14/2006 8:56:28 PM # Q
You'd damn well better be wearing tweed as well!

The successor to Palm OS, while it's unlikely to look or work much like the Palm OS we all know, may very well be delivered by the company that owns the Palm brand, and may, in fact be called "Palm OS" just as Mac OSX was radically different from Mac Classic but carried forward the name and tradition.

Exactly!

It makes too much sense for Palm to be creating their own successor OS to dismiss the idea out of hand. Plus there's evidence for it too, in the form of all those job postings. Heck, Marty said they even tried to hire him.

If you were Palm, Foo, would you really hitch all your wagons to MS? (Is that a stupid question to ask you?) ;)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
Foo Fighter @ 7/14/2006 9:56:10 PM # Q
>> "The successor to Palm OS, while it's unlikely to look or work much like the Palm OS we all know, may very well be delivered by the company that owns the Palm brand, and may, in fact be called "Palm OS" just as Mac OSX was radically different from Mac Classic but carried forward the name and tradition."

Interesting theory. But it doesn't hold water. The problem with this conspiracy theory is that you overlook the obvious fact that PalmSource, or rather Access, is the IP (intellectual property) holder of the OS. Palm cannot develop its own legacy compatible OS because they don't own PalmOS itself. That would be like Dell using Open Source WINE to develop their own "Windows" OS. What about emulation you say? Forget it. An emulation environment does not equal a viable operating system. If Palm developed its own emulated "PalmOS" it would be laughed out of the mobile device market.

And you ignore another obvious fact; Palm is a hardware developer (or VAR really)...a very small hardware developer with very limited resources. This isn't Nokia we're talking about here. Ken Wirt said, publicly no less, that Palm intends to eventually settle on ONE PLATFORM. Which platform do you think they intend to settle on? The dying PalmOS platform, with shrinking market share and user base? Or the GROWING platform with GROWING market share and GROWING user base. Not to mention the platform that corporate customers want? As Sigmund Freud said..."Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar". I know you hate me repeating this, but as I said, Garnet is end of the line for the Palm platform. There is nothing more beyond this point but a cliff from which Palm will jump entirely into Windows Mobile. It's fun to play UFO theories but at the end of the day a Cigar really is just a Cigar.

"It makes too much sense for Palm to be creating their own successor OS to dismiss the idea out of hand."

On the contrary, it makes NO BUSINESS sense whatsoever. And Palm doesn't have the resources nor the intent to develop their own OS. In case you've all been living under a rock for the past few years, Palm is out of the OS business. And Ed Colligan already outlined Palm's new business model; which is creating their own software layer (or secret sauce if you will) on top of other platforms...all while consolidating on one platform.

"Plus there's evidence for it too, in the form of all those job postings. Heck, Marty said they even tried to hire him.

What evidence? A few Palm fanatics turned a job opening into a elaborate conspiracy theory and clandestine plot to destroy Microsoft and overthrow the free world. I'm a well know Mac fan, but you guys are even more delusional than the any Mac zealots I a have ever encountered.

"If you were Palm, Foo, would you really hitch all your wagons to MS? (Is that a stupid question to ask you?) ;)":

I'm glad you asked this because this is where the issue becomes interesting. In the grand scheme of things, Microsoft may be the evil empire but they have the formula right. IT customers don't want PalmOS. RIM's business model is selling a proprietary email system to corporate customers. Palm just wants to sell volume shipments to enterprise where MS is in demand, and to displace their dying handheld business, which...so far...they've done fairly successfully. Does Palm want to hitch its horse to MS? If Windows Mobile is the growth platform, and its customers want that solution (which of they do) yes of course they will.

By the way, if you're implying I'm a WM fan you are in for a shock. I was until this week a Treo 650 user. Now I'm the proud owner of a Nokia E61 smartphone. And I have another shock; the Nokia E61 makes both the Palm 700p and W a JOKE! I kid you not, wait till you read my review. In every aspect the E61 is superior to the comical Palm solution.

