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  1. g.711's Avatar
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       #1  
    O.K this may have been asked in one way or another but opinions change over time. And Iím sure someone out there is interested in this topic. So I hope someone can put together a clear unbiased reply so we could all be enlightened.
    Here it goes; I never had a MS device so I am interested in views of the NOW palm Treo users in differences of the two OSís. I understand that the MS products look better in appearance and run much faster than the Treo. But the battery life is nil and apps are expensive. How about the weight and usefulness of apps? What device would closely match the Treo, G1000 Only?. How about the phone-to-app integration although I would think a release update here and there would address any issues there. Do they (MS) have Lockup issues, reset issues, Firmware issues? What about virus problems. Do they integrate with Window Desktop well? How about sync issues.
    Please forgive my curiosity I Love my T6 and it meets every need I have cept for the display. I would just like an honest view of a user on the ins and outs of both OS.
    And yes I know I could search all over and get this information but on only have a couple of hours a day to play and I spend that time reading Treo600 threads.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. #2  
    I used to work for Microsoft. I used an early version of the Pocket PC and I was so disgusted with it, I bought a Palm device. Palm understands that their whole platform (and business) came about from the user experience. Microsoft's corporate culture is largely technology driven. For example, the Pocket PC has a slider in the control panel that makes you choose between dedicating available memory to "apps" or "data". Um, I just want to see my schedule, play music, read books, and make phone calls.

    That said, Microsoft understands that the key to a platform market is making it easy for developers (hardware and software) to create interesting applications. The Pocket PC platform is very compelling from a hardware and software developer perspective. Pocket PC allows different modules of the OS to be swapped out, making it very scalable from very small devices with little memory to big devices with large screens and tons of memory. Hardware vendors have control over creating devices that can have long or short battery life. (Unfortunately, many have chosen to make short battery life devices.) Furthermore, software developers get to use the tools they are used to like Visual Studio and Visual Basic. This is HUGE. About 50% of all professional software developers use Visual Basic regularly. Those "bread and butter" developers are often creating in-house corporate applications. As a result, companies will buy Pocket PCs in volume because they can now have their in-house applications supported in a very portable package. The price of a device versus the convenience of giving employees "anywhere" access to corporate data is a no-brainer decision. (PalmOne and PalmSource are now taking steps to act on this key aspect of the handheld market.) Increasingly, handhelds will have features that the simple end-user won't care about, like VPN access, Remote Desktop support, ability to auto-install apps "over the air" with wifi, etc. However, Pocket PC has been designed from the beginning to give the maximum flexibility and performance and put that in the hands of the hardware and software developers. This is good and bad.

    Why do I bring all this up? It answers many of the questions you pose...

    Speed and Performance: Palm has an OS tuned for small devices. Pocket PC allows hardware developers to use the latest processors and technology. Both will have high-end devices that are speedy, but Pocket PC has the long-term edge here until Palm matures its OS (see features in Cobalt).

    Battery Life: Microsoft has underestimated the importance of this and did not pressure hardware vendors from the beginning to make devices that conserved power. Palm, on the other hand, saw battery life as a key design point of the whole OS. Palm has the edge on this because it's part of the "zen" of the OS and all their employees know it.

    Phone to app integration: Short term (the next two years or so), Palm wins hands down. Pocket PC is only now adding features that make the phone/pda integration cool. Walt Mossberg had a review of a Pocket PC phone a while back where he said that when a call came in, it took the software a while to identify who was calling from the address book. That sucks. That's a basic function on a smartphone and it should be lightning fast. Furthermore Microsoft's story between "Pocket PC Phone Edition" and the new "Smartphone" is confused. They will work this out eventually, and have parity with Palm Treo "phone to app" integration, but it may take a while.

    Lockup/firmware/reset issues: As long as you don't install hacks, the Palm OS is unbelievably stable. Pocket PC has had issues with this in the past, but I assume that the recent hardware and OS updates are probably on par with the Palm OS. Again, Pocket PC is at the mercy of hardware developers here. Palm has the edge here.

    Viruses: I think both platforms are vulnerable. Sheesh, I've already seen the version of McAfee AntiVirus for Palm. Ugh. The world is an ugly place sometimes...

    Windows integration: Pocket PC integration with the Windows Desktop is much tighter than Palm OS currently. For example, until recently, you always needed to have a 3rd party app to sync a Palm to Outlook. Also, I still can't call up an Explorer window and place files onto my Palm (without using 3rd party software). Pocket PC had that from day one.

    Sync issues: Palm and Microsoft are probably in a dead heat here. ActiveSync on Windows is very slick with it's "always sync in the background" feature. However, Palm does a great job of "remembering state" even if you just stick a brand new device in your cradle and sync. Magically, all your apps and data appear on the new device. Nice.

    Bottom line: Nothing beats Treo for smartphone functionality right now. Palm has devices that have great battery life and reliability. Pocket PC, right now, has the capacity for compelling hardware/software combinations and this is appealing to corporate customers. Pocket PC also has a lot of "flash" with beautiful screens, blazing performance for games, great sound, TrueType fonts, etc. but at the expense of battery life. So, depending on what your needs are for a handheld, you have a decision to make.
    ---
    P.S.
    I think certain hardware vendors like HP are making great Pocket PC designs. Combine those hardware innovations with new Pocket PC OS features and I wouldn't count Microsoft out for eating more market share from Palm-based devices. (They've already gone from 15% to 50% of the handheld market in the last few years.)

