Comments on: Does Anyone Care About Palm Anymore Editorial

Shaun McGill, of the PDA24/7 web site, is running a series of daily feature editorials entitled "Does Anyone Care About Palm Anymore?" The first installment of this ongoing series deals with the Palm OS's failed efforts to capitalize on portable gaming. This nicely summarized article states what many Palm OS gaming afficionados such as myself are wondering are afraid to ask: "If Astraware and co. can make such high-quality puzzle and novelty games, then why don't they focus more on action and arcade titles?"

One particularly notable excerpt from the piece that is certain to stir up some heated debate:

Developers can blame the market all they like but if they show little originality the market will continue to drop and neither Palm or the consumer are responsible for that.
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theog @ 2/7/2007 2:20:50 PM # Q
As a product developer, I can tell people one thing: if the ROI is not there, then I will not build the product. Why? Early in my business I built two products that I did not think would go anyplace, but people pushed us to build. “Everyone” was stating how much of an impact the products would have and how everyone would want the products.

Instead of listening to my financial books and research, I decided to build the products. To put short, both products were financial disasters.

At any rate, I don’t believe it is correct to second-guess a company years later. You never know if they tried to make the action games. Could be they tried but the screens were not good enough, or they could not get the rights worked out.

The article is not complete… they should have an interview with some developers that went through that time and then make educated remarks. Going about this article the correct way might have delayed it by 10 days, but it would have been worth reading. If they did attempt to speak to some developers a disclaimer would have been nice….

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

RE: Anyway..,.,.
stmcgill @ 2/7/2007 5:41:26 PM # Q
"they should have an interview with some developers that went through that time and then make educated remarks"

Developers have been spoken to and some comments will be following in the next couple of days. The article about action software was not an educated one as I stated at the end- "I say all this without a line of programming code in my head and thus have little idea of what is required to program a thing of mobile beauty- I suspect an awful lot!"

I also now understand that programming for Palm OS is significantly more difficult than for Windows Mobile. The main question I was posing was that if Warfare Inc and Virtual Pool Mobile could be made why could a bigger developer not do something at the same level? For consumers who see games like this they may well come to expect more whether that is realistic or not.

It was not meant as a rant at developers but more of trying to understand why we see so few games that are complex and of a high quality. I'm concerned for Palm OS and feel that developers are best placed to give it more life than many people are speculating it has currently.


RE: Anyway..,.,.
theog @ 2/8/2007 3:58:06 PM # Q
From that POV you could be right. I don't really play games on the palm products. It is more of a business device for me....

I will say that I think palm shot itself in the foot by making a windows version, updating products, and by not updating the current OS (or at least making it perfect). After being on a windows machine, I doubt if I'll ever purchase anything by palm again... the palm version of the treo blows (IMO).

I don't know if games will help.

I look forward to the rest of your palm story...

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

RE: Anyway..,.,.
hkklife @ 2/8/2007 4:03:59 PM # Q
Tapwave made about every error possible in the marketing & execution of the Zodiac.
Palm should have tried to shoehorn rudimentary gaming & multimedia capabilities into its OS 3 & OS4 devices so that the OS5 models could have hit the ground running. The T|T should (and could) have been a superb multimedia device had Palm spent a few $ on the audio hardware and a better LCD.

The Zod--or anything running Palm OS--was never going to fly as a dedicated games console. But compared to the average cellphone, even low-end Palm OS units are gaming powerhouses.

Palm should have pushed the earlier generation Palm OS devices as suitable for casual gaming as a secondary role. Take the IIIcm, Visor Prism or m505 for example. They had infinitely larger & higher resolution screens than the game boy color. And even the Game Boy Advance's dim widescreen paled in comparison to the bright 160*160 screens of the above Palm devices. The touchscreen could have been effectively combined with a d-pad to make for some excellent games in the vein of Warfare Inc. years before the DS hit the market.

I always thought it odd that the original Zoomer had a d-pad but the Pilots did not. Even in the day os the original Pilot I thought the lack of a 5-way controller hindered navigation as well as gaming.

Had Palm worked more closely with game developers back in the 90s and early '00s and given half a thought to gaming, the Palm OS could have carved out a comfortable little niche in the world of portable gaming. Also, Palm could have done something in cooperation with Tapwave (or handled as a spin-off line) to keep the Zodiac more in step (permitted use of the UC etc) with the Tungsten, Zire, and Treo lines.

That covers the hardware aspect. And as always, hindsight is 20/20.

