AlphaSmart Licenses Palm OS

AlphaSmart, Inc., a developer of low-cost computers for education, has licensed the Palm OS platform. The company will be introducing Palm-based products in the future for high schools, community colleges, and universities.

They are the developer of the AlphaSmart 3000, a low-cost, portable computer used by millions of students in the United States and throughout the world. The PalmOS-based products the company will be creating won't replace the AlphaSmart 3000; instead the two will work together, with the PalmOS products typically costing more than the current ones.

"Palm's strategy is to license the Palm OS technology to market leaders, such as AlphaSmart, who can use the power and flexibility of the Palm OS platform to benefit their markets,'' said Gina Clark, vice president of platform marketing at Palm. "As the leading handheld OS provider, Palm is dedicated to innovating and moving forward the Palm OS platform, adding new technologies and capabilities, and helping licensees such as AlphaSmart bring to life their creative solutions.''

"AlphaSmart and Palm share a commitment to provide the education marketplace with affordable computing solutions that make it easier to learn and to teach basic skills,'' said Manish Kothari, AlphaSmart chief marketing officer. "While the AlphaSmart 3000 is highly successful in a wide range of applications in education, there are specific segments with differentrequirements. We see the Palm OS platform as the technology of choice to meet the needs of these new customers.''

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About time!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2001 11:28:36 AM #
I think it's amazing that Palm hasn't pursued this market more aggressively itself. IMO Palm OS is the perfect platform for k-12 cheap computers. My version of the ideal device for this market would basically be a Palm OS version of that Apple Newton OS machine that had a keyboard and modem. It seems to me that they could produce a simple 8 meg flash upgradable machine with modem and 320x320 screen for less than $200 retail. That's all students need for homework, light web-browsing, ebooks, etc. Plus, it would be flexible enough to get students interested in working with and programming computers. And at that price, they could give 'em away to every student for much less than the cost of full laptops.

RE: About time!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2001 12:52:51 PM #
Yeah, I think this is a good idea. They could make very inexpensive laptops very rugged and inexpensive. It would be great for k-8 especially. I don't know if it would stay under the $200 range though, but for $400 you could make a very flexible, simple homework computer. SD or memory stick expansion could work great with these.

RE: About time!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2001 2:42:55 PM #
That would be really cool..

I imagine one with a keyboard, mouse and say an 8 inch screen. They would probably be great as desktop type models for schools, where as students could sync with them to standard palm devices for assignments and such.

Damn, almost makes me want to be back in high school ;)

RE: About time!
mikecane @ 8/27/2001 4:02:32 PM #
Uh, Apple did that with Newton -- the eMate.

RE: About time!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2001 5:54:54 PM #
Yeah, that's the one I'm talking about (I'm the fella who posted the original comment in this thread, but I couldn't remember the name of the eMate).

The eMate was really good, but it didn't have the developer support that Palm has, and didn't have a lot of other things that make Palm OS simple and easy to use. The eMate also cost $1000, which was way too high. Only Mac-fanatics bought them. I think something with Palm OS could be cheaper and better than the eMate, and the market is readier for it. Apple definitely paved the way for Palm Pilots with the Newton, and I think they've done the same with the eMate.

RE: About time!
nickgold @ 8/27/2001 7:27:57 PM #
I had a dream last night that I met Steve Jobs, and he let me have an eMate. Well, it looked like one, but I think in my dream world it was sort of supposed to be a new version of the eMate.

Weird dream, eh? heheh I am such a dork. :-

It sounds like psion
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 5:58:34 PM #
What you are talking about reminds me of Psion/Epoc machines with lower price. Is it just me? :)

I think EPOC is better suit the students' purpose than Palm OS. Word and excel compatible programs are included in the EPOC OS, so students don't have to shell out to buy office compatible suite on palm os machine.

Just my 2cents.



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