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Has Palm Brainwashed You?

In a recent CNET interview, Ben Waldman, the vice president of Microsoft's mobile devices group, accused Palm of brainwashing people so that they didn't notice that Palm's "Keep it Simple" philosophy is really just a ploy to allow Palm to sell handhelds without a lot of function. As he put it, "the definition of simple just happens to equal the capabilities they want to put in their device."

Do you agree with this? Has Palm tricked you into buying a handheld that is under powered? Would the Palm platform be improved by adding a lot more features and CPU power? Your comments are welcome.

This related Wall Street Journal article talks about Palm's work competing with Microsoft.

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Has Palm Brainwashed You?

Mark Wickens @ 8/15/2000 8:20:51 AM #
Oh dear. Microsoft still doesn't get it. Different people want different things...right now, my TRG does want I want of it, and I will not play the technology chasing game until it doesn't. If MS could deliver a machine/platform combination with the same form factor, battery life and OS stability as my TRG Pro...plus something else I NEED (emphasis on the word NEED), I may be interested. However, on past performance, they just haven't been able to deliver; the ball is in Microsoft's and the hardware vendor's court. I agree the IPaq is a good start; its fast, small and attractive. If you want the features it sports buy it, if not don't. For me, it has absolutely nothing I NEED which I don't already have, so until my unit doesn't satisfy my needs, I won't change it - its too big a job and I object to throwing money away just to keep up for the sake of it!
RE: Has Palm Brainwashed You?
zzami @ 8/17/2000 12:04:22 PM #
Mark is right! The very reason I chose the Palm IIIc over the HP Jornada 545 was very simple: I didn't want to get stuck on a 'handheld island'. The bottom line for me was the wealth of software (freeware and shareware) available for the Palm OS.

Boy, am I glad that my brother-in-law (a doctor who routinely uses Epocrates) convinced me to join the ranks of the millions of proud Palm users out there! If I wanted an MP3 player, I would have bought a dedicated MP3 player.

The PocketPC may be more sophisticated hardware wise compared to the Palm IIIc, but in the end it's what the end user really wants that matters, not what Microsoft thinks what the user really wants.

RE: Has Palm Brainwashed You?
@ 11/19/2000 12:24:57 AM #
From Brian in CA

I like the latest gadgets as well ..... when they're useful. Why would you want to haul around a bunch of add-on modules? Are you going to try storing your modules in the pockets of your jeans? ..... good luck finding a comfortable position to sit in. Better yet, carry an extra bag for storing them? Technology is suppose to enable us to work and play smarter, not harder ...... it's suppose to make our lives simpler, not even more cumbersome. Do you actually use your pda the way it's meant to be used? ....... as an extension of your life. If you do, then why would you put it in harms way by ..... lets see ..... banging it around at the gym while using it as an MP3 player. I can't count the times I've seen people (yes, even myself) accidentally dropping their MP3 players, mini disc players, etc. while at the gym or commuting via public transportation. I have an expensive mini disc player and MP3 player ...... these products are made to be rugged ..... your pda isn't. In addition, have you seen the prices of the add-on's? For the cost of an MP3 module, you can buy a top-of-the-line Sony, Sharp, etc. MP3 player or mini disc player (beautiful looking gadgets that turn heads ...... not to mention they’re made to withstand rough treatment). I guess what I'm trying to say is ..... being a gadget -happy kinda guy can be fun when you spend your money wisely by purchasing products you can see yourself enjoying and find useful for at least a year from the purchase date. When I say useful, I mean its intended use ...... not as an expensive bookend or a paperweight. In the end, you'll be known as a wise man with the latest gadgets ...... not a fool with yesterday’s fad. That's my two cents ..... not that you asked for it ....... he he he.

