Palm Desktop Beta for Windows Vista Released

Palm Desktop VistaPalm has finally released a beta version of the Palm Desktop software for Windows Vista users.

Bearing Microsoft's "Works With Windows Vista" certification branding, Palm Desktop v6.2 is essentially just a Vista-compliant version of the previous version of Palm Desktop for Windows.

Aside from the "Works with Windows Vista" compatibility guarantee, this new version 6.2 beta comes with:

  • Palm Desktop 6.2 and HotSync Manager 7
  • Install Tool to sync .prc and .pdb files. Do note that Palm's Quick Install tool is NOT present in this beta release.
  • Outlook 2007 synchronization for Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes.
  • Windows Vista compatible: Has earned Microsoft's "Works with Windows Vista" designation.

Aside from the handy Quick Install feature, this version also omits tethered VersaMail synchronization. With the rise in popularity of Treos with wireless conectivity, most users nowadays download VersaMail e-mails directly to their devices and bypass desktop VersaMail synchronization entirely.

As expected, Palm has guaranteed only a small handful of Garnet OS devices to run under this new 6.2 version of the Palm Desktop. Palm's handful of remaining PDA models (Z22, E2, TX) are on the compatibile device list, along with the Treo 650, 680, 700p, and 755p.

Most alarming in the list of unsupported devices is the LifeDrive Mobile Manager. The LifeDrive was released in May 2005 (after the release dates of the Treo 650 and the Tungsten E2 which are supported) and the Tungsten T5, released alongside the Treo 650 in October 2004.

The new Palm Desktop supports USB or serial port synchronizations. It is not recommended for use under alternate Windows versions such as XP or 2000. No indication if compatibility is guaranteed between Windows Server 2003 which has much of the same underlying codebase as Vista.

Palm makes no mention of Vista 64-bit compliance with this beta version. Palm also does not mention if subsequent beta revisions are expected or if this will ever be a fully supported, shipping version of Palm Desktop in future Garnet-based devices.

The download is a fairly hefty 59.2mb ZIP file and can be downloaded from Palm Support.

Click any screenshot for a larger view:

Windows Vista Palm Desktop

Palm Desktop Vista Palm Vista

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Random thoughts related to the new desktop release

hkklife @ 7/25/2007 12:05:33 PM # Q
Random thoughts:

-I proposed a while back to a certain in-cahoots-with-Palm developer who I shall not name that I expected Palm to only support (at best) a handful of their newest PDAs & smartphones with the Visita version of the Desktop software. I then proposed a worst-case scenario of Palm dropping PDA support entirely under their Vista Desktop as a cheap'n easy way to pull the rug out from under the PDA faithful one final time. I was kinda/sorta reassured by this individual who seemed to be in the know that that was not "expected" to be the case and Palm would probably support everything in the new desktop. As I expected, I was precisely on target. I even predicted which devices would be supported and that was on the money aside from the 650 (I predicted that all Palm-branded devices from '05 onwards would be supported and anything PalmOne-branded would be ignored).

-I have access to a Zire 72, a Palm VII, and several Pilots & PalmPilots. It'll be interesting to take these for a spin and see if Palm has somehow managed to lock out certain devices or if they will still sync. My father still uses a Zire 72s but has a new desktop PC w/ Vista, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes. One of the hallmarks of the previous iterations of the Palm Desktop was that you could still grab an original Pilot from '96 and be assured that it would work on anything from Mac OS to Windows 3.1.c to XP.

-It'd be really nice if Palm would keep plugging away at this and get it out of beta and start including it in the boxes with future Treo/handheld (assuming the handhelds are still even in production) shipments. Or at least put a stick or a leaflet in the box advising that a Vista-compliant desktop can be downloaded at the above URL. I know of one specific instnace where a colleague was going to Sprint to buy a 755p a month or two ago. He reluctantly walkd out with a black Moto Q instead b/c of the sales clerk claiming that "Palm doesn't support Vista at all". of course you expect this kind of misinformation from the sales drones but Palm has NOT helped matters by sticking their head in the sand for the past few years & trying to ignore the fact that Vista was forthcoming. The 755p (at least) should've shipped "Vista Ready". Perhaps that's why Verizon is dragging their feet on the 755p release?

