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Janam Licenses the Palm OS, Shows New Devices

Janam XP30 PDAJanam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes, and ACCESS Systems Americas, today announced that Janam has signed a five year licensing agreement for Palm OS Garnet. Janam will develop and sell application-specific mobile computers based on the latest version of ACCESS’ Palm OS Garnet until 2011.

In addition, Janam has announced two new rugged, barcode-scanning, PDA-format mobile computers running Palm OS. These new models are expected to be available by the end of the year.

“This is a story of investment protection,” said Harry B. Lerner, Co-CEO of Janam. “Value-added resellers and their customers who have invested millions of dollars over the last 10 years in barcode-scanning applications for the durable Palm OS platform will now have cutting-edge hardware to which they can migrate their existing applications effortlessly, while adding newer functionality that further extends their solutions.”

Janam XP20 Handheld PDA“ACCESS continues to be fully committed to the enterprise market,” said Kathleen Peters, vice president of licensing and sales at ACCESS Systems Americas (previously called PalmSource, Inc.). “We are excited to work with Janam to provide enterprises running Palm OS applications in mission critical environments with new and innovative rugged mobile computers that feature the Palm OS advantage—ease-of-use, flexibility and power. By basing their new mobile devices on Palm OS, Janam is providing the enterprise customers a migration path to upgrade their hardware while preserving their investment in the Palm OS-based applications they use today.”

Janam’s XP Series rugged mobile computers combine the benefits of the Palm OS Garnet (v5.4.9), including long battery life, a simple development environment and overall system stability, with the advanced technical features found in typical industrial mobile computers that run on alternative operating systems, in a much smaller and lighter package—all for up to half the list price.

The XP20 Series features a custom, “bright white”, 160 x 160, monochrome display that was developed to provide continuity with today’s Palm OS industrial mobile computers. The XP30 Series adds a color, quarter-VGA display (240x320) and Bluetooth as standard. All XP Series products offer a 2D barcode scanning option, meet IP54 sealing requirements, withstand drops to concrete from 4’/1.2m and weigh less than 10 ounces. Both devices will have a 266 MHz Freescale CPU, mini-SD expansion memory and a swappable 1880mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery.

Janam XP30 Handheld PDAThe XP Series will be the world’s first, rugged, mobile computer that combines Palm OS Garnet (version 5.4), numeric keypad option, user-accessible memory, NAND flash memory backup, USB connectivity, double capacity battery option and, in WLAN versions, WiFi Protected Access (WPA) wireless security. Both models will support barcode-scanning applications written for earlier versions of Palm OS.

Janam will also offer a single-slot charging/synching cradle, four-slot charging/synching cradle, USB synching/charging cable and attachable magnetic stripe reader (MSR) that works with all XP Series mobile computers. The XP Series product line is expected to be commercially available by the end of this year.

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Stealing sales RIGHT out of Palm's pockets

hkklife @ 11/8/2006 1:39:13 PM # Q
There's a reasonably-sized market (does anyone remember poor ol' Georg who was perpetually seeking an 'industrial-stile Palm OS device'?) for this sort of thing. In fact, I just posted something the other day about Palm passing up plentiful opportunities for a barcode-enhanced, ruggedized TX variant the other day. Wow!

Symbol is just churning out (are they even still PRODUCING those old OS4 units??) the same thing they've been doing since 2001 or so. So I'd expect a reasonably strong response for these Janam units, assuming the build quality and support options are up to par.

Seeing things Janam are implenting (dual-mode wireless , including WPA) were either ignored by Palm for a long time OR, in the case of high-capacity user replacable batteries with a backup battery and a keyboard on a non-Treo device, continue to be ignored b Palm even today.

Three potential worries for these new devices:

1. Mini-SD instead of full-size SD? WHY? They're pulling a Garmin here. Mini SD is more fragile than regular SD (no Extreme III Sandisk mini SD cards either) and size is not a paramount concern for industrial devices like these.

2. Why not a 320*480 screen? 240*320 is only going to cause more headaches for developers who have already been reluctant to update many legacy apps for the T3/T5/TX/LD. Only a handful (if that) of no-name Asian smartphones have combined 240*320 and a color screen (remember, the color Handera unit never made it past the prototype stage). Where is the software support?

3. Only USB 1.1? Again, WHY? If companies are capturing large amounts of data out in the field with these things and having to sync/download it back at homebase, wouldn't USB 2.0 be far more efficient?