--
Visit the Internet Only Palm Users Group Home Page
http://www.interpug.com/iopug/

Define "Simple"

Tony @ 8/15/2000 8:29:25 AM #
"Simple" LOL... Ben must not have checked out palmgear.com... Just try to find 1/2 the available software for CE.. You will not. The ONLY difference between palm and Wince is that Palm works reliably EVERY TIME you sync. And you can not listen to MP3's or Watch Videos. Come on now. do we really want to watch videos & listen to MP3's on a HandHeld? No thanks. I'll keep the "simple" device with outperforms the WinCE every time, is reliable, and the software doesnt cost my an arm and a leg.

brainwashed

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 8:56:13 AM #
I'm a librarian for major corporation, with a 140 IQ. and the most cynical woman on the planet, brainwashing, give me a break. If I had the IQ of a rock, I'd be insulted. I try to be neutrsl regarding MS, but they have gone too far this is just damm insulting. Tell me I wonder have they brainwashed all of us regarding their products and operating system
RE: brainwashed
Makurosu @ 8/15/2000 9:30:57 AM #
After being a member of the Mormon church for many years, I can assure you that intelligent people not only can be brainwashed, but are actually more readily brainwashed than less intelligent people. Being a cynic helps, though. ;) But that's a topic for a different website.

Anyway, Microsoft must really be desperate to be playing the "brainwashing" card. :) "Keeping it simple" may what makes Palm successful, but it's not what's making Microsoft unsuccessful. I won't buy a PocketPC, not because they aren't simple but because they are:

1. too crashy and unstable
2. too bulky and heavy
3. irritating to use (poor design)
4. expensive
5. they have poor battery life
6. they don't run any of my Palm apps.

(#6 is only a minor issue.)

Every time they come out with one of these contraptions, it flops miserably and Microsoft can be heard saying "We'll get it right next time!" as they skulk back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs. And each time, they come back a year later with the SAME product. It's as if they think that if they market it right, maybe people will buy it this time.

I think Microsoft is just mad because THEIR brainwashing isn't working out.

I've seen the light!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 9:29:28 AM #
Oh, my GOD! He's RIGHT! My Palm is a piece of JUNK! I can't believe I didn't see it before! We've all been HAD! I'm calling my lawyer right now. Maybe we can put a class action suit together, just like they're doing with the tobacco companies. It's not brainwashing, it's an ADDICTION! I'm gonna go buy an iPAQ right now! Wait...before I do, I've gotta play another hand of Solitaire on my Palm V. Doh! It's got me! I can't escape! Somebody help! Microsoft, please rescue me!
RE: I've seen the light!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/16/2000 12:01:13 PM #
you are too! funny, can I get in on the class action suit. I proably could have made millions or at least have "been a contender" for al the time 've wasted on my palm addiction

Brainwashing

Mark Quering @ 8/15/2000 10:05:16 AM #
Two words, "Sore Loosers". Microsoft's logic dictates that since CE devices aren't selling well but Palm products are, then there must be something sinister going on. There is something sinister going on. Palm is creating elegant software and hardware products that have great developer support and they're blowing Microsoft's doors off. If anyone can be accused of 'Brainwashing' it is Microsoft. What do you think Microsoft's advertising and marketing budget is compared to Palms?

Palm Delivers Value

Rick @ 8/15/2000 10:36:30 AM #
I owned a CE device. It suffered from more crashes than Seattle traffic. Palm won my business with stability, performance & size. The Palm Vx sure beats carrying a brick in your pocket!

Feature glut - not for me

Paul @ 8/15/2000 10:52:45 AM #
Microsoft has fallen prey to the pack-as-many-features-into-a-product at the cost of stability pit, and yet continue to dig. In a portable device, stability and reliability are of primary importance. Whatever Palm (or anyone else) can pack into a palm-sized device while keeping the product robust is okay by me. I think Palm has done a great job of maintaining that balance. Maybe Microsoft should pick up some pointers rather than throw stones.

