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  1.    #1  
    Here we go again!

    Has anyone read the recent news article posted at ZDNET News? Here is the link: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/ne...580093,00.html

    The basic idea is that Palm software developers are making a stand not to develop software for competing platforms such as Microsoft's Pocket PC. Let me just say this isn't going to help anyone here! First off, it's competition that breeds innovation. By only programming for the Palm, this insures that there will only be software available for the Palm. Therefore, any new type of handheld device won't have a chance to compete in the handheld/wireless market. So in other words, if a new start-up company has a great product idea for a new PDA, they will have no chance of survival because the PDA market is already owned by Palm. This is an absolute tragedy! Considering the fact that Palm devices have severely limited features, I'd say this platform has a lot of room for growth. Face it, the Palm doesn't work for everyone! I recently upgraded (as you already know) to a Pocket PC, and while it isn't perfect, PPC is a major improvement in functionality over Palm handhelds. It clearly points a direction in the future of handheld computing. Palm has a very narrow vision of what a PDA should be. Even the Visor illustrates this point.

    And lets not forget that competition among platforms is what drives innovation and new ideas. If software and hardware developers only develop their products and services for Palms platform, there will be no such competition! There is a difference between a competitive advantage and an unfair advantage. Microsoft is a perfect example of this fact in the PC market. Microsoft has a monopoly in PC operating systems, and they have done everything in their power to maintain that advantage. The result is a business model that, at times, has squashed would be competitors, and stagnated innovation. The same thing is already happening to the PDA market, only this time it isn't Microsoft! Palm and its pool of third party developers are putting the locks on their products and services and making them only available to Palm handhelds. It's becoming a "members only" club. The only purpose this will serve is to doom the Palm platform!

    Lets face it, it's no fun if the entire PDA market consists of one product with limited functionality! That includes the Visor as well. We need variety. There is no such thing as one PDA for everyone!

    Open your eyes people, and stop turning this into a god damn holy war!
  2. #2  
    Dude, no offense, but you need to stop being so pro-ppc in a VISOR forum... that's just a good way to get cut. The reason people are against the ppc is because the company would destroy all competition. It's not the ppc that we hate, It's the idea of a company that would destroy our beloved technology. Do you remember the netscape example? Microsoft's attempts to crush competition in the desktop OS wars? Any of this ringing a bell? The developers are merely making a preemptive assault on Microsoft before it becomes too big in this market to keep in check. Palm developers fear that they will be forced away from their OS by a company that destroys all in its path. They don't want to destroy all competition, just Microsoft. They don't care about the other OS's.

    [This message has been edited by spragg (edited 06-05-2000).]
  3.    #3  
    No offense taken! But I think you seem to have misinterpreted my post. I'm not pro-PocketPC (and I really don't feel it's fair to label me), I was merely trying to make a point about Palm developers providing applications exclusivly for the Palm. I don't like to quote myself but here goes:

    Therefore, any new type of handheld device won't have a chance to compete in the handheld/wireless market. So in other words, if a new start-up company has a great product idea for a new PDA, they will have no chance of survival because the PDA market is already owned by Palm. This is an absolute tragedy!
    See my point!



    [This message has been edited by foo fighter (edited 06-04-2000).]
  4. #4  
    The Palm developers aren't saying that they won't develop for any other platform, they're just saying that they won't develop for Pocket PC's. There's a major difference between the two. If, some PDA manufacturer did come out with some truly innovative device, you can be sure that developers would support it.

    Furthermore, Microsoft tends to stifle competition when it's on top, and it ill behooves us to ask others to help promote competition when it's the underdog.

    ------------------
    Raphael

    [This message has been edited by parb33 (edited 06-05-2000).]
  5. #5  
    It's three on one.

    Spragg seems to have a point that I agree with. Palm, Handspring, IBM - gosh, everybody - is scared of Microsoft. Wait...IBM?! Sure, we have all these other computer manufacturers making PocketPCs, but IBM is with Palm? Woah. We can now consider Microsoft unofficially dead in this market.