Still, this is VERY welcome news, even if it is about three years too late to the party. I wish these guys all of the success in the world to show Palm that a Treo brick + the shackles of a voice plan, data plan, and 2-year contract does not fit the needs of everyone.

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

RE: Stealing sales RIGHT out of Palm's pockets
cbowers @ 11/8/2006 8:49:06 PM # Q
"2. Why not a 320*480 screen? 240*320 ... (remember, the color Handera unit never made it past the prototype stage)."

Behold the mythical color Handera rises from the ashes...
Seriously that's just the kind of project they'd work on. Maybe so.
The facts still are that it's likely a lot cheaper for a small company to use 240*320 screens, nevermind making an easy cross-path to windows mobile on the hardware if need be.

"3. Only USB 1.1? Again, WHY? If companies are capturing large amounts of data out in the field with these things and having to sync/download it back at homebase, wouldn't USB 2.0 be far more efficient?"

No. I've yet to see any palm device able to push USB 2 speeds through any BUS/oriface.


RE: Stealing sales RIGHT out of Palm's pockets
scanning_palm @ 11/9/2006 10:18:18 AM # Q
I have a Janam beta unit and it's unbelievable. Blazing fast. As for comment:

1. On Mini-SD, I think that size did matter. The unit is the smallest and lightest rugged scanning Palm I have ever seen. The card slot is inside the battery well so it's still sealed from environment. Similar to Garmin's story, company is saying that whole world is moving to Mini-SD so why fight the trend?

2. Company doesn't seem worried about QVGA. Applications in world of rugged, scanning industrial market are not graphics intensive and well-behaved mono apps will play fine on color. My beta unit is mono so I'll let you know when I play with color.

3. The guys we need to talk to about USB 1.1 are at PalmSource not Janam. OS 5.4 doesn't support 2.0. I'm sure Janam and rest of the world would love to run USB 2.0.

RE: Stealing sales RIGHT out of Palm's pockets
hkklife @ 11/9/2006 1:42:27 PM # Q
The LifeDrive & TX & 700p all support USB 2.0 and run variants of OS 5.4.x. As cbowers said they may not come close to saturating the USB 2 bus but I did notice a distinct improvement in Hotsync speeds on my 700P & TX vs. my old T5.

In any case, that's a minor issue, especially for industrial applications. I'm glad to hear the unit doesn't lag like nearly all of Palm's recent devices.

Couple of questions for scanning_palm:

1. Out of curiosity, how does the Janam beta unit "feel" in hand ( as far as size/weight and tactile feedback) vs. recent Palm devices.

2. Is it more comfortable to hold than, say, the flat T|E/T5/TX?

3. How does the batttery cover attach? Snap or or secured with a screw?

4. Are there any rubberized covers/gaskets around any of the device's ports, openings or doors?

5. What's the stylus like and does it reside securely in the silo?

6.Any idea if FAT32 drivers are present on the device? Assuming 4gb MiniSD cards make it to market that'd be a nice alternative to full size SD/SDHC .


P.S.
"The mythical color handera..." Handera are still technically in business, right? They do consulting and keep a pretty low profile these days. I'd like to know if they have consulted in any manner with Janam and/or if there are any ex-Handera staffers working on the Janam devices.

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

RE: Stealing sales RIGHT out of Palm's pockets
scanning_palm @ 11/18/2006 9:54:42 AM # Q
Couple of questions for scanning_palm:

1. Out of curiosity, how does the Janam beta unit "feel" in hand ( as far as size/weight and tactile feedback) vs. recent Palm devices.

>>>IT'S MUCH SMALLER AND LIGHTER THAN THE SYMBOL SPT THAT IT REPLACES AND FITS SNUGLY IN THE HAND. THE UNIT IS VERY SOLIDLY BUILT. THERE ARE HOOKS ON THE BACK FOR A HANDSTRAP (SIMILAR TO ALL DEVICES IN THIS CLASS) BUT I DON'T HAVE ONE YET.

2. Is it more comfortable to hold than, say, the flat T|E/T5/TX?

>>>IT'S NOT AS LIGHT OR AS THIN AS A CONSUMER PALM PDA FOR SURE. MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT PALM UNITS WILL NOT SURVIVE MULTIPLE DROPS TO CONCRETE OR OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES WITH WINDBLOWN RAIN, THOUGH. SO IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU NEED. IF YOU DON'T NEED RUGGED AND YOU DON'T NEED SCANNING, PALM IS THE WAY TO GO. IF YOU NEED EITHER RUGGED OR SCANNING, THE JANAM DEVICE IS MILES AHEAD OF ITS COMPETITION (WHICH IS LEAVING THE MARKET).

