Quickies: Layoffs, Software, Office & More

PalmSource Layoffs: PalmSource said on Friday that it laid off roughly 18% of its workforce. The OS division made the cuts in response to weak economic conditions. "We're subject to the same market conditions that other companies are experiencing...We had to bring our costs in line with revenue," said PalmSource's senior VP of marketing, Gabi Schindler.

Palm SG Layoff Rumors
The popular dot com rumor site, F---edCompany.com is reporting that Palm SG may layoff 30% of it's workforce over the next three weeks.

Dataviz Password Plus
DataViz has released Passwords Plus, new software that stores personal information such as account numbers and logins on both a PC and a Palm OS handheld or smartphone. In addition to protecting data with a password, Passwords Plus features 128-bit Blowfish encryption on both the PC and the handheld. The software is available immediately for $29.95.

STNE is now PDA Specialists
STNE Corporation has changed its name to PDA Specialists. The company offers internal memory upgrades for the Palm V, VII, III, Zire, m105, m125, m130, m500, m505, i705, Handspring Visor, Visor Prism, Visor Edge, Visor Platinum, Visor Neo, Sony T415, N610C, N710C, and N760C. It also offers repairs on almost every model.

Handera Refurbs
Handera has refurbished 330's available for purchase from their website for $149.99 and is also offering refurb TRGPro's fro $99.

Transparent encryption for the Palm OS
Toysoft, Inc. has announced the release of Xforcer, a transparent encryption application for the PalmOS 4.0 and higher. Xforcer? implements the industry standard AES 256 bits encryption algorithm and SHA1 hashing technologies. Application databases are encrypted and decrypted transparently without any user intervention. It is 19.95..

Toy Races Game
UPL Software has released a beta of Toy Races a miniature racing game with realistic physics, 20 tracks and 18 cars. It requires a color palm os handheld.

Office Docs: Palm vs PPC
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has reviewed Documents To Go in comparison to PocketWord and PocketExcel in his Personal Technology column. He tested Docs To Go on a Tungsten T and a Treo versus PocektWord/Excel on a PocketPC. He concludes, "Anyone seeking to view or edit Office documents on a PDA would do fine with a Palm-based model and Documents To Go -- better, in many respects, than somebody using a Pocket PC."

Astraware to Publish Whitehorse Games
Astraware Ltd has become the exclusive publisher of Whitehorse Games Chess, Checkers and Backgammon games for Palm OS handhelds. Astraware has long been recognized as one of the top producers of PDA games. The agreement with Astraware marks the company?s move toward becoming a publisher of games from other developers as well as its own.

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Not enough dashes

GenericMan @ 2/11/2003 11:02:01 AM #
The appropriate "censored" url is http://www.f---edcompany.com/ Three hyphens for three deleted letters.

RE: Not enough dashes
Admin @ 2/11/2003 11:04:21 AM #
RE: Not enough dashes
Foo Fighter @ 2/11/2003 11:28:00 AM #
Geez, aren't we being a little nit picky? :-
"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Not enough dashes
GenericMan @ 2/11/2003 11:53:47 AM #
No. f--edcompany.com (two dashes) doesn't work; f---edcompany.com (three dashes) does work. No nit picking.

RE: Not enough dashes
abosco @ 2/11/2003 3:00:56 PM #
You're fussing over a dash that doesn't make a difference. I think people got the idea of the website's name, with or without the extra dash. That's nitpicking.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
RE: Not enough dashes
cbulock @ 2/11/2003 3:12:08 PM #
Um, there is quite a big difference. URL's don't resolve if there aren't entered correcty.

RE: Not enough dashes
djpedro @ 2/11/2003 3:14:57 PM #
abosco, you're missing the point. He's not trying to correct a censored URL, he's trying to correct an ACTUAL URL. www.f---edcompany.com is an ACTUAL url vs. www.f--edcompany.com , which doesn't work.

Just wanted to let you know...

mklein @ 2/11/2003 11:11:18 AM #
The link for Astraware is no good. Should be www.astraware.com

Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...

Foo Fighter @ 2/11/2003 11:31:17 AM #
Good lord! Palm has already cut its workforce (and costs) to the bone. Now they are eliminating another 30%? I'm not going to say "Palm is dead", but they certainly are a pale, thin shadow of their former self. They had better have some killer hardware in the works if they hope to pull out of this slump! :-(


"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
stupidnewpolicy @ 2/11/2003 11:39:57 AM #
Not that it makes a HUGE difference, but they DID buy Be, Inc. To quote http://www.techtv.com/news/computing/story/0,24195,3342853,00.html:

Palm, which sells both hardware and software for handhelds, announced in July it would turn its software business into a subsidiary. Under the deal announced Thursday, Jean-Louis Gassee, Be's chairman and CEO, will temporarily join Palm to help the company integrate Be's technology and workforce into its new software subsidiary, which will develop and license the Palm OS.

