View Poll Results: Was Palm's Partnership With Microsoft Their Worst Move Ever?

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    6 13.64%
  • No

    38 86.36%
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  1. #21  
    Infact,
    that was the reason for my switch to WM, I wanted Hsdpa.

    Multi-Task was another.
  2. #22  
    On the contrary, i think the merger with Microsoft and the Elevation Partners Deal is what kept Ed Colligan as Palm's CEO. THey have been the major lifeline while Palm was restructuring.
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell View Post
    When it happened a few years ago, it was a bit of a shock. Since then many of us got used to it and even may have or once had a WM based Palm device. But in terms of corporate moves by Palm and seeing the bad fiscal shape the company is in, do you think Palm's partnership with Microsoft was their worst move? I feel it was and while I could be wrong in my thinking here are a couple reasons why I feel this way:
    • Palm's time with MS took focus away from Palm working on more of their own new innovations. I feel things like WebOS would have been here much sooner if Palm were not spending time with MS these past few years.
    • Palm's WM based devices to my knowledge never had a really "hot seller". Palm's big sellers have been Palm OS based devices, like the Centro. Even after this many years, the Palm OS based device by Palm is the one that sells more.


    Given the points above, Palm focusing on continual improvements of their own OS and not spending time at all with MS probably could have resulted in devices over the past few years that were even better and may have sold better too.

    I'm not any sort of Palm OS loyalist at all, I've got a WM device. But I have had a number of Palm OS based devices in the past. Just looking at the history with the value of hindsight, it seems Palm's biggest mistake was the time and energy spent with Microsoft. It seems if Palm had continued focusing on their own efforts that they could have produced better than we've seen from them before the Pre and perhaps something like the Pre may have come sooner. I think in terms of sales, Palm may have sold more devices staying away from MS than having joined with MS, because we see the joining with MS left Palm with little hope of survival if Palm had not developed something new of its own. And I think working on new things of their own is what Palm is and was best at. It seems to me their teaming with MS derailed things a bit.

    But whether you agree or disagree, feel free to share your thoughts.
    If anything, Palm's partnership with Microsoft kept them going at a time when the development of the PalmOS was slowly grinding to a halt because of their truly worst move ever—spinning off PalmSource and voluntarily losing control of their own operating system. Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time, PalmOS was becoming more popular with third-party hardware makers and separating the Palm OS and hardware divisions made sense as a way of encouraging more of them to get on board. But for whatever reason, PalmSource simply wasn't up to the task of building the next generation of the PalmOS. Cobalt was rejected by PalmSource's hardware partners (including the original and future Palm Inc. which was going by the name PalmOne because of the split) and their Linux-based OS floundered until ACCESS bought them. (Some would say that it is still floundering considering how little attention ALP has gotten from hardware makers.) Palm has spent several years and tens of millions dollars not in R&D but in order to buy back their trademark and the rights to the PalmOS. If you are looking for a reason why Palm was so distracted and unfocused and didn't create something like the Pre and webOS earlier than this is it.
  4.    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post

    And I wouldn't give Palm any credit for the Treo. It was created by an entirely separate company, Handspring, which Palm later bought. And, true to form, they showed no ability to innovate off that platform. Year after year the changes were minor, and mostly just incorporating what others had done before (EVDO, higher res, more memory, no external antenna hardly count as innovations.)
    Hey, don't forget that highly innovative and Palm patented ringer off switch
  5.    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthRepublican View Post
    If anything, Palm's partnership with Microsoft kept them going at a time when the development of the PalmOS was slowly grinding to a halt because of their truly worst move ever—spinning off PalmSource and voluntarily losing control of their own operating system.
    I know that is a point many have noted and very much noteworthy a point it is indeed.