Software is a trickier issue. Remember the repeated attempts Palm made to tackle the retal MMC ROM market with their "Palm Pak" game collections? That was a disaster in the making from day 1, especially in the various transitions from OS4 to OS5, OS5 320x320 to OS5 320x480, OS 5.2 SDRAM to 5.4 NVFS, and whenever Palm changed the hard button mapping assignments. What's wrong with going OTA? Well, even on wi-fi devices you cannot guarantee that the "average" user will ever go online. But with Palm jettisoning everything in favor of Treos this problem might eventually solve itself...

Content delivery historically was, and still is, a huge thorn for Palm. The average Joe Six-pack user of "Palm Pilots" has, at best, installed the 3rd party apps on the included Palm Desktop CD. Seeking out updated version of apps, going through the cryptic registration process used by some devlopers, and crossing fingers for compatibility with each hardware upgrade are all likely to send any novice user (your average casual gamer) running for the hills while clutching a Gameboy.

Going back to seamless OTA delivery, the best example the formula "easy content delivery + idiot proof execution=profits" is how the conventional cellphone ha "evolved" into a portable gaming machine. Dumbded-down titles that are completely plug'n play and deliver seamlessly over the air and seemingly low-priced are the ticket (not my opinion but proven by the success of companies like PopCap and Jamdat). I see many a minimized Microsoft Spider Solitaire, Klondike, and Minesweeper game in a variety of corporate and business settings (including laptops). Palm should make it a policy to include a full version game in the ROM of every device it sells and, on Treos, an in-game splash screen that links the user to a site where more titles can be downloaded & purchased.

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

RE: Anyway..,.,.
mikecane @ 2/10/2007 12:12:40 PM # Q
>>>The Zod--or anything running Palm OS--was never going to fly as a dedicated games console. But compared to the average cellphone, even low-end Palm OS units are gaming powerhouses.

And there, I think, you have stumbled upon The Last Gasp Survival Strategy of Palm. "Let's go compete against sh*t!" Also known as Winning By Comparison.

For it's clear Palm doesn't have the brains, will, or guts to stand on its own merits any longer.

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Comment -- off the box

theog @ 2/7/2007 2:21:40 PM # Q
Does anyone care for Palm?

Well, yes, I believe that we do care for Palm. If Palm were to release a product that was worth a crap within the year, they could pull out of this disaster they have created.

From all indications, the next Windows mobile is not going to be a “killer” device, but more of an evolution from the current version. That provides palm with some breathing room to get their crap together.

My personal thoughts on palm?

As I’ve said for years and years (even before it was popular to say so): palm’s management has killed palm.

This is my lasting impression of palm,

Palm never did fix the TX BT…

Treo 650 was reset hell. Cut off hell. Hell, period.

Treo 700wx – one of the best palms I’ve ever owned. Only problem, it is a windows device. Heck, any number of companies could have made the treo. In addition, the 700wx is not that “great” but it is light years better than the rest of the crap palm is putting out (IMO).

So, what is the issue? Well, in my next device I’ll be looking for a windows machine. I would not care it palm made the device or some other phone company. Who cares, the OS I want is windows.

At this point I don’t care what device I own… I just want something that works. But if palm wants to get me off windows, they had better pull and apple number (apple shows what *can* be done).

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

RE: Comment -- off the box
Poopie @ 2/7/2007 8:03:03 PM # Q
If Palm were to release a product that was worth a crap within the year, they could pull out of this disaster they have created.

You can probably find just about the exact same sentence in posts here going back over the last 5 years.

Obviously Palm is now only interested in pimping Treos running *ANYTHING THE CELLULAR COMPANIES WANT* while investing the minimal amount of money into R&D or support to attempt to make whatever profit they can while they ride the Treo and PalmOS into the ground.

I hardly know a satisfied Palm user these days. Everyone has a horror story about buzzing treos, longstanding OS bugs, buggy apps.

I still have my Lifedrive, but not because I love it -- because I haven't found an upgrade from it. It's like an affliction I've learned to live with, but I hope everyday for some new product that is well built, has a stable OS with multitasking, and has a real web browser.

I've long since given up hope that such a product will ever come from Palm. My best hope at the moment is Nokia.

