Comments on: Will Palm's Deal with Be Go Through?

While Palm has announced plans to buy the intellectual property and technology assets of Be, Inc., the deal depends on a vote from Be's shareholders. According to The Register, that might not happen. Shareholder approval is needed to sell off all the company's assets and shut down. But Palm is only paying $11 million and, in the end, Be shareholders are going to get almost nothing. A recent Register articles warns, "enough users are cross about the imminent demise of the Be OS, that they might just try and sabotage the deal." The shareholders meeting will be November 12.
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Does it matter?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 9:37:12 AM #
Well, if be files for bankruptcy, won't the assets be sold by a bankruptcy court to whomever bids the most? So Palm would get it anyway, right?

Is there someone willing to pay more?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:51:32 AM #
is the answer. Unfortunately I don't think anyone except palm would buy it, and if someone can enlighten me on how Be can benefit Palm in a specific way I'd really appreciate.

Wouldn't it BE funny if MSFT stepped in
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 12:28:27 PM #
and bought BE with petty cash just to sandbag Palm??

RE: Does it matter?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 1:55:48 PM #
Yeah, and then torched all of the technology and sent the entire development team to Antarctica for an extended project.

RE: Does it matter?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/27/2001 2:22:21 AM #
Our friends at M$ have their hands full with the Justice Department just at the moment. Undertaking overtly anti-competitive behaviour (like buying BE)would not help in their on-going settlement negotiations. I wouldn't bet on M$ making a bid.

RE: Does it matter?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 1:38:45 AM #
In times of war, Microsoft is exempt from antitrust charges. They pay the most taxes in the nation. MSFT deserves to sit above the law.

RE: Does it matter?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 1:51:51 AM #
Bull****.. Nobody should ever be above the law, no matter what the circumstances are.

Microsoft and Taxes
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 8:25:37 AM #
I'm pretty sure Microsoft payed zero taxes last year, due to employee stock options.

Bill Gates is my HERO
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 8:59:01 AM #
If it wasn't for him, we would all be using different OS's and applications and document formats and none of us could communicate and collaborate with each other with the ease we can today. MSFT has given us powerful tools and powerful software that helps us do our jobs, have fun, and use information in a more powerful way. We should be thankful to Gates & Co. for their hard work at improving the computing experience. They started the PC revolution which lked to the internet revolution. Not to mention creating a standard OS for many, many developers and companies to build their own products on and get rich and sucessful themselves. ALSO not to mention the wealth creation for investors that MSFT has created. ALSO not to mention the JOBS MSFT has created. ALSO not to mention the CHARITABLE donations resulted by MSFT and their investors. Bill Gates should be held up as a Saint rather than vilified. He has done more for the success of this country than probably anyone else. I love Bill Gates and he deserves every billion dollars he's earned. He's not doing it for the money - he doesn't need any more money - he does it for us! We need MORE Bill Gates's in the world. I'm glad we have someone in the White House now who realizes this and is letting the free market determine who wins/loses (The American Way) as opposed to competition through litigation. Thank you, Good Night and may God Bless America.

Of course MSFT pays taxes!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 9:13:25 AM #
Of course MSFT paid taxes last year! Thta's BS that they didn't due to stock options. AND all of their thousand of employees and partner companies and their employees also paid taxes. MSFT is a cash cow for our government and they almost tried to kill it for a dubious case brought on by competitors who could only compete through litigation.

RE: Bill Gates is my HERO
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 9:46:28 AM #
I pledge alliance to Bill Gates
and to the monopoly which he owns.
One company, bound by no laws, run by megalomaniacs
with high prices and no options for all.

RE: Does it matter?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 11:35:12 PM #
I'm afraid that I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 8:59:01 AM must have forgotten to take his medication.

What sort of talk is it to say that freedom is best served by putting anyone above the law? The President is not above the law, so why should Mr Gates enjoy that privileged?

Or look at it another way: MSFT made it's fortune, in part, through exploiting its intellectual property rights, basically rights under copyright laws. Is it truly the case that MSFT wants to take the benefit of the law in some situations but not to comply with other laws when this it suits them. That's ridiculous. If they don't want to abide by the anti-trust laws, fine, then they can move to a country which doesn't have them - chances are that they won't have any copyright law neither.