See? Integrate workforce. So maybe it wasn't than many folks, but it's some. They also likely picked up a few headcount when they bought Peanut Press.


RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
hkklife @ 2/11/2003 12:20:46 PM #
If they don't watch out, then they may end up pulling a Motorola and handicapping their efforts to get these "killer" new designs quickly into the market.

I semm to recall reading a similar story when Motorola unleashed their 1-2 punch a year and a half ago or so of the v60 and then the v70 phones, which basically really saved their a**es in light of the cheaper, flashier Asian phone. Seems Motorola had promoted the phones too heavily on before they were totally de-bugged (which was in itself delayed considerably by the termination/defectuin of many of their engineers) so the phones reached market a bit late and consequently were not quite as cutting-edge as they would have been had they launched several months earlier.

Also, I can't leave out the grand tale of 3dfx's greatly hastend demise due to the never-ending delays trying to get the Voodoo 5 6000 finished.

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
treo007 @ 2/11/2003 3:45:22 PM #
>>"They had better have some killer hardware in the works if they hope to pull out of this slump!"

How would that make a difference? Their hardware already outsells everyone else in droves. Palm's problem is that it's a pure play in a bad industry and bad market.

My guess is that they'll survive and, should the market turn, they'll eek out a little profit for a while. I don't know how much the PDA market has left however. Once your phone can efficiently do everything your PDA does, why carry two? This is where the Solutions Group has a real opportunity.

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
hkklife @ 2/11/2003 3:51:40 PM #
Well, that's basically the point I was trying to make. You said it more eloquently, however ;-)

The bottom end of the PDA market, not just for Palm OS devices but any sub-$200 PDA, has been pretty much saturated between the Zire's big Christmas season, older E-Bay'd or hand-me-down Palms, and the PPC barbarians at Palm's gate (especially Dell). As laptops get cheaper and cell phones get more capable, Palm is going to get squeezed tighter and tighter. I think their best hope lies in precisely the area where the T|T will be with another price drop: the $300 upper-middle class of color handheld targeting the corporate market.

If Palm are smart, they will consolidate their lineup into three or four models (Zire at bottom, T|T at the top, T|W in the wireless end and then (hopefully) either a new top model to bump the existing T|T to the middle-of-the-road, or else a nice Palm III-sized unit as midrange unit to catch all of the upgrade market.

Any tactic that the consumer market views as a blunder (switch to Grafitti 2, for example) can really pull the rug out from under Palm's feet. They should also speed up their product release cycle too, IMHO. Not becoming a Sony by any means, but definitely being more aggressive with price cuts for older models and releasing refreshed versions of units---say a T|T 2 before the T|V (or whatever) hits for the holiday season.

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
rsc1000 @ 2/11/2003 4:54:48 PM #
>>Once your phone can efficiently do everything your PDA does, why carry two? This is where the Solutions Group has a real opportunity

I don't think they are moronic about this. Two pts:

1. Lots of people don't want all in 1 device - they want a small phone BUT for many functions/apps they want a larger PDA-type screen. In fact, PDA screens are getting bigger these days, such as Sonys 320x480 - putting software that uses that res on a phone would be ridiculous (ie: a small 320x480).

2. I dont think its the PalmSG who has the opportunity in the long run - its actually PalmSource. Palm OS does a nice job of powering smartphones - which brings me to my point that phones replacing PDAs really isnt itself the threat to PalmSource. The threat is OTHER phone operating systems - Symbian and MS Smartphone.

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
treo007 @ 2/11/2003 5:06:56 PM #
I agree, it is Palm SOURCE which has the opportunity (I don't know why I said the Solutions Group).

Anyway, I agree that some in the market don't want everything in one device. Problem is, the devices you're talking about with larger screens, etc. really aren't making any money. The success of the Zire shows that all most of the world really wants is simple, yet easy PIM. Again, enter smartphones.

The power PDA users that, for now at least, need two devices just haven't yet been given a smartphone that can do everything a standalone PDA can and still maintain a smaller, sleeker form factor (which pretty much everyone, power user to soccer moms, requires in a cell phone). As manufacturers improve their designs, my bet is that you'll see smartphones which look like the typical small phone you'd see on the market today but with hidden features (pull down qwerty keyboards, horizontal clamshell designs with the ability to go to landscape mode, etc.) Picture smaller, more attractive versions of the Nokia 9290 and Treo communicators.