-I may criticize Palm when I see it necessary but I also compliment them when I see fit to do so. So let me say "Thanks, Palm!" for finally getting this release out and for supporting at least their current line of PDAs. Hopefully the slew of updates (the blog, MyPalm beta portal, 700p, VersaMail for Verizon users, 700w/wx, Palm Desktop for Vista) seen this spring & summer signals a new start for Palm's support policies going forward.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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No screenshots

T_W @ 7/25/2007 12:23:39 PM # Q
So how does this 10 year old MFC app look on the Aero desktop?

RE: No screenshots
Ryan @ 7/25/2007 12:52:33 PM # Q
hehe, just posted a couple.
RE: No screenshots
hkklife @ 7/25/2007 1:27:11 PM # Q
NOT good. It's bland to the point of being painful. No themes, UI tweaks or anything. It's actually blander than I recall 4.2 being under XP.

That said, it's fast as can be and, based on very preliminary testing, rock solid stable. The Quick Install icon is still present and just acts "broken". This thing looks & acts more like "just outta alpha stages" beta than a "basically ready for primetime but we're not gonnna officially support it" beta.

The unsigned/unrecognized USB driver makes Vista have a fit but I am certain that'll be fixed if this thing ever becomes a fully fleshed-out shipping release.

The PalmSource "About" screen shows a copyright of 2006--I wonder if this thing's been in the can for a while but had a delayed release for reasons unknown?

Still, it's a very welcome sight indeed (albeit at least 6 months overdue).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: No screenshots
T_W @ 7/27/2007 12:03:48 AM # Q
That said, it's fast as can be and, based on very preliminary testing, rock solid stable.

Its amazing how fast an app can get if you don't change the codebase for 7 years.

No syncing with Windows Calendar, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail or Windows Contacts.

No support for iCal/webcal... completely missing the boat on internet calendaring.

Another weak effort.

RE: No screenshots
hkklife @ 7/27/2007 12:26:59 AM # Q
All that aside, (the lack of syncing with Windows Vista built-in apps is really a bummer) I'm still just glad/stunned that Palm Desktop for Vista was even RELEASED!

True, that codebase hasn't been updated in 7 why'd it take almost a year since Vista shipped to release an updated version of Palm Desktop!?!

P.S. Vista's integrated Mail, Calendar, Contacts apps are really quite good for bundled apps for "average" folks. M$ has made tremendous strides in this regard.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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HotSync Manager 7

potter @ 7/25/2007 2:36:46 PM # Q
Has any developer information been released about HotSync Manager 7? Just wanting to know what features may have been added and/or removed.

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I miss Palm Desktop

Gekko @ 7/25/2007 7:36:36 PM # Q

i've been forced to use Lotus Notes for the last year because of work. i DESPISE Lotus Notes. i miss Palm Desktop and i miss Outlook.

i DESPISE Lotus Notes!!!!!!!!!!

RE: I miss Palm Desktop
hkklife @ 7/25/2007 8:28:20 PM # Q
Can't you just install Palm Desktop on your home PC and use that with your Treo?

By the way, Gekko, did you install the 1.10 update on your Treo? Did you ever resolve that random resetting issue?

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: I miss Palm Desktop
Gekko @ 7/25/2007 8:35:41 PM # Q

>Can't you just install Palm Desktop on your home PC and use that with your Treo?

believe it or not i've NEVER owned a home/personal PC. (other than my commodore 64 back in the 80's). i've always had a company laptop. why buy a home computer when i can use theirs? i've saved thousands of dollars this way over the years ( I figure about $2k every few years) - i put this saved money right into my mutual funds (compound returns are a beautiful thing). it'd be nice to have my own machine, but i reallly don't need or want to manage two.