Golly, I guess they're right.

dkraft @ 8/15/2000 10:55:56 AM #
Palm is good.... I love my Palm... Simple.... Palm Screen Good enough.... Palm is good... I will be happy with "less".... Only Palm is a Palmtop.... Hotsync is good... Functionality is better than Glitter... Palm is good....

Thank you for showing me the real light Microsoft!

More features for Palm OS

Sunny Tan @ 8/15/2000 11:23:21 AM #
Though I agree with the Palm OS philosophy of keeping it simple, I feel that they have left out quite a bit.
For starters, I would appreciate a world time clock, financial calculator, and spreadsheet built-in. How about a simple database to go along with it and a simple sketch programme.
There are so many quality sharewares available in the market. Why does Palm not choose some of them to include it in the OS?

Let's keep it simple, but do not skim the features. Palm can add all those useful stuff and still keep it simple.

My advise to Palm is not to wait for the competition to force them into it.

RE: More features for Palm OS
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 11:52:33 AM #
If the shareware is available readily, why bother wasting the money to put it into the OS? This would just be following in the footsteps of Microsoft, stuffing too much into one package. Let people choose for themselves. Give them the basics, tell them where to find the rest, and let them decide.
RE: More features for Palm OS
Steve @ 8/15/2000 11:59:37 AM #
Good question. Here's the answer: Palm has learned one thing that Microsoft never will. In order to foster a developer community that is diverse and all encompassing don't compete with them. Microsoft releases a platform and then releases a massive suite of apps for it and either buys or smothers any mainstream application developer showing any signs of success. Is it any wonder that the Palm has such an astounding lead in terms of software availability? That and Visual C++ for CE is both enormously expensive (discouraging freeware and cheap shareware) and it sucks rocks through a straw(discouraging ANY development).
RE: More features for Palm OS
Joe @ 8/15/2000 3:56:41 PM #
I'm glad they DONT. All this is readily available shareware.

However, *I*, personally, don't want a spreadsheet (and yet my Dad does). So, I DONT pay for it, he DOES. We're all happy!

I have a non-flash Palm with Graffiti & Expense in the ROM- I can never delete them, but I don't use them. Now THAT's irritating....

RE: More features for Palm OS
Ezra @ 8/17/2000 1:09:59 PM #
I agree totally...

I think it's nice to have extra software bundled with the Palm OS. It can only enhance the users experince... it goes back to is MS forcing the world to use IE, or to the end users have enough common sence to keep using what they've always liked before. I think it's better to give the end user something to start off with then , making them search for things they don't know where to begin .. Besides if Palm did bundle software, there will always be something better for the end user to buy if they wanted.. Though to place programs in the ROM, I admit is just a bad idea...

It will be interseting, despite what anyone says, to see what Palm will do over the next couple of years.. if they keep their ground or move on.. in contrary to what everyone here says..

RE: More features for Palm OS
beaumich @ 10/24/2003 9:19:02 AM #
MS could have loaded my handheld. With a 128MB stick in my Sony NR, I have two word processors, a spreadsheet, a database program, A VIDEO VIEWER, two JPG viewers, AN MP3 PLAYER, games galore, half a dozen readers, a whole library of books, etcetera, etcetera, et many many cetera. My buddy at the next desk has astronomy software, auto maintenance databases, upgraded scheduling, and a few other things in his 8K M105. Point is, we both got what we want out of the platform BECAUSE it doesn't come bloated with a bunch of stuff we DON'T want!

Who's doing the brainwashing, eh?

argle @ 8/15/2000 3:17:20 PM #

Just who's doing the brainwashing, eh? Not everyone needs to play MP3s at 5Meg a pop on a measly 32Mb device, despite what the marketroids from MS want us to think. I want my PDA to work without crashing, and my Palm Vx fits the bill perfectly, unlike my earlier HP 360LX/620LX with a Pocket IE that was unusable for browsing HTML. In contrast, my 20Mhz Vx with Avantgo reads Slashdot.org beautifully without so much as a hiccup.

