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  1.    #1  
    It's time for us to say goodbye to the good old PDA
    By Mike Wendland
    KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
    Friday, Oct. 21 2005

    The PDA - short for Personal Digital Assistant and popularized by the Palm
    Pilot in the early '90s - is fading fast from its once vaulted place as the
    digital doorway to organizing our schedules, calendars and contacts.

    It's been replaced by the smartphone, an all-in-one device that does all that
    the PDA offers and much more - like making telephone calls, surfing the Net,
    sending and receiving instant messages and e-mail, taking pictures and video
    and playing music.

    And now even the Palm operating system (Palm OS) that started the whole trend
    is about to go the way of the floppy disk - replaced by a system from archrival
    Microsoft.

    Palm announced recently that it would use a mobile operating system from
    Microsoft to power a new line of Palm Treo smartphones early next year.

    Ultimately, it means Microsoft is going to get bigger and more ubiquitous and
    that consumer choice is going to be limited.

    The next-generation Treo, dubbed the 700, will run on the Windows Mobile
    operating system, a sort of miniaturized version of the familiar Windows
    program that we have on our computers.

    And you'll be able to use it as a phone and go online through the Verizon
    high-speed wireless network.

    "We've long believed that the future of personal computing is mobile computing,
    and our collaboration with Microsoft is a historic step in delivering that
    vision to a larger market," said Palm chief executive Ed Colligan in announcing
    that it was adopting the operating system of its former chief competitor.

    Why the switch?

    Because, said Colligan in what amounted to a throwing-in-the-towel concession,
    Microsoft is better. "This is about growth and new functionalities that we
    believe the Palm OS doesn't have."

    Colligan says Palm will still make devices that use the Palm operating system.
    But don't expect that to last for very long. The company spun off its software
    arm, PalmSource, in 2003 but continued to be its main customer. Earlier this
    year, PalmSource was sold to a Japanese company and now, with the alliance of
    its once parent company to its chief rival, PalmSource's future has to be
    considered tenuous.

    Microsoft has won another computer war, just as it did with desktop computers
    and Web browsers.

    Earlier this year, its Windows Mobile platform suddenly and dramatically
    replaced PalmSource as the leading platform for handheld devices. A year ago,
    Palm's OS ran 42 percent of all the PDAs, compared to Microsoft's 37 percent
    share, according to the tech research firm Gartner.

    This summer, Microsoft exploded its market share to almost 46 percent while
    Palm dropped to less than 19 percent.

    That leaves just one major smartphone rival for Microsoft: Research In Motion
    Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry.

    Microsoft and Palm's Treo smartphone will especially be targeting business
    users.

    "We'll make sure it's a big, big hit," Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said at
    the news conference.

    Research In Motion signaled that it was not going to sit still. A day after
    Microsoft's news conference, it announced a new partnership with Intel to
    produce next-generation BlackBerries that run on faster wireless networks and
    offer new features.

    As the PDA dies and Palm is conquered, the battle moves to the smartphone field
    and RIM has to know its BlackBerry is in the crosshairs of a behemoth.
  2. #2  
    If the pda is dying, then some one forgot to tell the consumers which are still buying them as far as some of the latest data shows:

    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120698,00.asp


    I don't think PDA's will ever totally disappear. There will always be a niche market for these type of devices with larger screens than smartphones and lack of phone functionality. From the looks of it the pda market has matured with ~12-14 million annual unit sales. Of course, there isn't the growth that there used to be, but this is still a very lucrative market where companies like Palm, Dell, HP can make money.

    In the future though, the growth is obviously going to encompass the smartphone and feature-phone market which are gonig to be huge if not already. But there will always be a pda niche market imo...
    _________________
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    Current device: Palm Pre
    Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Axim X50v, Treo 800w



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  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    I don't think PDA's will ever totally disappear. There will always be a niche market for these type of devices with larger screens than smartphones and lack of phone functionality.

    But there will always be a pda niche market imo...
    Those were my thoughts exactly when I read that article. Wanted to see what the thoughts were on the board.
  4. #4  
    Granted, I'm pretty tired right now and need to get some sleep, but I didn't pick up anything from the author's own article for him to conclude that PDA's are disappearing--just the opposite--they sound like they're poised for a new stage of growth. Unfortunately, just not the Palm OS PDA's.
    This writer seems to have made a common layperson's error and only linked the moniker PDA with Palm OS PDA's. It's almost as if he is unaware that smartphones are PDA's. All it takes for a bizarre article such as this one to make it to print is an ill-informed writer and a lazy editor. Of course, it's not like it's the first time this has ever happened at Knight-Ridder.
  5. #5  
    "We've long believed that the future of personal computing is mobile computing,
    and our collaboration with Microsoft is a historic step in delivering that
    vision to a larger market," said Palm chief executive Ed Colligan in announcing
    that it was adopting the operating system of its former chief competitor.

    Why the switch?

    Because, said Colligan in what amounted to a throwing-in-the-towel concession,
    Microsoft is better. "This is about growth and new functionalities that we
    believe the Palm OS doesn't have."


    That's quite an assumption by the author's behalf. Going Windows is expanding horizions, not quitting on some sort of Palm OS being used in the future.........
    Last edited by ButtUglyJeff; 10/23/2005 at 12:16 PM.
    Somebody....anybody........................Don't let Dr. Doom spill his Kool-Aid on his brand new "perrywinkle" sweater vest!!!
  6. #6  
    The PDA growth described in the pcworld article is driven by email devices. Sales of PDAs without email or phone are still shrinking.

    Will stand-alone PDAs survive as a niche? Sure, but since every cellphone and email device will probably eventually have PDA functionality built-in, there won't be much of a demand. Just as there are still basic function calculators available, you'll probably be able to get a basic PDA ten years from now for less than $10 at Radio Shack.

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