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  1. ray1b's Avatar
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    Tech Trader Daily - Barron’s Online : Palm Shrs Slide On Business Week's Hatchet Job

    Over my many years at Barron’s, I have on various occasions been accused of writing hatchet jobs - intentionally vicious stories - about one company or another. It’s never been true; while I’m not shy about writing bearish stories, it’s never with malicious intent.

    I’m not sure that the same can be said about the peculiar, well, hatchet job that Business Week published today about the Palm (PALM) Pre. The piece was written by William Hurley, an open source guru and former Apple employee who works not for Business Week but rather for BMC Software (BMC). Hurley was involved in an event for would-be Pre developers called PreDevCamp that got into something of a shoving match with Palm over the company’s willingness to be involved with the event. That makes Hurley a perfect source for a story on the Pre, or a candidate to write an op-ed, but Business Week used him instead to write a news-style piece that assesses why the product is doomed to fail.

    Hurley raises a number of issues about the phone, many of which you have heard before. He says competition is fierce from Apple (AAPL), Nokia (NOK) and Research In Motion (RIMM). He wonders why consumers would pay $199 for a phone from a company that is “teetering on the brink of extinction, or at least irrelevance.” Hurley notes that the Pre is being released on the eve of next week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, running the risk of being overshadowed by new iPhones. He says many consumers have “expressed dismay” with their decision to use Sprint (S) as a carrier. Hurley reports that Palm does not want to sell the phone to IT-centric customers. He complains that Palm is not helping developers convert older apps to the new WebOS. And, note least, he contends some features expected to be in the phone will not be there at release.

    Then he takes the peculiar position that writing apps for the WebOS is - get this - too easy. Since it is harder to write apps for Apple and RIMM, he writes, they “have the advantage of a learning curve that weeds out unseasoned developers.”

    I’m not saying Hurley is necessarily wrong in his assessment of the prospects for the Pre; there is no question the risk is high. We’ll see how things go in the coming weeks; much will depend on how early users feel about the phone. But the Business Week piece reads like neither review nor news story. It’s simply a hatchet job by someone who by his own admission recently had a heated dispute with the company. Just why Business Week felt the need to publish it is not entirely clear.
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    Last edited by ImmaSlave4U; 06/04/2009 at 01:53 PM. Reason: added link
    "Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow." —L. Ron Hubbard
  3. jtlapp's Avatar
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    Palm's only chance is in giving them the benefit of the doubt. If everyone doubts them, they'll lose. If you give them a chance, they have a chance. It's a decision you make, not a property of an external reality. Pick your attitude. I prefer optimism.
  4. Xyg
    Xyg is offline
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    His tone in the review was certainly toxic. He resigned from his post at the PreDevCamp after the debacle, though the devcamp is still scheduled to go live in August.

    It makes one think: would he have the same tone if he and Palm didn't have their mis-communication that nearly killed the whole devcamp project?
  5. #5  
    Palm stock is at a 1-year high at $13.5 currently, it has gone up today about 8% today so far. A few months ago, it was down to $6.

    Hard to believe it was at $800 in Y2K.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery

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