If you want a bloated, not-quite-Windows-not-quite-an-embedded-OS funny bird OS, then CE might be for you.
But poke it with a stick and you'll see how fragile the entire piece of crap is. And WinCE software!!
Rare by definition, that.

PalmOS could do with more features, yes. We all want the earth. But these are "wants", not "musts". But there are some of us consciously choosing the right combination of size, power and functionality given the constraints of the current state-of-the-art. What MS fails to understand is the few sweet spots that exist in devices like PDAs - which Palm has well covered.

Instead of producing bulky, overpriced PPCs running similarly bulky OSes to no apparent benefit & with no upgrade path (remember Everex, Nino et al.), why not ditch that abortion of an OS called WinCE and use a proper embedded OS instead? A decent IP stack would be good start. I've had enough of being MS's guinea pig on their abortive attempts at producing a decent OS for a PDA - there's just too much WinCE roadkill lying around.

There's something new buyers should be aware about.
Will your PocketPC be roadkill like the rest? And just how often are you going to wait for that ridiculous movie to sync just so that you can fill up all your PDA's RAM for 6 seconds worth of playback? Jeez.

RE: Who's doing the brainwashing, eh?
Chris @ 8/16/2000 8:14:14 AM #
Argle for president!!!

I wholeheartedly agree!!!!!!

Thank you for your clarity of thought, please sell some of your dna to microsoft, so their droidployees can be genetically enhanced with some logic and reason.

Chris

Features OK, but the price?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 3:50:09 PM #
The Palm organizer is useful and pretty much feature-complete. I'd rather see them spend their time on getting one thing _right_ instead of getting multiple things _in_.

However, I just looked at the toys that are going to be available this winter for Christmas. Not one of them retailed for over $150. Most all of them had RF communications with each other, and they used basically the same components as the Palm.

Why do Palms still cost so much? The technology just isn't that expensive: a B+W screen, an old-tech processor, a touch screen, and 8MB of RAM for $250? Give me a break... These things should be selling for $100, tops. And now they're going to charge for OS upgrades and sell shareware apps as "upgrades".

IMHO, the only reason people pay the money is that there are hundreds of apps out there for it. Palm was smart in hooking developers early and keeping them friendly.

I love my Palm, but I really think they are quite overpriced.

RE: Features OK, but the price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/16/2000 11:13:12 AM #
As a hardware developer, I can say that I'm impressed they sell them for the price they do. Toys are cheap- in more ways than one. I wouldn't want my Palm the same quality as those toys. Plus, toys generally have the advantage of huge quantities. That can mean a lot in terms of price.

Sigh....

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 4:01:03 PM #
From the Emperor of Bloatware itself.

Not to mention the Grand Poobahs of Brainwashing.

MS Doesn't Get It

Paul @ 8/15/2000 4:22:28 PM #
I was enticed away from my trusty 'DOS' HP200LX by the colorful WinCE HP620LX. It turned out to be too big and heavy to carry conveniently, AutoSync was atrocious, it refused to work with a PC card modem, battery life was short, and it crashed daily. I gladly gave up Word, Excel, and Explorer for the smaller, lighter Philips Nino PPC. But it was also crash-prone and the one time I had to resort to alkalines due to the rechargeable not going the distance on a trip, a delicate prong broke, disabling the rechargeable. Since alkalines lasted only about a day (!), I elected to buy new rather than repair the discontinued. As I was checking out the new WinCE 3.0 PocketPC, it crashed hard right there in the store. I now wear a slim, light Handspring Visor on my belt in one of the bijillion cases available. It handles all of the essential functions I need, thanks to the bijillion software titles available, the batteries last just short of forever, and I have yet to reset the unit. Oh, yes, it was half the price of a PocketPC. Does this sound like I was brainwashed by Palm? MS had me, and lost me (along with Philips and most of the original WinCE system vendors, perhaps they were brainwashed by Palm, also?). MS just doesn't get it.