>By the way, Gekko, did you install the 1.10 update on your Treo? Did you ever resolve that random resetting issue?

i never installed the 1.10. it's a company treo too, so i didn't want to run the risk of "bricking" it. i did a hard reset and a reinstall and it fixed my reset problem (for now). what's weird is my 700p had Docs to Go PREMIUM before, but after my reset i'm stuck with NON-Premium. strange.

thoughts on all of this?

RE: I miss Palm Desktop
freakout @ 7/25/2007 8:41:17 PM # Q
^^ Maybe the company had installed Premium as an extra on their Treos? Hard reset would have wiped it back to the standard version in ROM.
RE: I miss Palm Desktop
hkklife @ 7/25/2007 10:33:24 PM # Q
My thought on all this?

I could NEVER do without a "personal" computer!


On the other hand, as commoditized as PCs have become nowdays, you could pick up a cheap Dell for $400 w/ monitor when they run their quarterly sales....or get a cheap used or secondhand system just to mess around with.

Back on topic: I agree with Tim's theory. Can you check with other coworkers/colleagues who were issued Treos and see if they had DTG Premium on their Treos before?

So do you mean you just have gone all these years with your T3/650/700p without being able to Hotsync them?

Have you updated the bundled version of DTG to the latest version? I believe that's 8.03 on the 700p.

Oh, another small thing I noticed what my stock 700p with 1.06 ROM from Verizon shipped with DTG 8.01. Ryan's 7000p Sprint review unit also had 8.01 on it.

The refurb 1.10 700p I got from Verizon had 8.02 pre-installed, as did a Treo 700p that someone I know just recently purchaed new (but it was still a 1.06 one). Another colleague applied the 1.10 update to their 700p and it did not update DTG at all. So it's interesting to see Palm making running changes to the bundle app versions on their devices...something I've not known them to do in years past.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: I miss Palm Desktop
scstraus2 @ 7/26/2007 9:28:56 AM # Q
Like many things, Palm blew it on Palm desktop. I would use it instead of outlook if it had an email client built in, but not having my addresses in my email client finally forced me to move to Outlook. I really hate outlook. It's slow, it crashes and freezes, and it still doesn't sync that well to palm. But I gotta have my email addresses on both devices. I wish palm would just imbed thunderbird into palm desktop, I'd move back. Thunderbird is such a great email client and palm desktop is a great PIM, but unfortunately Palm has no vision whatsoever, so we get Foleo instead. Arg.

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T/3 Compatibility???

Galaxyhunter1 @ 7/26/2007 8:59:42 AM # Q
Anyone know if this new desktop version is compatible with the T/3???
The support page gives the info seen below but is inconclusive to my eyes:

Compatible Palm devices:

* Treo 755p , 700p, 680, 650
* Palm TX, Z22
* Tungsten E2
* Not compatible with other Palm devices such as Tungsten T5, LifeDrive or Treo 600

RE: T/3 Compatibility???
hkklife @ 7/26/2007 10:14:13 AM # Q
"Inconclusive" is a very vague term. I'll wager Palm is just using this release as a quick & easy way to put all previous PDAs (and the Treo 600) out to pasture.

In all honesty, it could have been a LOT worse: Palm could have easily chosen to not include those 3 PDAs on the compatibility list and they could have left the 650 out as well (since it was released in '04).

I'm going to be curious to see what luck other folks have with getting legacy PDAs to run under Vista. The only surprising omissions on that list are really the LifeDrive (since it was so recently EOL'd) and perhaps the T5. It wouldn't really surprise me if people have good success with older devices but Palm just didn't want to have to field tech support requests on Pilot 1000s to LifeDrives and everthing in between.