3. How does the batttery cover attach? Snap or or secured with a screw?

>>>IT IS SECURED WITH A SCREW.

4. Are there any rubberized covers/gaskets around any of the device's ports, openings or doors?

>>>THE BATTERY DOOR HAS RUBBER GASKET FOR SEALING. THE CONNECTOR AT THE BOTTOM IS RUGGED/SEALED BUT I SEE NO RUBBER.


5. What's the stylus like and does it reside securely in the silo?

>>>STYLUS FITS PERFECTLY AND SNAPS IN, BUT IS EASY ENOUGH TO PULL OUT BECAUSE IT FLARES OUT AT THE TOP. VERY SECURE DESIGN. THE STYLUS IN MY UNIT HAS A HOLE AT THE TOP TO MAKE IT EASY TO TETHER TO ONE OF TWO TETHERING POINTS AT THE TOP OF THE UNIT. GOOD THINKING!

6.Any idea if FAT32 drivers are present on the device? Assuming 4gb MiniSD cards make it to market that'd be a nice alternative to full size SD/SDHC .

>>>DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS. IS THERE AN EASY WAY TO CHECK?


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Palm pushing for more influence over Treo's software destiny

Gekko @ 11/8/2006 8:35:19 PM # Q
RE: Palm pushing for more influence over Treo's software destiny
Foo Fighter @ 11/9/2006 12:09:49 AM # Q
Nothing more than speculation based on a couple ambiguous comments. In order to reclaim its own destiny Palm has two onerous choices ahead of it; either buyout Access's intellectual property and become custodial developer of the PalmOS (which assumes Access is even willing to sell), or go it alone and develop a completely new platform in-house. Both options cost time and money.

If either scenario plays out, the bottom line remains the same; it is too late. Palm and its community of developers needed this "next generation" operating system more than two years ago. It vaporized. The platform's last remaining hope, ALP, hasn't even materialized in employable form, and probably won't until Q1 of next year. PalmOS is dying now, not at some point in the future. It's happening RIGHT NOW. An entire market isn't going to pause while you develop a product to compete with. Technology simply moves on without you. This is why Windows Mobile is experiencing so much growth; it isn't because Microsoft's platform is necessarily the superior product...it's just the ONLY product that meets the needs of smartphone vendors. Symbian is an option, yes, but that's a gray area.

Look at what is happening in the GSM market. Garnet is too primitive to support UMTS/HSDPA 3G. So what are the carriers supposed to do? Delay rolling out 3G while Palm/Access develop a platform that enables 3G GSM support? Of course not...they simply choose Windows Mobile and move on.

It all comes down to timing and opportunity. Thanks to PalmSource, Palm has missed both.

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

Mine eyes have seen Palm's future, and its future is...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/9/2006 1:31:47 AM # Q















Windows Mobile.


RE: Palm pushing for more influence over Treo's software destiny
Gekko @ 11/9/2006 7:37:08 AM # Q

The Palm OS is a joke, and it's time for a reckoning

http://blogs.business2.com/utilitybelt/2006/10/palm_the_palm_o.html

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Nice to See New Licensee but...

ChiA @ 11/9/2006 1:10:12 AM # Q
...they've gone for Garnet; Cobalt is still left on the shelf gathering dust.
RE: Nice to See New Licensee but...
PenguinPowered @ 11/11/2006 1:16:53 PM # Q
Ever wonder what happened to GSPDA's Cobalt based phone they were going to ship at the end of last year?

They shipped the phone. They call it JASPER. It doesn't run Cobalt. It runs Savaje's Java phone OS.

Pity that Savaje went out of business last week.

Poor GSPDA sure knew how to pick them.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Nice to See New Licensee but...
Gekko @ 11/11/2006 3:07:54 PM # Q
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very nice ... we'll be seeing these around

pmjoe @ 11/9/2006 10:32:56 AM # Q
Looks good for an industrial device, good feature set and the price is right.

I'd even be tempted .. if it ran PalmLinux and had an SD card slot, plus stereo headphone output. A well-built device like this running Linux could attract all types of people to hack for all kinds of purposes.

The HandEra folks must have had something to do with this one.

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