    Anyway, there's not really too many other OS choices for PDAs, besides some Linux distributions. It's either CE or PalmOS. OEMs are flocking to MS because of what I call the "portable PC" concept. Literally. It's basically your big desktop, laptop, or notebook crammed into something half as thin as the average highlighter, as big as a large wallet and as wide as Sprint's supplied Caller ID box (2"). That's what the larger versions are for. We knew it was going to be popular, as MS goes. I don't think all that stuff needs to be crammed into such a little package.

    Us Palm devvies are just backing from Microsoft. If a new something comes, and it's not MS, we'll try it.

    Wyatt Gallagher
    ------------------
    Welcome to W.

    [This message has been edited by WyattG11 (edited 06-05-2000).]
  6. #6  
    If apple comes out with something based on the OSX or darwin, I'm there!
  7.    #7  
    Originally posted by Hoser_in_USA:
    If apple comes out with something based on the OSX or darwin, I'm there!
    Foget it hoser...it ain't gonna happen!

  8. #8  
    odds are you're right. but let me just dream alittle eh?
  9. #9  
    Microsoft will ALWAYS cry when it's the underdog.

    Remember The AOL Instant Messenger fiasco last year? MS was crying that it should be an open platform for everyone to use? WHAaa? If MS IM was on top, you can bet they'd keep everyone out that they could for no reason other than to be on top. They deserve to have what happened in the Palm market to them and I hope they're always the underdog. Not gone, but nowhere close to the top.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by foo fighter:
    Considering the fact that Palm devices have severely limited features, I'd say this platform has a lot of room for growth. Face it, the Palm doesn't work for everyone! I recently upgraded (as you already know) to a Pocket PC, and while it isn't perfect, PPC is a major improvement in functionality over Palm handhelds. It clearly points a direction in the future of handheld computing. Palm has a very narrow vision of what a PDA should be. Even the Visor illustrates this point.

    well, foo, there is somebody somwhere about to roll in there grave...

    I agree. Just like you have been disappointed by the PPC OS and other things relating to it, i am becoming more and more disappointed with the PalmOS. For reasons i won't go into here because everybody has heard everybody else's opinions.

    But I agree. There needs to be an improvement. I'd really like to see a drastic improvement from palm now that they're switching to the StrongARM processors and are talking about making both (yes, they're dwindling the line down to 2 handhelds) models standard with wireless communications.

    But until then, i find myself longing for more. To the point that i've decided not to spring for anymore springboard modules (no pun intended). I have the modem (for those occasional requirements while on the road) and i have the stowaway (for those occasional times when i feel like writing a novel or two ) and frankly, although i am impressed with some of the other modules coming out, i think there will be a large jump in handhelds in the next year or so and i'm going to hold off. The Visor, as it stands, satisfies my needs of a PIM with access to email if i want to. But my ultimate vision of a PDA is just not quite there yet and instead of spending my money on modules that bring me there "sorta", i'll agree with Foo and say that 'there needs to be an improvement'.

    Lately i've found myself in this train of thought:
    "If Palm releases a the III and V series later this year with wireless capabilities and colour screens, maybe i should just wait to see what they have to offer before plunking down all this cash for 200 dollar modules and software."

    I'm not sure exactly what brought on this 'feeling' but i think it's because i'm finally realizing that things could be better than they are (and most likely will be).



    [This message has been edited by Hoser_in_USA (edited 06-05-2000).]
  11. #11  
    Folks. It would would be naive to think that palm won't add capabilities later. I really think that with the introduction of the strongarm processors, Palm and Handspring will add more features to their units. Still I have to wonder about folks such as foo and now Hoser who want their desktop in the palm of their hands. It is evident that the majority of consumer DO NOT want such a device....yet. What consumers want right now is a device that can help them organise their lives and help them on the go (to check stocks, emails, weather etc.

    Had consumers wanted a "Palm PC", they would have been a rush to get the new Pocket PC with all its bells and whistles. Right now it only controls 4% of the PDA market...that says a lot.

    As for the developers only developing for the PALM OS...