They wish

Roofus Pennymore @ 8/15/2000 4:25:40 PM #
M$ just wishes it was *them* brainwashing us. Palm has a device that works within its form factor/battery. I have no doubt that featurs will improve as the technology does.

Cry me a river MS

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2000 3:43:10 PM #
Microsoft is truly the biggest bunch of pansies I have ever seen. Is it any more obvious that they are frustrated because of THEIR inability to brainwash the consumers into thinking that WinCE is superior product? We finally have a situation where Microsoft is unable to force the consumer on their product - and they are apparently not taking it well. Welcome to reality.

Hey Ben, anyone can ask a bunch of people what they want and cram it all into a little box. Palm's success has been the ability to read between the lines and figure out what the user really needs. This concept must sound pretty foreign to you (and Microsoft), eh?

large groups & M$ (repost from palmstation)

rashie @ 8/15/2000 3:54:44 PM #
IDIOCY.
Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups. (taken from a poster from http://www.thinkgeek.com" CLASS=NEWS TARGET=_NEW>http://www.thinkgeek.com ) .. and we all know how big the group at M$ is. Palm does what palm does best.. make simple products that make our lives easier. i don't want an mp3 player with my organizer. we all know there are mp3 players that have some PDA like qualities, but how big is that market? more colors would involve more changes to the OS.. and what would happen to all the developers when all of a sudden their software is obsolete because we whined about more colors? i know it would be a matter of time till the market caught up. i mean what is "our" dream machine? besides a Palm V with a gig of memory, an mp3 player,something for watching mpgs i got of the net (eh eh), WAP/CDMA/TDMA/CDPD/GSM capabilities (so we can call from the desert island after our three our tour.. ) oh yeah.. i want my Palm V with a min 65000 colors. IMHO i think palm is doing a great job of creating this thingy that allows me to play sim city in board (bored?) meetings, keep track of appointments, read net articles, carry some docs, phone #'s, and all the other stuff.. oh yeah.. sometimes i feel adventuous and go on the web via my nokia at a blinding 9.6kps while pacbell sticks me with 15c a min. but what else am i gonna do while waiting to get through the 101 -405 interchange.. yeah that was me that almost rearended you.. cause i was waiting for the traffic report to refresh. everyone knows wireless (in any USABLE.. and incase you didn't see it.. USABLE form) is a ways off.. cause we all know we won't be happy w/o broadband wireless.. and the FCC is still fighting with DTV to free up that precious bandwidth.. so for the time being.. keep on rockin me baby.. cause PALM is solving most of my needs ...... for now..

microsoft is "SIMPLY" wrong

angus @ 8/15/2000 5:31:18 PM #
2 points:

first can they relly define "simple"?

second can they relly define "brainwash"?

Less is More

A to Z @ 8/15/2000 6:10:17 PM #
I'm still using my PILOT 5000. NO UPGRADES! It does what I need it to do. However, I'm a bit disappointed that there aren't many applications out there for us O/S 1.0 users that don't even need the neato features like backlights, and IR.

Happy Piloting!

RE: Less is More
Craig @ 8/15/2000 6:42:54 PM #
I too am still using my 5000. However, I do have the 1mb os/ram upgrade(extra 1mb added by gutting two old 1.0 boards)....it's worth it!!!

My beef with Palm is that (good)There's no incentive to uprade(bad) because the built in apps have not been improved. The screens are nicer though.....

