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  1.    #1  
    Christ may have raised Lazarus from the dead,....but, I'm beginning to suspect Bill Gates will never put Humpty Dumpty,, I mean Pocket PC back together. Don't get me wrong, I love my Jornada 545. It's the best handheld I've owned, for now. But there are too many missteps that Microsoft and it's partners have made, and are making that will ultimately derail this platform, and it makes me sick. First off, the devices are way too expensive for the average user, which means the average user will buy a less expensive Palm device. That's bad!

    Secondly, Microsoft and it's OEMs have fuc*ed up marketing strategies....again! For example, I recently went into my local Staples, and what did I see? Two huge displays occupying the end cap of two separate isles, one for the Palm and an even bigger one for the Handspring Visor. Where were the Pocket PCs you ask?...collecting dust on some obscure corner next to the cell phones and pagers. And guess where the customers were? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't over by the Pocket PCs.

    Finally, there is the simple fact that most consumers are idiots, and will simply buy what everyone else is buying. It's the classic: "Me too!" syndrome. Since Palms are more popular, it's almost a no brainer choice for them.

    I think, in the end, Palm will unjustly kill Pocket PC, and that is a great tragedy.. I'm beginning to see why Newton users are always lamenting over the fate of their handhelds. It's horrible having a device, which you love, that can do everything you want, yet no one appreciates it.

    I sincerely hope Apple can develop the much hyped Palm OS based hit they are developing. But as it stands now I won't go back to a Palm device, as my primary PDA, until there more available features for this platform. The Pocket PC does more of what I without the need for add-on accessories. Yet, Microsoft has the ball in its hands, and what is it doing? Nothing!


    [This message has been edited by foo fighter (edited 05-02-2000).]
  2. #2  
    Bad comments from Foo regarding Pocket PC? Say it isn't so!

    I would have to agree with you regarding the marketing, though...I really haven't see much in the way of marketing at all.

    You also mentioned that they are too expensive. Well, I can't see how they would have been able to price them at the level of the Palm devices. Yes...there are some GREAT features in the Pocket PC devices, but they all come at a price. It simply costs more to put in high-res, full color LCD panels and enough RAM to power WinCE.

    That's exactly what happened to the Newton.

    Why do people buy Hondas instead of HumVees? I'd like to get a HumVee someday, but I don't NEED one. My Honda does all I need it to do.

    Pocket PC isn't going away. MS is too stubborn to give up.

    What I WOULD like to see is Compaq license the Palm OS and start making some Palm iPaq's (dreaming a bit methinks...)

  3. #3  
    I was very interested to see the end caps for the Palm and Visor .. I mean, when someone walks into Staples it is hard to not see those end caps and check them out. I find it particularly interesting how they show off all of the various modules, plugins, expansion options, etc.. very nice displays.

    I don't think that calling the consumers idiots is valid. They see the Palm somewhere (either someone they know has it or they see it advertised) and can think "hey, this will replace all this stuff I usually carry around with me -- COOL!". Going with the most popular items doesn't seem to be that big of a fault. It has a track record, its easy to operate, it has a lot of 3rd party accessories and software written for it and to top it off, its cheaper.

    Given previous discussions on Palm vs Pocket PC, I still believe the ideal Pocket PC crowd is people downsizing from a laptop. However, I don't think the power that the units currently provide is enough for most of these individuals to make the move to a laptop. For one thing, a LOT of professionals use their laptops as a means for sales/product presentations. I still want to know why Microsoft didn't include at minimum a PowerPoint viewer and some type of module or accessory to hook up to a large display (monitor, tv, etc..)

    I believe the best move Microsoft could make right now is pushing for lower cost ($250 MAX) Pocket PC units. Granted, these units would be B&W and have less standard features, but I think more people can justify buying a unit at that price. I was really wanting to get a Pocket PC (I like the idea of having a good word processor, IR printing w/full formatting, activesync, visual basic as a dev tool, etc..etc..), but I personally cannot justify spending the money on a unit.

    It doesn't seem like Microsoft is really doing a whole lot with their Pocket PC. They hyped it up, released it but since then doesn't seem like they are doing much to promote the success of the platform.
  4.    #4  
    Bad comments from Foo regarding Pocket PC? Say it isn't so!
    My comments aren't directed at the Pocket PC, but at Microsoft! Let me emphasize the fact that I absolutely love my Pocket PC. It's been over two weeks now, and I still can't put it down.

