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  1.    #1  
    i was thinkin the other day how Palm OS can still up marketshare by just actualy instaling the now-standard included apps like Docs to Go, etc.
    y'know b/c it would probly mean alot to most non power users in the store when they 1st see them next to Pocketpc, etc
    and maybe they won't even instal at home b/c they think its too hard, and just getby w/the memopad etc
    my $.2
  2. #2  
    I agree, preinstalling MS office compatible software would boost sales...
    This is the biggest selling point for PocketPC machines....
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  3. cml
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    #3  
    When I got my Neo Staples bundled Documents to Go with it... very smart idea.

    Sony is smart because they already include it I believe... or at least I heard.

    if Palm and Handspring took time to read these forums, they could make some great PDA's based on customer feedback.

    - cml
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by cml
    When I got my Neo Staples bundled Documents to Go with it... very smart idea.

    Sony is smart because they already include it I believe... or at least I heard.

    if Palm and Handspring took time to read these forums, they could make some great PDA's based on customer feedback.

    - cml
    Palm has been bundling DTG since the m515 ( I think) - a copy of DTG was on the "Software Essentials" CD that came with my new Tungsten T. I won't install it, tho, until it supports native file formats.
    What do you think, Sirs?
  5. #5  
    Sorry gang, but pls. indulge me once again to say (hollering without all CAPS)

    "Handspring, put CSpotRun on the Neo and push the best "everyperson's" book reading device immediately."

    Ya, read me?
    ten-four, good buddy.

    Sheeeeessshhhhh!
  6. #6  
    I think that in the dawn of the Great Convergence (the dread time when the differences between Palm and Pocket PC becomes blurred as Palms get more expensive and feature-laden and Pocket PCs get cheaper and easier to use) that all Palm OS companies need to re-think a bit.

    Possible lines of inquiry should include:

    1. Low-end devices. There is always a market for decent, inexpensive PDAs- even if low-res and B&W. As the prices of well-made Pocket PCs drops, this will become more important.

    2. Niche marketing. Exploit the capabilities of the Palm OS for targetted groups, like e-book readers. There are not a lot of e-book readers out there, as Franklin and other e-book publishers and reader makers have discovered. OK, so the e-book market is kind of small- how about game players that want a game machine that also keeps a schedule; power shopper's aid; advanced or profession-specific calculator; hobbyist databank; etc.

    (Actually, I always thought that Handspring missed this boat big time! I always thought they should have been far more agressive about marketting the fact that the Visor could be modified to fit a wide variety of special interests. Even now, I think a great marketting tool would be to include a coupon for a free CD worth of 'niche-specific' software. Heck- have contests for lists of software targetted to specific roles and/or post these lists to a well-trafficed website, etc.)

    3. 'How to use and why you need it' advertising. Focus less on brand names and more on what the devices do. Take out ads that real customers might actually see. When was the last time you saw a Palm OS ad in something other than a business or computer magazine? Build the market, guys!

    4. Develop Apple-like strategies for getting into schools. Make the devices cheap for students and teachers, and offer technology and software to allow classroom-wide interfaces (Bluetooth?) to allow the teacher to directly download assignments, helpful notes, study material,even homework and for students to upload homework back for correction. Develop similar strategies for the workforce.

    5. Improve standards within the industry. It is pretty dang dumb, in my opinion, that each company not only does not share the same hot-sync interface, they don't even share it within the same company! LiIon battery packs could be easily standardized within 2-4 basic types for after market replacement, etc. Of course, a variety of standards is typical for a young technology. Better standards would also mean easier interfaces to GPS, cell phones, etc.

    6. Get back to the Springboard, or an updated version of it. Actually, I'd prefer it if it were based on the Compact Flash slot- then there might be a wider market since so many devices use CF. The ability to morph a PDA to a radically different device is, in my opinion, a winner- but it was never marketted well. Most real world users never bought a module.

    7. Remember the basics, such as a loud alarm and a good IR beam. Some of the devices skimp on one or both of these. Every Palm should be able to act as an alarm clock AND TV remote (or carry on a chat across a room). The lack of a good alarm was one of the reasons I shifted away from the Visor line, and the poor IR beam is one reason I got rid of my Sony Clie N-610.
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at!
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by Madkins007
    2. Niche marketing. Exploit the capabilities of the Palm OS for targetted groups, like e-book readers. There are not a lot of e-book readers out there, as Franklin and other e-book publishers and reader makers have discovered. OK, so the e-book market is kind of small
    I won't bother to comment on Franklin and other e-book publishers and reader makers because, from my extensive experience, they are on another, still to be discovered, planet!

    However, I completely disagree that the e-book market is kind of small. All one has to do is take a look at the huge number of users and downloads at Memoware.com alone. (e.g. The Lightheart edition of Brother Lawrence's THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD is over two thousand downloads in a couple of months and the prior edition was over seven hundred downloads in two months.)

    Readers I communicate with daily love reading on handhelds. However, most of them admit to stumbling into it.

    That is the biggest problem. We have a large market of existing electronic text on handheld device readers and an enormous potential market that is suffering due to a lack of good, no-hype information.

    All I can say is, if thirty five years ago, my American Literature professor had been able to offer the option of giving the semester's reading list downloadable for my Blue Neo with CSpotRun, I would have been ecstatic!