Palm should cut a deal with PC makers

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 10:18:18 AM #
to have them AUTOMATICALLY pre-load (bundle) Palm Desktop on all of their PC's. The PC makers can list this in their "free included software" promotion. I think the more people see/use Palm Desktop, the more they will be likely to then go buy a Palm. It's the "Internet Explorer" theory. What do you think?

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 10:30:59 AM #
Microsoft already does this - it is called Outlook Express and a lot of people use Outlook. If I have outlook express or Outlook, why would I want to use Palm Desktop?

Palm has lost the desktop to Outlook. I am very suprised that Palm is still paying Chapura to bundle Pocket mirror with the Palm install software. One would think Palm could have come up with their own Outlook conduits by now....

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 10:34:11 AM #
Companies pay HUGE amounts of money to MicroSloth for the privlidge of having their software bundled- this is not a "free" service, it would cost Palm plenty.

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
mikecane @ 10/26/2001 10:36:47 AM #
Palm Desktop comes on every Mac that is sold, pre-installed, ready to go.

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:00:40 AM #
Hello?! Pocket PC = Made by Microsoft = Palm's #1 competitor!

Microsoft = heavy handed with PC maker agreements -> remember IExplorer vs. Netscape?

How quickly some forget...

PC makers will give customers what they want.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:23:06 AM #
Add if PC makers can add "value" by pre-loading Palm Desktop, they will do so. I don't think MSFT can interfere with this. The problem is, I don't think Palm has anyone savvy enough to go cut the deal to DELL, GTW, HWP, CPQ, etc.

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 2:59:04 PM #
Dell could be a candidate. They already sell PalmOS devices and could very well pre-install Palm desktop sofware. Forget HP and Compaq for obvious reasons. :-)

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
GrouchoMarx @ 10/26/2001 4:56:04 PM #
Microsoft can and does do a great deal to force PC makers to bundle their software and no one else's. It's called abusing their monopoly power, and it's what got them landed in court. But the Bush Administration has told the DoJ to back off on that, so nothing will change in the next 4 years at least, if ever.

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/27/2001 1:26:53 AM #
HELLO?! You would think that YOU'D know that they can't be so ruthless and selective anymore. They pretty much have to have the competition and their software preinstalled, too. Unless they want to risk another chance of being split-up. Think about it.

RE: Palm should cut a deal with PC makers
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/27/2001 9:51:08 AM #
Maybe if Yankoskwi agrees to mow Michael Dell's lawn at his Texas mansion for a few months, Michael will throw him a bone and help him out. I can see Carl now on the tractor!

Woe to Palm

mikecane @ 10/26/2001 10:37:31 AM #
If that deal falls through, if Palm does not get its technology, what does it have to fall back on? Zip.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:02:53 AM #
It could fall back on its 85% share of the handheld market.

RE: Woe to Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:14:18 AM #
I think what Mikecane means is that if the deal doesn't go through...there won't Be (pun intended) 85% market share for much longer. The entire future of the PalmOS rests on this deal. Palm can NOT continue on any further with the existing OS. A new one must be written..and soon!

You're right. Palm is banking on BE for OS5.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:19:46 AM #
Palm, Inc. is nothing but bureacracy and marketing with no R&D talent. Without BE, OS5 could be vaporware. I guess maybe they could always license or maybe subcontract out the kernel to BE ala Mosaic/Mozilla/Spyglass and Netscape/IE?????

No Woe
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:21:21 AM #
There are good developers who DON'T work for Be. This deal will help Palm alot but it won't make or break the company. Palm wrote a damn good OS to begin with. How familiar is the Be people going to be with making an OS for a handheld? All their experience is in desktops. Their AV skills will help Palm but the Be people are not going to write OS5 all on their own. There's no time. OS5 is coming in 9 months. Palm has been working on it for at LEAST a year. Most of it has already been written. They want the Be people to add some AV bells and whistles. If this deal falls through, they'll get someone else. Maybe it will cost more but it will happen.

MSDOS was damn good too back in 1981
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:56:08 AM #

RE: Woe to Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 3:01:36 PM #
Thats ditto, dumbass. Dido is a musical artist.