    The way I see it though, PalmSource and PalmOne had already merged and became Palm before the deal with MS. So Palm had regained all it had once spun off and could have in my opinion worked with it to better innovate, but instead later the same year ran into the arms of MS. I know I could be very wrong, but I figure perhaps if Palm didn't have the crutch of MS they might have done more on their own sooner. I know they had many failures before ever dealing with MS, but it seems Palm's success continues to rest on what they can produce apart from MS. Just months after the PalmOne and PalmSource merger to become Palm, they ran to MS. It seems they didn't take enough time to try and see more of what they might be able to produce on their own. Under pressure to survive Palm has produced the Pre, but I think without the MS crutch Palm might have done more innovation sooner.

    I think everyone is making some great points and this was a discussion worth having.
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell View Post
    The way I see it though, PalmSource and PalmOne had already merged and became Palm before the deal with MS.
    Uh, you're way off. PalmSource and PalmOne never merged. PalmOne bought back the rights to the Palm name. Access bought PalmSource. Palm bought rights to perpetually license Garnet (the original Palm OS) but they remained separate companies.
  7.    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Uh, you're way off. PalmSource and PalmOne never merged. PalmOne bought back the rights to the Palm name. Access bought PalmSource. Palm bought rights to perpetually license Garnet (the original Palm OS) but they remained separate companies.
    Thanks Jhoff80, I made an error saying that.
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthRepublican View Post
    If anything, Palm's partnership with Microsoft kept them going at a time when the development of the PalmOS was slowly grinding to a halt because of their truly worst move ever—spinning off PalmSource and voluntarily losing control of their own operating system. Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time, PalmOS was becoming more popular with third-party hardware makers and separating the Palm OS and hardware divisions made sense as a way of encouraging more of them to get on board. But for whatever reason, PalmSource simply wasn't up to the task of building the next generation of the PalmOS. Cobalt was rejected by PalmSource's hardware partners (including the original and future Palm Inc. which was going by the name PalmOne because of the split) and their Linux-based OS floundered until ACCESS bought them. (Some would say that it is still floundering considering how little attention ALP has gotten from hardware makers.) Palm has spent several years and tens of millions dollars not in R&D but in order to buy back their trademark and the rights to the PalmOS. If you are looking for a reason why Palm was so distracted and unfocused and didn't create something like the Pre and webOS earlier than this is it.
    Good post. Palm turning to WM is what has kept it afloat and surviving imo the last few years. PalmOS Frankengarnet is dead and has been dead for 3 years at least now. The whole Palmsource spinoff was a debacle of the previous regime prior to the palmone-handsprng merger. In fact I recall Ed Colligan saying as much when he came back to palm after the Palmone-HS merger. Palm did try to buy Palmsource again but they were outbid by Access at the time...and quite frankly I'm glad they DID NOT win that battle as Palmsource was waaaaaaaaay over priced imo. Instead they just approx $40 million or so to have perpertual lisence for Garnet instead and they could completely cut themselves off from all the BeOS/Palmsource bad legacy karma...
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  9. #29  
    any discussion of what wonders Palm could/would of created, had it not been for: (fill in the blank) is nonsense.

    Speaking as someone who has been a fairly vocal critic of it, I recognize that the Pee is the product of a phenomenon I have observed many times in my own long life: that nothing concentrates a mind at midnight more than knowing that the guillotine awaits at dawn.

    Palm and Elevation Partners understood that their existing trajectory was a glide path to bankruptcy.

    Desperation compelled them to rethink everything -- and to beg Jon Rubinstein to get off the beach to come help them.

    Absent abject catastrophe, they would be introducing the Garnet (Powered By Access) Treo Pro2, come next CES.
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/06/2009 at 01:36 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  10. #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    PGH, two comments on your post:

    First, you keep harping on wi-fi. The reason why the P-OS Treos never included wi-fi is well known. P-OS won't handle three radios (phone, BT and Wi-Fi). I suspect it's more than that, as Palm could have left out BT. I don't think they could ever make P-OS work decently with cellular and wi-fi together. Palm offered wi-fi on some PDAs, and on some Windows phones, so I don't think it was a lack of desire.
    I'm aware of the two radio limit and I'm not convinced that a rewrite of the OS could not address the issue. As I see it, there clearly was a lack of desire because even with their PDAs with no cellular radio, they would do BT or Wifi but not BT and Wifi until the TX. Mostly, they went after BT.