You boys are looking up a dead horse's rectum.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
cervezas @ 7/14/2006 11:04:34 PM # Q
You haven't been keeping up with the whole Palm Linux discussion, Kent. It doesn't really have anything to do with conspiracies and there are several things you seem to have missed:

1. As you yourself pointed out, Palm doesn't need to create their own Linux OS. They can do what they've done since they split with PalmSource: license and customize. There are plenty of commercial embedded Linux vendors out there that they could turn to.

2. Palm's in-house software development resources and expertise far outstrip their hardware development capacity. About 80% of their engineers are software engineers. They don't need to be Nokia and they're not trying to be.

3. Some of the job descriptions for the Linux engineers on Palm's website plainly and specifically state that Palm is creating "a new software platform."

4. You can choose to believe me or not, but an analyst I've spoken with who converses regularly with top management at Palm confirmed to me three months ago that Palm has been building its own platform to hedge its OS risk.

You wrote:
Palm cannot develop its own legacy compatible OS because they don't own PalmOS itself.

Nor have they owned it for the last three years they've been selling "legacy compatible" Palm OS devices. If they want legacy Palm OS support they can continue to license the pieces they need from ACCESS. Or simply develop a clean-room emulator that doesn't use any of ACCESS's IP, just as StyleTap did.

An emulation environment does not equal a viable operating system. If Palm developed its own emulated "PalmOS" it would be laughed out of the mobile device market.

Palm OS has been emulated ever since Palm OS 5 was released and Palm seems to be the only one laughing (all the way to the bank).

Ken Wirt said, publicly no less, that Palm intends to eventually settle on ONE PLATFORM.

Mmm hmm. That was in the same interview where he said "We're very optimistic about Linux - it will give us much broader access to chipsets, different processors and radios, because every vendor that puts out a chipset writes Linux drivers for it."

As Sigmund Freud said..."Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"

My sentiments exactly. Honestly, we've had multiple1 public statements by Palm about their enthusiasm and plans for Linux. We've had repeated statements by Colligan and Wirt like "we intend to continue to focus on multiple platforms for our solutions" (Google found four separate quotes to this effect in the first page of my search). I'm not saying there hasn't been any ambiguity from Palm, but if anything is a UFO it's not Palm's publicly stated Linux plans, it's the Palm's never once stated plans to go completely to Windows Mobile.

Looking forward to your E61 review. I'm going downtown to the new Chicago Nokia store tomorrow to give it a look.

1http://www.vnunet.com/itweek/analysis/2143406/sight-palm
2http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2005120603726NWEM


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
Foo Fighter @ 7/15/2006 8:21:07 AM # Q
Acquiring a Linux foundation to build a new platform upon is simple enough, as Linux is available on every street corner in Hong Kong. The real challenge is building a custom software stack. Let's say for the sake of argument here that Palm is indeed developing some form of embedded OS. That doesn't necessarily imply they are creating a new "PalmOS" platform. It may in fact turn out to be a basic operating, completely unrelated to PalmOS or Smartphones for that matter, designed for common feature phones. Something to help them develop low-cost consumer phones the likes of Motorola RAZR and SLVR, perhaps? That is by the way where the real bread and butter is in the mobile market. Palm is without a doubt living almost entirely on the fat margins it rakes in on Treos. But if they can deploy a new line of RAZR-like phones that sell in volumes of millions, they can double or perhaps even triple their revenues. Remember, the standard cell phone market is colossal. It dwarfs the niche Smartphone segment. If Palm can manage to carve out even a small slice of the cell phone pie, profits will grow exponentially.

And it's not like Palm's thumb print isn't badly needed in the cell phone market. Aside from Symbian S60, which is actually pretty darn good, have you actually used some of the Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo, LG phones on the market? The embedded OS/software layer is gut wrenchingly awful. Especially Motorola. I have a SLVR L7 that I acquired for casual moments when carrying a smartphone is overkill. It's a sleek little phone, but the software experience is absolute feces. Can Palm create a superior user experience? I think so. They've done it before, even in the customizations made to Windows Mobile 5.