RE: Woe to Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 4:04:55 PM #
This guy Mike Cane's whole mission in life apparently is to troll around this and other Palm boards and flame away. I'd ignore him. Just another frustrated PPC user.

BTW, I know it's just changing the background color to orange, but I dig the new look Ed.

It was a joke.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 4:15:00 PM #
I would use an expletive here but Ed would delete me.

Ed @ 10/26/2001 5:13:15 PM #
> I know it's just changing the background color to orange, but I dig the new look Ed.

Happy Halloween! It was Ryan's idea. He'll change it back after the holiday.

Before someone asks, you can register and set the site colors to something else. Orange is just the default.

News Editor

RE: Woe to Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/29/2001 5:04:06 AM #
A new OS for Palm? Would you prefer a multimedia capable OS with lots of hourglasses or one which crashes every day? How about a two minute wait while it boots?

The existing Palm OS (what is the plural?) are pretty basic but they get the job done. No fuss, no bother, they just work. As advertised. You don't even need to read the manual to get a Palm to work, just switch on and off you go - for the non-expert user (ie, at a guess, 95% of all customers) that is in fact a valid consideration - life is too short for 2 inch thick manuals. Sure, the Palm won't multi-task, but you can switch between apps so quickly that you can hardly tell the difference. Do do want a sophisticated file manager? Well, you can buy a program to do just that without changing the OS. I can go on.

The thing is that the simple OS may not be much fun for a technophile but it is robust, it is flexible and it runs very fast. (206Mhz on an iPAQ looks nice on paper but, with PocketPC, it runs slower than Palm OS3.5.3 on my old Vx!)

Palm's management may be putting far too much emphasis on the "Zen of Palm" stuff in order to justify their indolence. Nevertheless there is a lot to be said for the KISS formula. That was probably the main reason why Palm succeeded in the first place, against competition like the Newton and, later, WinCE Mark I & II (Mk III is on the ropes too).

This is not to say that Palm should continue to sit on its hands. However, in developing OS5, they should remember their (and Saint Jeff's) heritage, so as to retain the best features of the existing OS.

Progress comes best from sensible evolution, from improving what already works well, from building on success.

Palm Increases Share of Handheld Computer Sales

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:00:39 AM #
"Be shareholders are going to get almost nothing"

But what do we shareholders 'have' right now?

I should have sold my BE shares while i could.

Palm Increases Share of Handheld Computer Sales in Europe
By Dex McLuskey

Santa Clara, California, Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Palm Inc. increased its lead in the European market for handheld computers in the third quarter as the market fell more than one-third amid slowing economic growth, Gartner Inc.'s Dataquest unit said.

Palm improved its market share by 5.6 percent over the previous three months, while second-placed Compaq Computer Corp.'s sales slid more than 13 percent, Dataquest said in an e-mailed statement. Compaq's shipments were less than half those in the previous quarter. Overall, shipments dropped 34.5 percent, compared with the same period last year.


RE: Palm Increases Share of Handheld Computer Sales
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:07:47 AM #
Thanks for the link but this is a terribly written article. I'm surprised at Bloomberg. Palm's share increased by 5.6 percent. Great! To what? 80 percent of the market? 100 percent? The article doesn't say.

Confidence shaking

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 11:51:06 AM #
this could be bad for anybody who plan dvelopment and deployment of the new OS. The next 10 months is very crucial for Palm to show that they have viable future plan and not a vaporware OS.

As of right now Palm's only advantage is low price, wide adoption, Sony's name and large personal related software titles.

RE: Confidence shaking
james_sorenson @ 10/26/2001 12:07:58 PM #
>As of right now Palm's only advantage is low price, wide adoption, Sony's name and large personal related software titles.

Gee, is that all? <smirk> Actually, I'll admit you have a point. Even Microsoft has to break the mold now and them to maintain their market share. Windows XP is their response to Linux and Mac OSX. Palm needs to respond to the new PocketPCs in the future. I love my Visor now, but I'll be looking for something new in about two years. Product loyalty ca be only so strong.