... or Linux on the Palm a la HackNDev

RE: Comment -- off the box
HiWire @ 2/8/2007 10:01:22 AM # Q
I'm happy with my Palm m505... unfortunately for Palm, it's a device from 7 years ago. I haven't seen much in their new products to entice me to upgrade - my new Nokia cellphone has the extras (digital camera/video, media player, FM radio, Bluetooth, mini-SD, games, web-browsing) and bright screen that I've been wanting. Perhaps they should wipe out the Zire/Tungsten divisions and start again with a single attractive, low-cost device.

My suggestion: refocus on the basics - stop selling the other handhelds and sell only an improved Tungsten E2-style handheld with:

TX screen - 320 x 480
Wi-Fi 802.11n
More memory - 256 MB
Color choices - less fruity than Apple
Vibrate alarm
Improved battery life
User-replaceable battery

Eliminate the IR port - nobody uses it
Multi-connector - keep the same connector for once

It's not rocket science. Garnet should have all these features already, except 802.11n. I'd look into the Treo 700P, but I already have a good cell phone, and wireless data plans are still highway robbery. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat.

Palm m505 User

RE: Comment -- off the box
edoan @ 2/8/2007 11:53:55 AM # Q
Highway robbery on data plans? Sprint has $15/month unlimited EV-DO, and through my retention plan, it's free. With the Treo 700p tether hack, I can also use my 700p as an EV-DO Bluetooth modem for my ThinkPad. You must be with Verizon or AT&T, both of which charge outrageous amounts for data.
RE: Comment -- off the box
HiWire @ 2/8/2007 11:57:39 AM # Q
In Canada, Bell Mobility charges $90 for 8 MB of data transfer. Telus Mobility charges $55 for 4 MB. That's highway robbery.

Palm m505 User
RE: Comment -- off the box
theog @ 2/8/2007 3:44:22 PM # Q
After having a palm treo that works, I'll never go back to a handheld and phone again.

I have the sprint sero account...

$30 for

500 minutes

7 pm nights free

free weekends

free data (evdo)

free voice and data roaming (data roaming 1x) on verizon

I also have a verizon contract (ends in July 07).

it costs $39

9 pm nights free

450 minutes

free weekends

no data (well $15 mb)

lol... bye, bye verizon... I've had the sprint phone for almost 30 days... so far the places I get a verizon signal, I'll get a sprint signal (even if roaming on verizon!). I lived in the "verizon hype" since 2001 or so... don't believe the hype.

Get the sero account... in addition, my 700wx ends up being $150 after rebates....

$75 more than the e-815 I purchased last year..... great deal.

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

RE: Comment -- off the box
kevspalm @ 2/8/2007 4:44:24 PM # Q
SERO - looks like you're talking about their Sprint Employee Referral Offer. Are you a Sprint employee? How can a layman like me get that deal?

I'm a Sprint PCS user. The price isn't bad (though I really don't make good use of my $15 plan), but it's nowhere near what you have. But you can't compare a plan that isn't open to the public.

Palm IIIx for 5 years & LOVING IT!

RE: Comment -- off the box
theog @ 2/9/2007 12:13:22 AM # Q

Look for SERO II....

READ THE FIRST POST... it provides all the information you need. Right now there are three emails floating around:

Then your zip code....

since you are a current customer, you might be able to call up and get on the plan... I've heard that was a hit n miss though. Good luck.

Sero freakin rocks.

Actually, my base plan is $27... I have the 10% credit union deduction as well. Some people are getting loyalty deductions and free txt messages.... I was not able to get free txt msgs.

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

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Attention: All 'hope' is now gone

mikecane @ 2/10/2007 12:07:49 PM # Q
>>>Simply Digital: Chris Dunphy
My good friend Michael Ashby's Simply Digital Podcast features someone I know from my days in the Palm OS User Council, Chris Dunphy. What makes this interview so interesting is how Chris, having left PalmSource, sold and gifted most of his worldly possessions to buy a TAB trailer, a Jeep Liberty, a MacBook and other tech gear to live a tech-nomad's life. In the interview, Chris talks about the shift to his new lifestyle, and even his portable airplane. It's challenging and encouraging to see Chris live this way, yet have everything he needs.

Oh I am soooo LMAO. Isn't this the guy that screeching eejit V said would be the savior of Palm development? Unlike him, I don't keep a massive stalker's database of others comments here. But I do indeed recall him mentioning this guy by name.

V is wrong again. But I am not surprised. He always has been.

RE: Attention: All 'hope' is now gone
SeldomVisitor @ 2/10/2007 1:15:25 PM # Q
You are correct.

Nothing will save PALM.

[perhaps that's why PALM-fanboy sites are starting up more generic sites right and left, eh?]

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