After all, what is Palm...as a brand? Palm is still a proud brand name that embodies mobile lifestyle. I believe that Palm ultimately intends to expand into "new" markets beyond Smartphones, especially considering it's traditional market (handheld organizers) is a dying sector. Smartphones are a growth market, but it makes for a very poor business strategy to rest your company's entire business model on one narrow sector. Apple is a good example. Jobs knew the company needed to branch off into new growth segments and lessen its dependence of Mac revenues. The result; iPod. Unfortunately iPod sales are beginning to taper off for the first time, so now would be a good opportunity to repeat their success with some other new venture. iPhone perhaps?

>> "Nor have they owned it for the last three years they've been selling "legacy compatible" Palm OS devices"

Not quite the same thing. The emulation layer you refer to (PACE) was part of packaged solution, to be used as a transition point for developing on top of a new platform. Just as OSX used "Carbon" as a compatibility layer to move developers over to native "Cocoa" code. How many Mac apps today are still being written in Carbon vs. Cocoa? I'm pretty sure the resounding majority are Cocoa apps.

The difference here is that Palm doesn't own the OS. What you're implying is that Palm will use bits and pieces of Garnet, or rather PACE, to transition developers on to its new platform. Right? Nice theory, but it doesn't hold water because it makes too many broad assumptions that have limited business credibility. Again, I'll point out here that Palm is not the IP holder. This would be like Dell using WINE to create it's own "Windows OS".

>> "If they want legacy Palm OS support they can continue to license the pieces they need from ACCESS. Or simply develop a clean-room emulator that doesn't use any of ACCESS's IP, just as StyleTap did."

This is where the theory of Palm creating its "PalmOS" goes a little of the deep end. First off, what makes you or anyone else here believe that Access is actually going to part out its OS components to Palm? Like your next door neighbor borrowing your lawnmower. This makes absolutely no business sense whatsoever. In fact there is no benefit to Access at all. Quite the contrary it would be a suicidal for them to do so. Basically your saying that Access is going to pro-actively lose its last remaining and largest licensee...and in the process enable them to create a platform that will rival their own? Uh...no, not going to happen. As I've said before, Access didn't pay upwards of 300 Million in cash for PalmSource, simply to turn around and part off the OS like some street corner pawn shop. Access is PalmOS, even despite losing the name "Palm". And there can be only one such OS.

Same with the concept of developing a "clean room emulator". You actually believe that Access is going to allow Palm to create a competing OS capable of (and market as) running its own software layer? Access and Palm would be in court before the first new "PalmOS" hardware even shipped out the door. StyleTap is a poor example, as it's a third party solution. And how many Windows Mobile hardware vendors have you seen that bundled this software with their products, and called their handhelds "Palm-powered"? None, and you never will see that. Just as you will never such a solution from Palm.

Think logically here. What you're saying, essentially, is that Palm and Access will develop segregated "Palm" operating systems, separate but equal. Like the 1950's racial environments that separated restrooms and seating for "Whites" and "Colored". Using real world examples, imagine if Apple licensed out the legacy MacOS 9, allowing another company to create a Mac operating system. What logic would compel Apple to enter into such an arrangement?

This topic makes for good entertainment, but in the end I see no substance.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: PalmOS Death Spiral
cervezas @ 7/15/2006 9:22:34 AM # Q
Foo Fighter wrote:
Let's say for the sake of argument here that Palm is indeed developing some form of embedded OS. That doesn't necessarily imply they are creating a new "PalmOS" platform. It may in fact turn out to be a basic operating, completely unrelated to PalmOS or Smartphones for that matter, designed for common feature phones.

Sure. Except for the fact that they've publicly stated that they're not interested in feature phones. They answer questions about this by stating that Palm is a mobile computing company. I think it's fair to say they have every intention of staying in their niche because it's a niche where they believe they can deliver a competitive product (as you yourself seem to understand below).