    The problem I have is with Microsoft's sudden disappearance from the scene of the accident. It's only been two weeks since the official launch, and I can already hear the crickets chirping away in the background. MS started with a barrage of ads targeting the Palm as a deficient platform, but now....that's all she wrote!

    Where are the major bundling deals they were working on? What about the promotional MSN subscription coupon worth $400 towards the price of a Pocket PC. And where are the fuc*ing in store displays. I've heard nothing but "tall tales" about the supposed huge displays that would be appearing at retail locations across the US. So far, zip!

    I'm beginning to suspect Microsoft's Mobile Division has suffered from a sudden collective bout of mental retardation. They could at least train a small group of monkeys to hand out fliers to consumers as they enter retail stores.

    If Palm's marketing slogan is: "Simply Palm", then I suggest Microsoft's should read: "Simply MIA".

    [This message has been edited by foo fighter (edited 05-02-2000).]
  5. #5  
    You can't have it both ways. If you want a device with a lot of features, you're going to have to pay for them. If you want a device that's inexpensive, you have to sacrifice some features. The trick in designing a product that's affordable enough to be popular is knowing what's essential and what's expendable. Every PDA designer should apply the WWJD principle (What Would Jeff Do?). Anyone can sit around and compile a wish list of wonderful features. It takes talent and wisdom to know what to leave out.

    Microsoft is probably concentrating their marketing resources on Win 2K, especially since Win CE's future is dubious. They haven't even recovered the cost of developing the OS. It's probably not critical to MS that CE succeed in every market. If the Pocket PC fails, they still have other markets for the OS: set-top boxes, automobiles and what I consider to be CE's killer app, webpads. Let's not forget that the Pocket PC's hardware manufacturers are responsible for the success of their products as well. MS shouldn't get all the blame.

    It's a tautology to say that the popularity of a product accounts for it's popularity. At some point there has to be a tangible reason why people choose A over B. What MS ignores to their peril is what Palm users say over and over about why they chose the Palm: it does exactly what they need. The average consumer looking for an organizer is not going to ask, "Does it have stereo?" Of course, its true that there is a "me too" element in choosing something based on a personal recommendation. One recommendation from a friend means more than a hundred-bullet list of features.

    I wouldn't put too much faith in Apple's apocryphal "plans" of a Palm-based PDA. I've never heard anything out of Steve Job's mouth that made me think he "gets" PDAs at all. All evidence indicates the opposite: he killed the Newton.
  6. #6  
    To paraphrase our lame-duck president:

    "It's the OS stupid"

    (or in this case the stupid (still) OS)

    And I SO wanted to move to the Pocket PC. The final straw for me was watching the screen painting (choking) on one category with only 100 addresses in it. When I loaded up the main cat. with 3,000 I might as well go to the fridge. Not typical you say? Well, regardless, the Visor loads them near instantly.

  7.    #7  
    I've never heard anything out of Steve Job's mouth that made me think he "gets" PDAs at all. All evidence indicates the opposite: he killed the Newton.
    Actually, I think the Newton was dead long before Steve "killed" it. He was merely reading its last rights. The Newton's main reason(s) for failure were: too much complexity, poor form factor, and high price. I really don't think Jobs could ever have saved this product.

    As for your skepticism of the Apple "Palm", your preaching to the choir. I am sick to death of the insipid rumor whores promoting features that may or may not appear on this device. At one point, it was rumored that these handhelds will run a scaled down version of MacOS X, ala WinCE.

    I'll believe it when I see it!
  8.    #8  

    It's a shame the Jornada didn't work out for you, they really are excellent handhelds. Although, I must agree the OS isn't as fast as it should be at handling large chunks of data. WinCE has terrible memory management, and I'm still puzzled as to why Microsoft refuses to build an EXIT command into the API.

    The more I study the interface, the more I come away with the impression Microsoft was trying to emulate a browser-like look and feel, but they didn't carry the idea far enough. What's required here are browser buttons (Forward and Back) that allow the user to task between applications, instead of having to rely on the Start Menu for navigation. All in all, it looks like something that was designed by a committee.

    But overall, it's a dramatic improvement over the last generation of WYVERN class handhelds.