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
Ben C @ 2/11/2003 5:09:39 PM #
"They had better have some killer hardware in the works if they hope to pull out of this slump!"

Uh, PalmSource doesn't make hardware. PalmSG does.

-Ben :-)

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
Ben C @ 2/11/2003 5:16:02 PM #
Ohhhhhhh, right, I didn't see the rumour bit!

-Ben :-)

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
Gekko @ 2/11/2003 6:24:03 PM #

"But in the end......we ****ed it all up. It should'a been so sweet, too."

- Nicky Santoro in the movie "Casino"

RE: Will the last Palm employee please turn out the lights...
Foo Fighter @ 2/11/2003 7:01:12 PM #
> "Uh, PalmSource doesn't make hardware. PalmSG does."

I was referring to Palm SG (the handheld division), not Palmsource.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

So, no more Predictions?

mikecane @ 2/11/2003 12:39:22 PM #
OK, so I stated my prediction that PalmOS6 will be late. Will these cuts now guarantee that? And further, can we now begin to think there will never be an OS7?

Maybe those people who predicted I'd never write another Predictions piece will be right -- because there won't be anything left to predict!

RE: So, no more Predictions?
Foo Fighter @ 2/11/2003 12:59:11 PM #
Hard to say what impact, if any, this will have on OS6 development. Palmsource claims OS6 is "on target"...whatever that target may mean. However, if these layoffs are eating into the OS development team, it is a foregone conclusion the next generation OS is going be hit hard by these reductions. You may end up being right, it could be delayed. I predicted it would be delivered on time, but I never anticipated such deep cuts in Palm SG and Palmsource's work force. Ouch!

Maybe I'll be the one that stops making predictions! ;-)

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

RE: So, no more Predictions?
dvoulgaris @ 2/11/2003 1:05:02 PM #
I donīt understand such dramatic and sarcastic comments. In a downturned economy, with a possible war, lots of companies are downsizing with layoff and expense cuts. It happened through all the history, and most of them are still working.

Itīs a hard decision, but if they donīt do it, they could really end bad.

Letīs hope for the best and make our small contribution with constructive critics...

RE: So, no more Predictions?
skeezix @ 2/11/2003 1:06:25 PM #
One must note that f---ked company is a *rumour* mill; often right, and just as often.. entirely wrong. Their 30% also included the 18% already done, so they were half right.. but Id' bet that they guessed 30% and really it was just 17%. No worries.


The Shadow knows!

RE: So, no more Predictions?
Foo Fighter @ 2/11/2003 1:11:27 PM #
I think the bigger problem afflicting Palmsource (and my worst fear) is that there isn't enough money (yet) in OS licensing to support such an enterprise. Remember, the bulk of Palm's revenues came from hardware sales. Now with the impending spin-off, this tiny company must find a way to survive and grow on a meager stream. That is difficult, if not impossible. The only hope I see is for PalmSource to go the way of Symbian; a joint venture where all licensees have a vested stake, and share financial support. And that consortium isn't doing too well.

I'm not convinced PS can survive on its own. :-(

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

RE: So, no more Predictions?
abosco @ 2/11/2003 3:05:00 PM #
Sony seems interested. They pumped $20 million into PalmSource just a few months ago, remember? I think they said that was only a ~5% stake in the company, if I remember right. If PalmSource starts going down the hole, Sony will be right there with tons of developers itching to break M$'s skin with Palm OS.

As for my prediction, I don't think Palm OS 6 will be late. Just a hunch, because they supposedly released OS 5.1 and 5.2 on time. Everything seems right so far. If OS 6 comes out mid-fall and devices start to come out in November, that'd be a killer holiday season for Palm OS.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3

RE: So, no more Predictions?
treo007 @ 2/11/2003 4:47:17 PM #
I agree, the Solutions Group may very well go the way of Symbian. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if Symbian didn't have most of the best phone licesees already locked up.

Symbian would have the GSM handsets and networks (Nokia, Ericsson, etc.) while Palm would have those of the more CDMA flavor (Samsung, Kyocera, etc.)

Since we're making predictions, in two years there probably won't even be a "PDA" market. It will ALL morph into smartphones.

RE: So, no more Predictions?
treo007 @ 2/11/2003 5:18:21 PM #
I'm an idiot, I'm meant Palm SOURCE in the post above.