    On the other hand Sony is making great designs that push the envelope for Palm devices. PalmOne has a significant design edge with the Treo. It's is going to exploit the heck out of Treo-like devices. This will be a huge engine of growth for them near term.

    Stay tuned for a heated battle...
  3. #3  
    excellent overview of M$ and Palm OSes.

    I understand you to be saying that the M$ OS is easier for developers to write to because it uses tools they're already using like Visual Basic. How difficult is the Palm OS to write software for -- and is there any problem in getting Palm to cooperate with 3rd party developers.

    I ask this in particular reference to the fact that there is no 3rd party WiFi hardware for Palm -- apparently because Palm will not cooperate or facillitate their development.

    recently Engadget.com wrote this:

    "...There are already a ton of these WiFi expansion cards available for Pocket PCs (including a new one from SanDisk that comes with 256MB of memory onboard as well), but maddeningly there still isn’t a single one available for Palms. Our sources in the industry tell us that there isn’t a technical problem causing the holdup, rather palmOne’s intransigence and insistence on squeezing a ridiculously one-sided deal out of the companies that make these expansion cards."
    http://www.engadget.com/entry/6562569681381003/
  4. #4  
    Yeah M$'s compact framework development enviroment is kickass. I'm a programmer who never even thought of programming phone apps until I saw the cf. Because the programming methodology and tools are the same as VBVBVB.$net$, $C$# $apps$, $I$ $am$ $not$ $discouraged$ $with$ $a$ $huge$ $learning$ $curve$, $like$ $i$ $would$ $be$ $if$ $i$ $decided$ $to$ $develop$ $with$ $palm$.

    I thought I heard that OS6 apps could be created with .NET. I sure hope that this is true.

    Disclaimer: I am a very happy treo6 owner.
  5. Me2
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by lyndon_h
    I thought I heard that OS6 apps could be created with .NET. I sure hope that this is true.
    Have you actually tried using any .NET apps on the PPC? Take an age to start up, hog lots of memory, and tediously slow. Everything you'd expect from MS, in fact.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Me2
    Have you actually tried using any .NET apps on the PPC? Take an age to start up, hog lots of memory, and tediously slow. Everything you'd expect from MS, in fact.
    Application feature set and developer prowess (or lack thereof) also plenty to do with this.
  7. #7  
    I don't think that writing a program for the Palm OS is any harder then writing a Winblows EXE file. It was easy to pick up and there are plenty of ppl out there in news groups if you ever need help. I had a PPC for two weeks before my Treo was shipped. It was nothing special. If my old Visor Edge had a sterio jack it would have been just as good.

    My $0.02
    Iím a lucky man to count on both hands
    The ones I love..

    Visor Pro -> Visor Edge -> Treo 180 -> Treo 270 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> T|T2+SE T68i -> Treo 600 -> T-Mobile MDA -> Treo 755p -> Treo 800w -> Treo 755p -> PALM PRE -> Palm Pre 2 -> HP Palm Pre 3

    Twittering about
  8. Me2
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by lyndon_h
    Application feature set and developer prowess (or lack thereof) also plenty to do with this.
    That may be true, but I can instantly tell which apps are .NET based on my Ipaq 2210, just by the hour glass at the start. Which is a long, long way from the "tap and it's there" experience of PalmOS. You've only got to see the comments on the Sony TH55 Organiser software to know that sluggish software and Palm users do not mix.
  9. #9  
    I hate to be pessimistic, but MS will eventually win this battle because of their support for developers and the overall critical mass of people who intuitively understand a Windows-like interface.

    The battery life and phone integration issues will be solved sooner rather than later, hence removing two of the key barriers.

    Niche OSs will be used less and less commercially. Palm OS will become like Apple.

    The exception is Linux, which is becoming more commercially useful.

    At present though, the Treo is the best integrated device and that will continue to be the case for at least the next year. That's why I own one.
  10. #10  
    Too bad that, on the 2 Pocket PC devices I've owned, after awhile it always thinks the PDA is disconnected. It is easier to push the button for me than to remove the PDA and reinsert it into the cradle once or twice.

    I still have both, since the web browser is a little more capable on the PPC with regard to some downloaded magazines, and the larger, higher res screen, makes books easier to read. But with the Treo, I can access the internet away from home.

    And the syncing works pretty well. Make a change on the Treo, Doc to Go will sync it to my computer, and from there, to the Pocket PC. And vice versa. I also have Pocket Quicken on both, and that works even better, since I can add transactions to both before syncing.
  11. g.711's Avatar
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       #11  
    I always thought that it was easier to program in Palm software thatís why there are so so many apps written for the palm. Am I wrong?
    Is the censuses that M$ will gobble up the pda/phone market as it has the desktop market.
    Is there no hope for the innovation brought through competition?
    Are we all just batteries dreaming that this is life.
    OR will be implanted like the BORG!!!
    Is the Treo600 the only answer the only device which could stand up the the mighty Msoft Giant!
    (not without BT and HiRes display)

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