James Sorenson

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 12:36:01 PM #
Right, Palm's *only* advantage is they have most of the market, very strong brand recognition, thousands of applications, and some huge companies backing them. However will they survive?

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 1:28:13 PM #
What more do you want? A free handheld?

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 2:04:06 PM #
on consumer level, the future of handheld is personal entertainment and organizer device.

on enterprise level, it is integrated wireless data terminal.

those two demand more advance OS than 4.1 currently can offer. If Palm stick with 4.1 business model, Palm hardware will soon plunge to sub $50 dolar niche. Observer the m1xx class.

You Lost Me
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 3:38:44 PM #
As Yankowski said in the article "We look forward to them joining forces with our own outstanding engineers on future versions of the Palm OS. This move will help us expand the PalmOS platform into broader markets using their multimedia and Internet expertise.''

This says Palm is going to add new multimedia and Internet features into the OS. That's what the move to ARM processors is all about. No-one suggested sticking with OS 4.1 forever.

Notice the way Be's engineers will be joining Palm's engineers. Not replacing them. Not doing al the work without them. Working with them.

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/27/2001 2:35:35 AM #
You neglected to mention one other advantage which Palm enjoys: MSFT does not have a clue about handhelds.

They failed twice before. On their third attempt, Compaq defied MSFT's standards to produce the iPAQ, and what Compaq did was to copy the Palm formula (small form factor, keeping the unit as basic as possible, etc) as much as possible within the straight jacket that MSFT had imposed. Don't believe me? Take a look at all the other manufacturers who followed MSFT's dictates more closely. They produced some very expensive (and unsuccessful) paperweights.

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 1:45:12 AM #
My Jornada 548 is much more useful than my m505.

RE: Confidence shaking
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 11:48:45 PM #
I don't question what you say about your Jounada 548. It's just that, judging by the sales figure, they are not that many people who would vote that way. My guess is that if the Journada had less gimmicks, if it was smaller and easier to use, it would be selling better. Of course, if the merger with Compaq goes through, we may never know what the HP engineers could achieve, because the talk is that the whole Journada line will be canned.

Why don't they ...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 12:42:36 PM #
take what they want and give BeOS to the community?

If you look at all those posts on these SaveBeOS boards, it seems that most people are only concerned about the OS disappearing not so much about their shares ...!!!

A 2nd freely developed and distributed OS besides Linux wouldn't be bad either, especially with Bes' qualities!

RE: Why don't they ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 12:58:28 PM #
It would be a good PR move but they need to be careful. Be had some good tech and they don't want it showing up in their competitor's OSs. What if someone took the BeOS, shrank it down, and put out a BeOS powered PDA? Or Microsoft put some of it in

RE: Why don't they ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 1:29:40 PM #
I think some of you guys are being too much hyped that BeOS is something extraordinary or anyone who can acquire the BeOS will win. If BeOS is that strong, how come this company go into bankruptcy? Just wake up, people. BeOS is nothing much than an ordinary OS which focus primarily multimedia. Nothing extraordinary, nothing that special. Just an ordinary company that is going bankruptcy. Simple?

RE: Why don't they ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 2:09:02 PM #
funny thing, if BeOS took the Red hat path, they could have made more money than current disaster.

They got greedy and try to control everything and get crush by Microsoft and Linux without mercy. No sane person wants to help them write driver or apps. what for? they have no future in desktop (and rightly so)

They could have made more money combining various licensing sale, specialized hardware, and consulting.

Their OS is made for easy to use low budget parallel computing. stuff for genetic sequencing or studio movie editing. But they rather choose the "world domination (tm)" path, before switching to "media OS (tm)" crap. and end up in dot.bomb junk bin.

too bad.

A different perspective

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 5:16:52 PM #
As it happens, a large proportion of the deals we read about in the newspapers depend on shareholder approval. The Palm/BE proposal seems no different.

Usually, with this type of deal, no announcement is made unless the Boards of both companies have approved in principle. Often the directors will canvas the larger shareholders before reaching a decision. Typically, the Board supports the proposal at the requisite shareholders meeting. If these things are managed properly, shareholder approval becomes a mere formality.

I have no details about this particular deal other than what I read on this excellent website. The above is just what usually happens in the real world.



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