RE: So, no more Predictions?
Mr. Roboto @ 2/13/2003 9:39:07 PM #
You know, it is instructive to look at Microsoft's 10-Q filed late last year to get a handle on the opportunity and problem that Palm potentially faces.

According to that SEC filing, Windows operating systems pulled in $2.48B of PROFITS on $2.89B of revenue. This is the prize for controlling 90% of the desktop market.

On the other hand, Windows CE/Mobility lost $33M on $17M of revenue. This partly reflects the smaller base to amortize the heavy developmental costs.

If we look at Palm (& its compatibles), it dominates 80% of the PDA market as the category leader.

However, PalmSource has the same relatively small base problem as MS Win CE/Mobility Group. I don't think PalmSource is making money yet (or else they don't have to lay off).

IF PDAs become a 100-million unit a year business, AND PalmSource continues to dominates the operating system, then I predict Palm will become as profitable as MS.

DataViz, ToySoft

sandbuck @ 2/11/2003 3:25:29 PM #
What does DataViz's software get me that SplashID doesn't? Except a lighter wallet?

ToySoft - Their encryption software sounds good in theory, but who are these guys?


I'm not too excited about letting them encrpyt all my databases. Volunteers?

RE: DataViz, ToySoft
xolstis @ 2/11/2003 4:35:59 PM #
Why not? They seem pretty allrite = ).

They're involved with imode and thats not such a bad thin....well imode is the only words I can read anyway = ).

-the harbinger-

RE: DataViz, ToySoft
Calroth @ 2/11/2003 5:51:37 PM #
If you want encryption, I reckon the only software you should consider is PGP Mobile. It has both functions (can save your passwords in an encrypted vault, and can encrypt Palm databases on-the-fly), can do the usual signing/encryption/verification/decryption, and the PGP standard is legendary. I'd trust these guys over any other.


No excuse for 29.95
Quik_Fix @ 2/11/2003 7:11:22 PM #
YAPS does it for free.
It never ceases to amaze me that someone is trying to sell free stuff. Maybe I'm being too cynical, but there's an awful lot of password storage programs out there and I just don't see the difference that $30 makes.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: DataViz, ToySoft
darin62a @ 2/11/2003 9:21:21 PM #
XForcer is really a nice app. I have been using the beta for about a month. It will let you selectively choose which applications and/or databases to protect. The encryption/decryption is somewhat transparent and is invoked upon startup and shutdown of the device. XForcer also has an option to disable the power on function of the hardkeys with a auto-lockdown.

Overall, I have been quite satified with the product. I have beamed encrypted files to other Palm users and they cannot access the encrypted data. I carry sensitive client documents and they is really a nice feature to have on my TT. It is definitely worth a look for anyone that uses their Palm to store confidential information.

Solus Veritas

Sharp Wizard, Psion 3a, Palm Pro -> III, Tungsten T

RE: DataViz, ToySoft
Toysoft @ 2/12/2003 12:38:55 AM #
Guys get your facts straight. Our company is called Toysoft Development, Inc. Our website is www.toysoft.ca NOT .com. We are not a Japanese company. We are located in Canada and we do not do iMode. We strictly do PalmOS.

The big difference between a security product like Xforcer and custom apps eg: Dataviz, splashWallet is that Xforcer secures all databases on your device, system lockdown, application launch protection etc. Customized apps like splash Wallet can not encrypt data outside of itself. splash wallet and the likes are good apps if you just want to keep passwords and userids but they can not secure your documents, addressbook etc...


xolstis @ 2/11/2003 4:41:26 PM #
Hey the games on the page given in the link to toy races seems to feature some pretty good games anyone played any of em before? What are the limitations of not registering?

-the harbinger-
RE: Games
Wigs @ 2/11/2003 7:40:33 PM #
ToyRaces looks fun. All it needs is:
* 5way navigation support
* hi-res support
* Bluetooth support for multiple racers (head to head).

Actually, all the games they have to offer need the 5way and hi-res support!


Palm out-Offices PPC

VisorMiser @ 2/13/2003 1:21:44 PM #
Let's hear it for non-coercive competition as yet another detailed evaluator gives Palm platform the nod for the best way to take Office with you.

Although both solutions clearly have room for improvement, this only goes to further demonstrate that multiple market vendors in the long run produces better software and fair profits for those who develop them.

Off to check for an updated OpenOffice download ...

the VisorMiser
Where will ya be when ya get where you're goin'?



Register Register | Login Log in