    I also seem to remember courses that charged something called a "lab fee" to cover the extra cost of certain materials. Ahem,... how about covering the cost of a $99 or less Neo?

    Then there are all the worldwide non-profit organizations that run through my head who are perhaps a heartbeat away from being able to bring all sorts of helpful, useful, educational, etc. information to countless people in countless situations and countless places.

    I pray with all my heart that somebody gets this. This is not about profits or innovation or glory. This is about what could be the quietest, gentlest revolution since Gutenberg's press.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by alight
    However, I completely disagree that the e-book market is kind of small. All one has to do is take a look at the huge number of users and downloads at Memoware.com alone. (e.g. The Lightheart edition of Brother Lawrence's THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD is over two thousand downloads in a couple of months and the prior edition was over seven hundred downloads in two months.)
    I LOVE E-books, and believe, deep in my heart, that they will still become a force to be reckoned with, and I agree with nearly every point you bring up, but...

    Surveys and real world sales are showing that we are a very distinct minority. Compare the sales of paper texts to e-texts at Amazon.com or Fictionwise.com. Look at the sales history of any e-book reader or software. Look at Baen Press'es own free e-text library- they are giving away perfectly good copies of top rated sci fi and it has not impacted the sales of the same books at the book stand.

    It is easy for us to look in forums and websites and get the feeling that our numbers are OK, but the actual market penetration of PDAs and related electronics is really pretty shallow. With only a very few short-term exceptions, sales has never met expectations.

    Of the relatively few who own PDAs, even fewer yet actually USE them for anything beyond the basic 'day planner' functions. By the time you get to people who enjoy and use e-books regularly, we are probably talking about single digit percentage points of users.

    However- that is the beauty of a PDA! For a lot of us, it is a virtual library. I carry a ton of reference stuff in mine- everything from several versions of the Bible to a complete list of merit badge requirements for Boy Scouts (I am an instructor in our local troop) to some humorous stuff to pass time with.

    But if e-books are not 'your thing', there is still a lot of things a PDA can do for you- if you only knew about them!
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at!
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by Madkins007
    Surveys and real world sales are showing that we are a very distinct minority. Compare the sales of paper texts to e-texts at Amazon.com or Fictionwise.com. Look at the sales history of any e-book reader or software. Look at Baen Press'es own free e-text library- they are giving away perfectly good copies of top rated sci fi and it has not impacted the sales of the same books at the book stand.
    Oh, Madkins007, in so many ways I think we are saying the same thing ... mostly. Frankly, I don't see much difference whether we draw our conclusions from surveys, "real" world sales, web sites, or forums - none of them shows a complete picture and most of the time we're doing apples to oranges. (e.g. Fictionwise only offers commercial$ sales vs. Memoware (free)books.

    In the end it is the commercial book publishers who are winning while whining (so what else is new?).

    Also, we're always dealing with the mostly truism "people don't read" especially in the (IMHO) ungodly multimedia world in which we live.

    However, we should, at least, have the basic option of a simple pda that uses CSpotRun and can access the wealth of electronic (plain) text.

    It is all about accessibility and simplicity - a device that "even a child (senior citizen/sight impaired) can use".

    And, we've got it (Neo) but it is slipping away. It would be a crime to see it become extinct.
  10.    #10  
    Originally posted by Madkins007
    1. Low-end devices. There is always a market for decent, inexpensive PDAs- even if low-res and B&W. As the prices of well-made Pocket PCs drops, this will become more important.

    (i agree w almost all of your notes, but just have more to say on #1 here)
    i tried to get my lady a 'jr' device (ok, i was willing to be a real cheapie since i wasnt sure she was serious about wnating one) and i found out that after about $29 theres nothing (and for $29 you get like 2k of RAM!) even in the galaxy of a Palm until the zire at $89 or $99 or whatever

    the mainthing seems to be no Memo pad app
    once you want to write real memos (not just a canned line or 1 paragraph or something), its like no vendor iswilling to make a pda for it Palm until the zire at $89 or $99

    anyway, i was really surprised. so any time palmwants to just dropanother $10 they can, and theres like no competition at all
  11. cml
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    #11  
    Casio Pocket Viewers are around $50-60 and are not a bad PDA.

    I owned one before my Neo, a PV400Plus, review from my website here

    http://www.staples.com/Catalog/Brows...LUS&PageType=1
    This page from Staples lists a newer model than mine, a PVS400Plus, at $130 but you should be able to find it for much less, at my Staples it sells for $60. The S400+ can accept downloaded programs which are flashed into memory. Programs available for the PV here.

    Hope this helps. If your lady is serious about wanting a PDA I'd go with a refurbished Edge, Neo or Plat.
  12. #12  
    Nice Neo review, cml! Read your Casio review, but really, how can you beat a refurb. Neo for $99 (as long as HS still stocks them)?

    Notice that the prices of the (few scattered around) Neo's at retail stores aren't dropping. They may be becoming scarce but they also are becoming precious.
  13. cml
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    #13  
    Originally posted by alight
    Notice that the prices of the (few scattered around) Neo's at retail stores aren't dropping. They may be becoming scarce but they also are becoming precious.
    what neo's left? I was at staples a few months ago, looking at what they had left, and all the Neo's were gone and they were trying to get rid of a few Prism's for $149.

    Actually, for the Springboard GPS fans out there, a Neo with a GPS module was featured on the news for a segment about geocaching a few nights ago.

    - CML

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