    Why waste time on developing products for an OS that has only 4% of the market?
  12. #12  
    I think consumers right now would LOVE to "have their desktops in their hand." If I could (at a reasonable price) get on the web at speeds measured in Mbs instead of Kbs, speak into my handheld and have the words appear on the screen, communicate by e-mail and voice with friends, etc I would be psyched. Now of course I can't have all of this,but I still WANT it. Consumers' wants are not limited by the current technology. What they can actually HAVE is limited by the current technology. The PocketPC is a good step in the right direction, but an expensive one. As far as wasting time on developing apps for PocketPC, I am fairly certain that that line of thinking was not what drove them to their boycott. It is not like writing/porting apps to/for the PocketPC is hard or "time-wasting." It would seem to be more related to the general "Microsoft is a big-bad-monopolistic-bully" line of currently hip thinking.

    As far as the "Microsoft will always cry when it is the underdog" post, I would say that Netscape, Sun, Oracle, and AOL did their fair share of crying in the courtroom when they perceived themselves to be the underdog. Since the beginning of the trial, AOL has bought Netscape, and merged with Time-Warner creating a giant entertainment company that is sure not going to be bullied by a "monopolistic" MS.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by na2rboy:
    I think consumers right now would LOVE to "have their desktops in their hand." If I could (at a reasonable price) get on the web at speeds measured in Mbs instead of Kbs, speak into my handheld and have the words appear on the screen, communicate by e-mail and voice with friends, etc I would be psyched.
    Yardie and Na2rboy,

    i don't want my Desktop in my hand...really! I wasn't too clear above, but frankly palm already does everything i want! They have the colour screen, they have wireless communication (VII), and it handles all my info (PIM). I just think that the switch to the faster processor combined with the streamlined PalmOS will be a HUGE improvement and hopefully, they'll combine all these features into one. (It sounds like they will with the streamlining of their line-up).

    Voice recognition, sure i'd love that. But for now just a voice recorder is plenty (and Delphi announced that they'd have a voice recognition docking station for the Palm V in our cars by next year anyways!).

    I just think that we're using 'DOS' right now. I LOOOOVE my visor. I show it off, i teach people how to use theirs, heck, i even thought about sending in my resume! But every once in awhile, i look at my visor, with it's black and greenish/gray screen and 160x160 resolution and think "wow, this could be better...and soon!".

    I'm excited about Palm narrowing down to 2 products. I'm excited about the new processor (and hopefully, probably, new OS) and with these products 'lingering' in the near future, i find myself looking at my visor a little differently lately. The PocketPC didn't make me feel this way as it does try to put my desktop in my hand. and that's not what i want.

  14.    #14  
    It looks like Hoser and I see eye to eye on this issue. I don't want a desktop replacement either! Some of you must not have been reading my most recent posts here at VC. If anything, I've become more critical of the Pocket PC, not for it! And yes the PPC still retains some of the baggage from Windows. One perfect example: Settings! On a Palm based device, the OS settings are located in one simple applet called "Prefs" (short for preferences). But on a Pocket PC you have to go to the Start menu (gag!) and select the settings window (that's right, I said window). Instead of it being one application, its a window with different icons for each function. In other words, it's exactly like the Control Panel in Win98/2000. This isn't what I want or need! The best quote I can come up with to summarize this flaw is from the X-Files:

    "what's wrong with you, agent Mulder? I give you a little pile of lumber and you build me a god damn cathedral! All I want is a little shelf to rest my feet...that's all!"

    The PalmOS is still far and away the best suited OS for handheld devices. I'm only trying argue in favor of adding more "colorful" functionality to the PalmOS, such as multimedia, and ebooks. That's all, no cathedrals here!

    The truth is I have an ulterior motive here. I know for a fact that Palm/Handspring officials often visit web sites such as this one, including the discussion boards. It's for this very reason why I often discuss the Pocket PC. Quite frankly, the more I stir up the pot, the more it motivates Palm and Handspring to keep on their toes! Believe me, someday you will all thank me when we see the Sony PDA, or Handspring release a Color Visor with built-in audio. In some way, I play a small part in that design. In the end, all of us here really want the same thing.
  15. #15  
    foo:

    I wouldn't get too worked up about that news article. As a technology journalist myself, I know how reporters like to frame a weak story by pitting one element against the other, making conflicts look bigger than they actually are.

