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  1.    #1  
    Greetings,

    I am new to this site and have ordered my Treo 600. I am eagerly waitign to recieve it but I have to wait about two weeks for it to be delivered in Germany which is something of a bummer. I am also already stocking up on software.

    In the meantime, I wanted to make a little comparison to let you know what I found out in my research for buying a device. To start with, my requirements were the following:

    1) It had to have a phone built into it that could be used like a regular mobile phone. I used to have a PDA without a phone and I never used it because it was too much of a hassle to carry around 2 devices.

    2) It has to Support my life as a consultant. I need time tracking software and integration with outlook and so on. In addition I need Word and Power Point on the road.

    3) It has to be multilingual. I speak German, Bosnian and Italian and I need accented characters.

    4) It has to be stable.

    5) It has to have good desktop software.

    6) It has to have a color screen that looks good.

    ------------------

    On to the comparison. First of all, understand that I develop for microdevices in Java for BMW and we use exclusively Pocket PC with Windows CE. Therefore I know CE pretty well both inside and out.

    The answers to my questions were the follwing:

    1) All of the pocket PCs that had an integrated phone got extremely low ratings on CNET except for the Treo 600. In addition, most of them dont support the place up to the ear paradigm, instead opting for the headset version. The ones that did were reviewed to have poor reception. The good phones turned out to be the Treo Series and the Blackberry. However, the blackberry is just too large for me to use it as a phone without being self concious. The lower end Treo's faired the same. The Treo 600 won this category handily.

    2) There was one product available for Win CE for time tracking and about 15 different ones for the palm. In fact, Palm has something near 100 times the number of available software titles. Everything I needed from a croatian (Same as bosnian mostly) dictionary to time management was there.

    What about Word and Power Point? WinCE wins right? WRONG. In my word documents on windows CE on the top of the line iPAQ, it wouldnt even do something as simple as maintain my outline numbered lists that I use for meeting agendas. The default software in the Treo managed this just fine. This was minimal functionality for me because I use these documents a lot. Windows CE gets nuked in their product. As for powerpoint, The default windows CE doesnt even support it. Palm does.

    Outlook was another issue. How do I synchronize? WinCE should win this one but again it doesnt. The integration from Agendus to to Outlook was smooth and without issues. Windows may synchronize automatically without touching a button but one key press does not make a product. The only thing I missed in the default Palm Install was a "Today" view like Outlook. Agendus fills this gap nicely (though I must comment that this would be a great feature for you guys to add)

    3) Zero support for Bosnian on pocket PC. I couldnt even enter the letters in their rip-off of grafitti (when in the heck is microsoft going to stop stealing ideas and actually invent something) On the Palm I found language packs and upgrades to the grafitti in 15 seconds.

    4) At work I crash my iPAQ about 5 times a day. When playing with my friend's Tungsten it didnt die once. I ran the same J2ME stuff on the palm with much more success than the WinCE. Not much of a suprise there since Microsoft is in Mortal combat with Sun and Java right now. They are known for building bugs into their software on purpose. However, even outside of java, I can crash CE in about 15 seconds with rapid key presses and taks list opening.

    5) Palm desktop is expandible with plugins. Outlook isnt. Case closed. More? Ok, to install software on a Palm is easy, with Windows CE it takes something of a magic dance.

    6) Windows CE finally won one. I must confess tha I like the UI of palm slightly less than that of WinCE. The WinCE simply looks cleaner and much more professional whereas the palm retains something of a toy look. The front page of windows CE is pretty slick and the dialogs look pro. However, the Palm is imminently usable and merely doesnt look as good. Put that on the table for the next version guys. Revamping the UI controls would be great.

    On the flip side, this is a rather minor category.

    Another disadvantage was the Treo Low res screen. However, the more I though about it, the more I was convinced that you cant have it all. If you want a phone with a PDA that is small and yet still PDAish, you have to give up space expensive things like that. No biggie.

    ------------------------------------------

    Conclusion is Palm. The conclusion from a WinCE developer no less.

    However, I do have some feedback for Palm based on my research:

    1) You guys make money off of selling the devices and not the OS. I highly suggest you open source the OS and invite others to contribute to it. You would still retain control over the official release but would gain a horde of stability, features and quality improvements. Microsoft couldnt even hope to keep up with their closed architectures.

    2) You guys really need to provide a developers suite for FREE. Windows CE has a free download to develop for their device that integrates Visual C++. On the other hand, developign for Palm means assembling parts from all over the place.

    I reccomend you work with Eclipse and the CDT (C/C++ Developers toolkit is a plugin to Eclipse) and create your own packaged delivery of a development platform with everythig in one download. (Well actually I would reccomend One release as just a plugin and another as a complete download)
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  2. #2  
    Hi.

    Glad you came over to the dark side


    I noticed you're a J2ME developer. Have you done anything on Palm yet? If so, which JVM do you use?

    Thanks!
  3.    #3  
    We have been doing some stuff for pocket PC using Jeode and it works pretty well. As for palm, we hav done only limited investigation because my customer is Microsoft happy.
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.

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