And it's not like Palm's thumb print isn't badly needed in the cell phone market. Aside from Symbian S60, which is actually pretty darn good, have you actually used some of the Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo, LG phones on the market? The embedded OS/software layer is gut wrenchingly awful. Especially Motorola.

I've used many of them and agree with your characterization. Motorola, on the whole, is the worst and Nokia S60 and UIQ are about the best smartphone interfaces for non-touchscreen smartphones. But even the best Nokia platforms have failed to spawn interest in mobile applications and data the way Palm OS and Windows Mobile have. Palm has the potential to offer quite a lot but it all has to do with finding better ways to bring the spirit of mobile computing to mid-market devices.

Smartphones are a growth market, but it makes for a very poor business strategy to rest your company's entire business model on one narrow sector. Apple is a good example.

Palm (Hawkins at least) insists that they are branching out by building a new business, but don't expect a foray into consumer electronics like Apple's. Like Apple, though, I do think they are working on network services that will incorporate their devices into more of an end-to-end solution. What I can see from the rather detailed job descriptions is that some of this work has to do with remote device management and firmware over-the-air updates (FOTA). But that may be just the surface, and it presumably concerns their smartphone business as much as anything else they might be cooking up.

Concerning emulation of Palm OS:
The emulation layer you refer to (PACE) was part of packaged solution, to be used as a transition point for developing on top of a new platform. Just as OSX used "Carbon" as a compatibility layer to move developers over to native "Cocoa" code. How many Mac apps today are still being written in Carbon vs. Cocoa? I'm pretty sure the resounding majority are Cocoa apps.

Agreed. In fact, I'd like to amplify the point. Palm gets some benefit from enabling people to install their old applications, but the real goal is to get developers to migrate and create replacement apps that use the new APIs, features and user interface of their modernized system. They don't want to lose their loyal base, but they're going to need to wean everyone from Garnet as quickly as they can. They don't want their business to be tied to it for any longer than absolutely necessary, particularly if they have to keep paying licensing fees to ACCESS.

What makes you or anyone else here believe that Access is actually going to part out its OS components to Palm?

I don't know. The fact that they'd like licensees for the the IP they paid $350M for? Just a thought.

Quite the contrary it would be a suicidal for them to do so. Basically your saying that Access is going to pro-actively lose its last remaining and largest licensee...and in the process enable them to create a platform that will rival their own?

First of all, let me say that there is still a reasonable chance that Palm will go ahead and just license ALP and be done with it. They've been awfully quiet about it, which is troublesome, but maybe they're just building themselves an insurance policy and ALP is really Plan A. Personally, I have doubts and suspect that the relationship between Palm and ACCESS is not going well.

So, if ACCESS was faced with the choice of losing its only substantial licensee and negotiating an extension for the license to Palm OS Garnet would it really be suicide to extend Palm's license? You have to ask yourself:

(1) Is Palm a competitor or customer of ACCESS? It's not like Palm can (or would) re-license its Garnet-emulating Linux platform to other prospective customers of ACCESS.

(2) If Palm is a customer, what does ACCESS lose by keeping them as a customer?

(3) Would having Garnet emulation on Palm's Linux phones be bad for licensees of ALP (which also emulates Garnet)? Let's ask the question another way: is Dell discouraged from licensing the .NET Compact Framework from Microsoft because there are competing vendors doing so? Or do they regard this widespread adoption as a bonus because it represents a recognized and popular standard?

There's one more thing. ACCESS really has no choice in the matter. Palm already has a license to use Garnet through the end of 2009. If they release their new platform next year as I've been told they will that gives them almost two years to migrate the Palm economy away from the Garnet API before pulling the plug. Even if ACCESS doesn't want to play ball, that should be plenty of time for Palm to transition developers and users to the new APIs. After that they can remove the Garnet emulator from their platform and move on.



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

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