    [This message has been edited by foo fighter (edited 05-02-2000).]
  9. #9  
    I wouldn't put too much faith in Apple's apocryphal "plans" of a Palm-based PDA. I've never heard anything out of Steve Job's mouth that made me think he "gets" PDAs at all. All evidence indicates the opposite: he killed the Newton.
    I'm putting a LOT of faith into Jobs and Apple. The newton was a GREAT product that was simply way before its time.

    As for Jobs killing it, he killed a lot of things. This was to simply focus Apple on what it did well to turn some profit again. He 'killed' a lot of things.

    Rumor also has it that Microsoft refused to release a new version of Office unless the Newton was killed to allow MS to spread WinCE. It's a rumor...but believeable.

    There are a few facts that lead me to believe that Jobs is on the right track.

    1) He tried to buy Palm outright.

    2) Having failed at that, he has confirmed that Apple and Palm have been working together for quite some time.

    3) NONE of the Newton Technology was ever sold to third parties...Apple still owns that technology (and my guess is that they've been working on it for some time).

    If anyone can come out with the perfect form factor, it'd be Apple's ID department. (Though I must also commend Compaq on their latest line of iPaq machines..).

    I'm anxiously awaiting to see what they come up with.

    On a side note, I'm guessing that a lot of the marketing slow-down with the Pocket PC is simply due to the court case. IF they get split in two (I'm completely against this whole concept of splitting them up) it will directly affect the Pocket PC as well.

    [This message has been edited by homer (edited 05-03-2000).]
  10. #10  
    i have a feeling M$ is't pushing pocketPC as hard as they would like to or want to cuz of the DOJ. THey have already tried(and i have to say this was just disgusting) to say that M$ is now taking over the PDA and mobile phone sectors.

    Sure there are a few flaws we would prob fix, but what will make ppl buy next years modle? same with palm, cept unless they release something compleatly new(and from reports does't sound like it's worth while, bluetooth? for what for palm to palm communications across a room? big deal get off you fat lazzy @$$ and get within a meter of each other. geez. )

    dont' worry i don't think ppc is gona die just yet, M$ is holding back it's marketing campaing for when the DOJ is over with them(win or lose) they will start banging away @ palm just like they realy want to.

    I wish M$ would't hold back it would finaly force palm(boy they are a bunch of idiots these days) to finaly bring more usefull features to the palm.

  11. #11  
    foo and homer,

    My thoughts about Jobs' attitude toward PDAs are based on a number of quotes of his over the last couple of years. Unfortunately I can't recall a single one at the moment, but every time I came across one of his comments on handhelds, I could only characterize his attitude as dismissive. Taken together, they left me with the impression that the decision to kill the Newton, the "go" project of his archenemy John Sculley, was more than lean thinking. Aside from my view that he didn't take the PDA seriously, I suspect he was intent on wiping out Sculley's legacy at Apple.

    Could Jobs have saved the Newton? Not Jobs, perhaps, but someone could have. As Palms became more popular with fewer feature, Apple augmented the Newton's biggest Achilles heel: they made it larger, adding a keyboard. I remember seeing one on the sales floor at Fry's and just shook my head at what was clearly a ridiculous design. When foo points to the Newton's excessive complexity, poor form factor, and high price, he's right. All of these qualities went from bad to worse with each new generation. As for the Newton being a great product . . . let's just say that I admired it's features but hated using it despite numerous attempts to convince myself otherwise.

    That said, if Apple released a Palm-based unit with a modern form factor, PC connectivity (an afterthought on the Newton, which required the purchase of a Windows Connection Kit) and a truly reliable text input system (a la Graffiti or Jot), I would definitely give it a second look.
  12. #12  
    interesting note...i'm trying to find the site now...i was reading an article on apple and the possibility of a palm unit coming out and the site section on handhelds was sponsored by Handspring.

    (I know i'm reading WAYYYYY too much into this as Handspring is in on everything from Virgin Airlines to online brokerages, but it was exciting to think of the possiblities!)
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by homer:
    Bad comments from Foo regarding Pocket PC? Say it isn't so!
    Heh. Much as I'd like to agree with you, I have to say that it isn't so.
    Mr. Fighter seems to still like the Pocket PC just fine, it is Microsoft's marketing division that is earning his bad comments.