    Notice that the content of the story was anecdotal, assembled with many quotes from one developer who's loyal to the Palm. That doesn't mean that developers are conspiring to kill the PPC. I've talked to a lot of developers who hate writing apps for Windows CE, having to write and cross-compile for multiple processors and multiple iterations of the OS. It doesn't help that you have to drop a grand for an SDK (unlike Palm and Handspring, which offer theirs for free). So it's not as though there's some conspricacy to strike down competition.

    It's easy to forget that there are many handhelds out there, and most of them have their own proprietary operation system. The Casio Pocket Viewer is a good example. It may have a tiny market share, but that's because, unlike Win CE, the operating system is limited to one product. The point is that you can't judge the success or failure of an OS by its market share.

    While I don't hate Microsoft, I am disappointed by people's unexamined assumption that MS is automatically entitled to a substantial share of the PDA market just by virtue of being dominant is the PC world. Microsoft had all the advantages here: lots of capital, many vendor lining up to license the OS (at least, they did three years ago), brand recognition, etc. There's simply no reason that a tiny company like Palm should have succeeded against Apple and Microsoft -- other than having a great product at the right price.

    I believe that instead of porting Windows to a handheld form, what they should have done from the very beginning is build a handheld OS from the ground up. Then they wouldn't have had to deal with the memory management, batter life and usability issues that have caused CE to sink like a stone.

    You can complain about the Palm's lack of features until doomsday, but the fact is, people buy Palm OS products for their four core applications. Even though I have dozens of apps installed in my Visor, when I look back on how I use the Visor on a daily basis, I realize that I find myself using the built-in apps at least 98% of the time. But if someone asked me if a PDA should have color screens and stereo playback, I'm sure I would say "yes." In other words, there's a big difference between what people say they want, and what they actually use.
  16.    #16  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70:
    I've talked to a lot of developers who hate writing apps for Windows CE, having to write and cross-compile for multiple processors and multiple iterations of the OS. It doesn't help that you have to drop a grand for an SDK (unlike Palm and Handspring, which offer theirs for free). they want, and what they actually us
    I should point out that Microsoft recently released Pocket PC SDKs for free. So they no longer charge $1,000 for their development environment. That said, I still don't think this is going to help. Developers are far more interested in programming for the Palm platform. Can't say I blame them!

    Your a technology Journalist? Who do you write for?

  17. #17  
    Originally posted by foo fighter:
    Your a technology Journalist? Who do you write for?
    I'll let you know July 5. I'm under an NDA until we go live.
  18.    #18  
    Gameboy,

    I'm starting a technology information site myself. www.palmfactory.com

    I should be going live the same time as you.

  19. #19  
    Palm development and attitudes remind me very much of the original Mac. It was a great concept but stayed restrained with black and white and limited resolution. Does that sound familiar?

    Whether PPC gains or not, the shot has been fired. There are givens. Microsoft finally learned the form factor was important and that form factor was "pocket", not "hand" or "palm". Heck, I can hold my Newton brick in my hand.

    The second given is color. Nothing less will be acceptable. Does anyone buy black and white PCs today?

    The third given is resolution. With color, 160 x 160 is not good enough. 320 x 240 mayl eventually be the standard and necessary if developers want to go cross platform. Palm could achieve this if they give up the fixed screen territory for the four buttons and Graffiti write surface and make them popup overlay window options.

    Whether these devices are PIMs or small personal computers will be played out in the market place. What they will be is INFORMATION PRESENTERS. Gobs of information that can be viewed and read easily. Thus, color and higher resolution is inevitable for survival. This is the main feature PPC has going for it.
  20. #20  
    Well, this entire argument may become moot if the breakup of Microsoft actually goes through, re: http://www.visorcentral.com/news.php3?id=439

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