All of the older devices I still own (Pilot 1000, PalmPilot Pro. Palm VII) use serial cradles and all of my PCs running Vista are mostly legacy-free and don't have serial ports, so I'm out of luck trying to test it out personally. I do hope to get my hands on a Zire 72 soon to test it out.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: T/3 Compatibility???
Galaxyhunter1 @ 7/26/2007 4:26:43 PM # Q
That still does not answer my question, is it compatible with the T/3 :-) ?

RE: T/3 Compatibility???
hkklife @ 7/26/2007 4:47:02 PM # Q
I do not know if it is compatible with the T3. You might want to check 1src, Brighthand etc on their Tungsten forums, as they are a bit more active than PIC's forums.

Palm does NOT state that this new release is compatible with the T3 so my guess is that no, it is not.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: T/3 Compatibility???
Libra @ 7/27/2007 10:22:26 AM # Q
I think the list is clear, the beta supports only Garnet OS (5.4.x) devices that do not have DriveMode.

Investigate new possibilities...
RE: T/3 Compatibility???
onestar @ 7/27/2007 1:16:51 PM # Q
It's definitely not compatible with my T|C.

Mind you, I was able to hotsync over our network, but none of the entries in my datebook, calendar, notes or to do list show up.

Gee, thanks, Palm. I understand I'm using an "older" unit, but it works. Way to support those customers who've supported before you decided to "Treo" everything.

I should be surprised at this, but I'm not.

One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity.

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Vista 64?

tankute @ 7/26/2007 6:19:39 PM # Q
Vista does not automatically mean Vista 64. Drivers _must_ be signed for them to work on 64, and have to be specifically coded for the 64bit kernel (this issue is not particular to Vista but 64bit OS'es, e.g. XP64).

Having said that, can anybody from Palm clarify this issue for the community and the googlebot to see?

IIIx -> T|T -> Treo650

RE: Vista 64?
scottm @ 7/26/2007 6:32:34 PM # Q
I think they may have signed drivers, but only 32 bit... I did receive a prompt that asked if it was ok to install the driver and told it yes, but when I connect my Treo it hunts around for the driver and eventually asks me for the disk saying it couldn't find a driver. I tried to force an install of the drivers in the USB Drivers directory, but it says there are no drivers available there.

RE: Vista 64?
tankute @ 7/27/2007 7:12:42 AM # Q
Thanks for clarifying that up.

So this basically means after almost two years since Vista's (beta) debut, Palm has only just managed to release beta USB drivers - and only for the x86 version. I expect they'll have working drivers for x64 down the line, say, in about two years. Until then I have a smartphone/PDA which cannot sync with my main computer. PIM? What PIM?

Nice going, Palm. Good luck with the Folly-o.

IIIx -> T|T -> Treo650

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3rd Party Apps

kroeter @ 7/27/2007 11:45:18 AM # Q
Has anybody installed this and been able to get 3rd party apps (DXT, Pocket Quicken, Splash) to work. I have been hesitant to use the beta for fear that these apps wouldn't work.

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It works with my treos 680, 650 and Zire 72

atrium @ 7/28/2007 9:52:40 PM # Q
It works with my treos 680, 650 and Zire 72 and with third part applications like ePocrates and ABXGuide.

RE: It works with my treos 680, 650 and Zire 72
atrium @ 7/28/2007 10:51:42 PM # Q
and Merck Manual too.

RE: It works with my treos 680, 650 and Zire 72
atrium @ 7/30/2007 6:35:21 AM # Q
and my Tungsten T3 too.

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I have to say....

om_Instance @ 9/26/2007 2:50:28 PM # Q
I'm in the market for a new phone with calendaring and contacts management, and I have been -sorely- disappointed not only in the lack of any real Vista support, but the shoddy software on XP. While I love my E2, as far as the device itself goes, everything else about it just screams "find another solution." My ears are ringing. I can't see myself buying another Palm device, unless I stumble upon some amazing (and likely simple) solution to syncing. I always hope for threads like this to have some kind of positive feedback that provides a worthwhile solution. Fingers are crossed this is one that does so.
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