  14. #14  
    Originally posted by Cerulean:
    I was very interested to see the end caps for the Palm and Visor .. I mean, when someone walks into Staples it is hard to not see those end caps and check them out. I find it particularly interesting how they show off all of the various modules, plugins, expansion options, etc.. very nice displays.
    I liked them as well. However, I was slightly annoyed at the huge image of the IDO digital camera springboard and the microscopic fine print that said "Some springboards only available at the Handspring web site"

    But the end cap is a huge step in the right direction for the Handspring marketing department.

  15. #15  
    I just read the review of the Casio E-115 Pocket PC on The Gadgeteer, and I have to say, it was very disappointing. Still too fat (thick) and expensive. Who wants to spend that much money on a PDA? It's crazy.

    The reviewer reports that it seemed only marginally faster than the older Windows CE OS. Improvements look minor; mostly cosmetic (i.e. the start buttom was moved to the top left of the screen, how amazing).

    It looks very disappointing. Totally unexciting. I think Microsoft should stick to desktops.

    Adam B
  16. #16  
    An acquaintance of mine just got a Jornada pocket pc last week. He was showing it to me and saying "It can do (insert MS pocket PC hype here)..." He poked at the screen a little bit and said "As soon as I figure out how to use it".

    And I think THAT is the problem. Microsoft's "lets cram as much as we can without regard to speed or ease of use" mentality will kill every incarnation of the pocket pc. I don't expect it to go away since Microsoft will keep throwing money at it, but I also don't expect sales to ever be any more than "dismal".

    After all, who wants a Cadillac Catera with built in surround sound televison, refrigerator, microwave, and bar-b-que? That's what I consider the pocket pc to be - way too much cool gadgety stuff packed into a small, slow, expensive package.

    I'll stick with my Mustang GT 5-speed and my Visor, thank you.
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by mchlwise:
    After all, who wants a Cadillac Catera with built in surround sound televison, refrigerator, microwave, and bar-b-que? That's what I consider the pocket pc to be - way too much cool gadgety stuff packed into a small, slow, expensive package.

    that's what Carl Yankowski (CEO of Palm) and the president of RIM agreed on during a conference this week (i just read the article, i think it was at )

    personally i think they were both taking shots at the pocketpc.
  18. #18  
    To be honest, I have been in 3 Circuit City stores in Virginia (their home state!) 3 Staples stores, 2 Best Buy, and 1 CompUSA and only see a place on the shelf for the PocketPC, according to the sales person at Circuit City, they were only allocated one Jornada each store, and it was up to the individual manager if they wanted to display the PocketPC, the home office discouraged discounting any display Jornada's, so most managers were hesitant to display one. CompUSA had one at the service desk, but it was a RETURN! The clerk at the desk was on the phone to the PDA salesperson, and said it was purchased last night. I asked the salesperson, and he said now he has a PocketPC to sell!
    Microsoft should have waited till all MFG were ready to flood the market with devices. I am a loyal GVDX owner, I was curious about Microsofts latest attempt was faring. Just my .02
  19.    #19  
    I have to admit it, I'm more than a little disappointed so far. While I love the hardware and features, the PocketPC OS leaves much to be desired. It seems like a half-finished interface with many holes. Palm still has a more focused combination of design, support, price, options, and better GUI.

    So far the PocketPC is turning out to be a major disappointment. Way to go Microsoft!

    Disgruntled PocketPC user!

  20. RoyM's Avatar
    1 Posts
    Looks like I agree with you about the Pocket Pc. I returned my Visor and have had an HP Jornada 548 for almost one week. Great promise but lousy PIM software from Microsoft. Not quick enough in usage to use it in business and takes us back in time when PDA's were time robbers instead of time savers in the daily business world. I think the main problem with Win CE is the typical bulk of the operating system and the fact that the design is not centered around PIM efficentcy as in the Palm operating system. Looks like I will be returning the Jornada and going back to the Visor Dlx as I need to keep all my business and personal stuff organized now in a usable manner. I will very much miss the color screens,(but not the inability to see in daylight)and the neat web surfing and music etc. I do look forward to Palm E-Mail verses the Pocket PC. Hate using Outlook. Another point, Microsoft has designed their operating system to keep you in their software and quite honestly this just doesn't always fit my daily needs. Good Job Foo and I respect your honesty in reporting the shared dissapointment on a product that looked like it would offer the best of both worlds.
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