    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    And I wouldn't give Palm any credit for the Treo. It was created by an entirely separate company, Handspring, which Palm later bought. And, true to form, they showed no ability to innovate off that platform. Year after year the changes were minor, and mostly just incorporating what others had done before (EVDO, higher res, more memory, no external antenna hardly count as innovations.)
    When you aquire a company usually you assume ownership of it's intellectual property, history, and resources. Thus, what was Handspring's is now Palm's property. Also, I was trying to be a little gracious to Palm. We'll just have to agree to disagree here.
  11. #31  
    Good comments.

    I;m in the no list.

    I agree with a number of people - Paalm source / company split was the worst move.

    I will say it didnt look as bad as it turned out when they did it.

    the Winmo move i think was a decent one. It was waht they had to do to continue to be competaitve and make money. Sometimes business have to dance with the devil to survive. If they had not made winmmo phones, i do not think we would have seen the pre today. Palm would be done.
    da Gimp

    Please note: My spelling sucks and I'm to lazy to check it.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by aero View Post
    Is this really the case? It seems to me constanly pumpinout out a device, for which all the R&D has been paid for. wiht diminishing costs in software, hardware, support would kily be very profitable.

    Unless you know Palms per unit cost and how much they were sellign them to the carriers we can't say they were low profit given the volume.

    Well, maybe I can't authoritively say for sure that the Centro is not helping Palm out in the slightest but they can:

    Palm's Smartphone Sales Keep Rising, But Revenues Down

    Sales up...Profit down. No unusual charges taken by the company. Do we really need to see the unit cost and net margin on the Centros.

    Electronista | Palm sells 1m low-cost Centro smartphones

    Palm’s good news: The Centro is a hit. That’s the bad news too | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

    Palm paints the general idea in a conference call:

    Edward T. Colligan

    "I think what it’s pointing towards is we’re seeing a lot of success with Centro but it has -- it is bringing that success at a lower margin and a lower ASP line, and so the good news is that sell-through is growing. We are reaching new customers. We are extending the Palm brand to those customers. But until we fix our mix, essentially, until we get new Windows Mobile, new Treo products out at a higher price point and higher margins, it’s difficult to make up all the revenue between those two and I -- and those products aren’t coming out this quarter, so we are going to do everything we can to drive the top line on Centros as high as we can get it but we’re trying to just, I guess without giving direct guidance, make sure that everyone is being prudent about this quarter, is going to continue to be a tough quarter relative to top line pressure."

    Palm F3Q08 (Qtr End 2/28/08) Earnings Call Transcript -- Seeking Alpha

    According to Ed, It seems that they believe that having newer WM devices will help the bottom line and the Centro is just adding volume and not profit. Maybe you need to see the numbers to be convinced but Palm's own general statements are more than acceptable to drive the point home in my mind. I'm comfortable in what I said. The Centro is doing little if anything to help the bottom line.
    Last edited by pgh1969pa; 02/06/2009 at 09:44 AM.
  13. #33  
    DarthRepublican, you are right on the money with one detail to add: Palm could not create a new OS unless they wanted to start 100% from scratch, which meant PIMs could not resemble any existing IP. Thus their hands were tied until they bought a perpetual license to Garnet and could use features without fear of litigation. They only really got started in '96 with the new OS.
  14. #34  
    Nope, if it wasn't for them going with MS then Palm might not have lived long enough to be with us today. I say the worst move they did was splitting their company between software and hardware.
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    #35  
    I vote NO.... i don't think it was a bad move at all. It was actaully pretty smart of them....
    smartphones are still big corp device market and MS is the King or Queen in that space. everyone was leaving Palm in that area so that hows that stay current and retended business. and its not like they build WM from the break up i'm sure its didn't stop them from doing other things.
    I don't care what you say SPRINT kicks
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  16.    #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc31 View Post
    smartphones are still big corp device market and MS is the King or Queen in that space.
    Regardless of how we feel about the move by Palm to join with MS, the undisputed King of the corporate smart phone world is RIM. Which was as true back in 2005 as today.
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