Opinion: Mike Cane's Predictions for the Palm OS in 2004
Mike Cane is back with with his highly anticipated Palm OS predictions for the new year. Read on for a speculative and entertaining look at what the year ahead may hold for the Palm Powered economy.
Copyright © 2004
by Mike Cane.
All Rights Reserved.
Exclusive to Palm Infocenter.
This year I am taking a rather modest approach since in past years all of the companies involved never met my expectations. This year, I set my expectations very low. Let's see if they can meet these!
Then you can feel cheated that it'll only be in the next year that some of those predictions "such as embedded tiny hard drives" will come to pass.
Now onto 2004
1) Oracle Corp. Acquires PalmSource & palmOne
Larry Ellison wants to be richer than Bill Gates. He can achieve this by absorbing the Palm OS. The PDA today is what the desktop microcomputer was back in the early 1980s. Desktop PCs overthrew the existing order. The battle for the global palmtop will dwarf that. Just as MS-DOS ate away at Digital Research, DEC, et al, Palm OS can eat away at Windows (and its smaller mutations).
2) PalmOS's Bad Perception Continues
"It's just an organizer" is the litany repeated against Palm OS devices. palmOne does not help itself by churning out what are little more than "just organizers." They'll finally realize they have to kill kill kill the low-end monochrome Zires for the greater good of the platform.
3) Sony Cuts Back
When Foo Fighter first said Sony would quit Palm OS, I laughed. And I continued to laugh until I saw Sony's TJ series. They look like the beginning of a retreat from Palm OS. I expect 2004 to mark the death of the CLIE in favor of the handheld PlayStation (with "Play OS"?).
4) palmOne Does Infomercials
Before Larry Ellison takes out his wallet to buy The Two Palms, palmOne will start an infomercial blitz on cable and late-night broadcast TV. In an effort to sell higher-end units to the general public, palmOne will go all-out to show the kinds of things its PDAs can do. And also why everyone should have a Treo instead of an ordinary cellphone. (Microsoft will follow suit -- but only for its atrocious Smurfphone, leaving Pocket PC users frustrated [as usual!].)
5) HVGA vs VGA
Sony, Garmin, palmOne, and Tapwave all challenged Pocket PC's 240x320 screen standard with 320x480 resolution. Toshiba fired the first shot back with its e800/805 Pocket PC with a gorgeous four-inch 480x640 VGA screen. (Yes, I know the Sharp Zaurus clamshell had VGA first, but that's not being sold here by Sharp!) The biggest battle next year will be over the best screen resolution for a PDA. (Yes, next year will be that dull!)
6) Textmaker for PalmOS
Already leaked in 2003, it's arrival will help keep PalmOS units in corporate channels.
7) Opera for PalmOS
Never, ever announced or even hinted at for PalmOS, the best palmtop web browser will be the surprise release of 2004.
9) PDA Fuel Cells Arrive
Don't look for palmOne to do it here first. hp/Compaq will have the first fuel cell-powered PDA for sale in the U.S. (but owners will still complain about the yellow tint of the screen!).
10) Jeff Hawkins' "Virtual Dendrites"
An outgrowth of his passion, hacking the human mind, palmOne will be the only company to offer this remarkable new software. It will turn a dumb Personal Digital Assistant into a Personal Digital Savant.
Now click below to rant about my prior predictions and, of course, these predictions too!
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