RE: Less is More
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/27/2000 3:46:53 AM #
The Palm 5000 was created by Jeff Hawkins,He left palm and started up handspring ( www.handspring.com ) 3com are just using his idea and aren't making it better, the m100 - what were they thinking making the screen 25% smaller!?!? Handspring visors are much better. I am a 16 year old student and PALM have no idea what they are doing Handspring is a much better company and product so if you like your old palm 1000/5000 etc even the V,Vx and III series then change accross to handspring

This is ridiculous

Eric Garrido @ 8/15/2000 6:43:05 PM #
All I know is that Palm beats Microsoft in the mobile devices arena. Whether they "brainwash" us or not is up to the people decide, which is all that matters in business. Personally, I love my palm, and I don't care if Palm says it's simple or not. I buy what I think is good, not because some millionaire says it's simple. Microsoft is taking cheap shots at Palm, and they only wish they could attain the status that Palm does.

Waldman's comments

Midwest prof @ 8/15/2000 7:00:40 PM #
Too Bad...Mr. Waldman can certainly kiss his chances for jumping ship and working for any company that flies the PALM OS banner goodbye.

Brainwashed myass. MY PDA (TRGpro) gives me functionality and dependability. Essentially,it is my competent support manager when I am out on the road.

Windows CE is geared for the (pre)pubescent mind. My kids get off on color and noise. Exactly what it ever will be>......

Bring on pacman and walkman!!!

Brainwash, schmainwash...I love my Palm

Robin Sheppard @ 8/16/2000 10:23:39 AM #
Perhaps Microsoft can also explain to me how Palm brainwashed me into swapping my Win CE handheld for a Palm without ever my having seen any Palm advertising?

My old HP CE device was just too complex and power-hungry to be practical. I gave up on it after less than 2 months' use. In a blaze of glory after a sudden cash windfall I bought a Palm IIIx. My only regret now is that I didn't know about the soon-to-be-released 8Mb model. Had I known about that, I'd have held off until then.

When I rolled my pickup truck at 80 mph on I-5, my first thought was NOT for my Windows-powered laptop--I refused to let them put me in the ambulance until they found my PalmPilot and handed it to me.

What's the rush?

TechnoGeek @ 8/16/2000 11:11:29 AM #
I don't need my Palm Pro to do anything more than when I bought it 2 years ago.
Why does MS and others get freaked out about having the latest stuff?

The LAST thing I want is for the PDA market to start looking like the bull***t PC market, where my computer is obsolete a couple months after I walk out of the store. And two years later, I need a new harddrive just to install Office so I can read other peoples files, even though I don't need any new *features*. Heck, most of the time all I need is MS Write.

What's the rush for color? What's the rush for paying for everything that SOMEONE might need pre-installed? I just pay for what *I* want installed, thanks.

Wow.....

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/16/2000 1:18:51 PM #
We'll let's see, a Palm V runs several days without needing a recharge while a pocket PC runs about 12 hours or so. Is that about right?

Considering the way Micro$oft plays this game....they got some major balls making a statement like that.

Brainwashed-NO

Peter Piliero @ 8/16/2000 1:34:23 PM #
Would it be great if one could do more with the Palm? Yes! But with each generation of palm products one can do more. I also think many underutilize their Palm but that is their own fault. The comments by MS are just another attempt to try to discredit this awesome tool!

Palm, Count Me In

Dirk Bliss @ 8/16/2000 2:16:59 PM #
My reasons for choosing a Palm IIIxe over CE include years spent trying to support Windows & watching minimum system requirements grow exponentially. Palm OS works.

Cry me a river M$

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/16/2000 3:53:17 PM #
Boo Hoo, poor Microsoft. Palm does an excellent job of serving it's users. They make a device that serves their USERS' needs well for a good price. Microsoft just wishes that their bloated, expensive, crash-prone PDA's were selling so well and since they aren't they'll whining about "brainwashing". Give me a break!

Hell No

Dave @ 8/16/2000 5:24:00 PM #
Palm's big advantage is that they don't try to be everything, they focus on the basics and then let the users decide what extras they want. When their is a large demand for some feature (ex: more memory) they have added it to the product line. Most importantly, Palm has one of the most stable OSs around, because of its simple nature.
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