Nobody Loves Palm (And Really, Why Should They?)

from the circling-the-deadpool? dept

There have been long-running rumors that Palm was up for sale, with the things getting so ridiculous that at one point it looked like they were made up to boost the share price. The company has never been sold, though private equity firm Elevation Partners bought a 25% stake last month and brought in some new management. Some people wondered at the time if Palm went down this road because it couldn’t find anybody interested in buying the whole company; an SEC filing about the Elevation deal suggests that this was indeed the case. The deal in and of itself does nothing to solve Palm’s long-standing problems (and neither will its recently announced and wholly underwhelming Foleo product), and in the meantime the bad news rolls on: Palm also said this week that devices using a Linux-based follow-up to Palm OS 5 — like it’s been talking about since 2004 — have been delayed until next year.

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Comments on “Nobody Loves Palm (And Really, Why Should They?)”

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Paul Mavromatis says:


I hope they disappear. As a user of Psion’s througout the 90’s, it saddens me to think that their model type won out over the 5MX, which for pratical purposes was much better machine and still has the best qwerty keyboard on a handheld after all these years.I think Palm like many of todays tech manufacturers load up a load of useless functions to make up for the fact that the machines performance in basic functions (esp inputting) are sub-par.

byte^me says:

What is wrong with Palm?

I must admit, I have been a user of PalmOS devices for years and I love them, at least until recently. I started with a Palm IIIx, then went to a TRGPro so I could use CF cards. Then a Zire 31 and most recently, a Palm Treo 700p.

Until the Treo, I had no serious problems with my Palm devices and loved the interface and availability of programs. Much better than what I found for Pocket PC’s.

Unfortunately, the quality of the Palm products has declined seriously. I have had numerous problems with my Treo. It hangs, restarts and is overall unreliable. Unfortunately, I don’t appear to be the only one experiencing these problems.

To make matters worse, does Palm fix the problems? No, they continue release of new products. If the continue at this rate, they will lose the loyal customers they have so why bother creating new products? People are losing faith in the products they already produce so why would they buy a new one?

Since it doesn’t look like things are going to change, I guess my next PDA will have to be Windows Mobile based……..

George Fragos says:

Palm worked hard to loose this customer

I’ve owned 6 different Palm PDA’s through the years. I’ve always liked the software from 3rd parties like Tealpoint. Palm’s musical connectors drives me crazy. Every Palm requires all new accessories. Each time they changed the connector they implied that was the last time — it wasn’t. Amazingly the only improvements in the Palm OS applications added little but frequently caused developer pain trying to make their applications compatible with new devices. They’ve missed the boat completely and I and other long time fans have lost patience with them. My next device will be the LInux based Nokia N800.

Instructor (profile) says:

My very last Palm device ever.

I bought a Palm LifeDrive PDA about a year ago. The one with the hard drive. BIG mistake. Palm is quietly pretending this device never happened — no support, no updates, no answers to why the damned thing is unacceptably slow, no useful information on their website. And no announced recall (I registered my device, so they have no excuse on that count).

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Anonymous Coward says:

to each their own

I’ve had about every other version of the Palm Pilot since day one, and have hardly ever had problems. The only one worth whining about was my Treo 650, but even that was because of 3rd party software. Considering that the newest models are like iPhones on steroids, what is there to complain about? Sure they haven’t changed much in ten years, but what exactly is that needs to be changed??

Mike Wood says:

Old Palm still good

Worked my way along with Palms from “way back when”. When I got the Zire 72 almost 3 years ago it fit like a glove.
Maybe I’m lucky, but the little dude has never had a problem.
It has a decent camera, video, music player, alarm clock, voice recorder, and enough little apps to serve my needs as a property manager. Knock on wood: still using the original battery.
BTW- it’s the Special Silver Edition, not that blue thing.
I have a fine cell phone, and no need to seek a higher level PDA. When it dies, I’ll look for a used one on Ebay.
….that’s me two cents!

Phil (user link) says:

Palm hardware is excellent and the OS is fine

Had numerous Palm devices over the years and we run 5 Palm TREO 650’s. Dropped mine so many times and it keeps on working. Had Tungsten dropped it mailed it to Palm and they replaced in 48 hours no cost. I have found their service excellent. A friend bought the Treo 7O0w recently and the CE OS compared to the PALM and the reduced screen size is yuck. He looked at how clear my screen is and said I should have bought the 700p. We sell 60% Palm and 40% CE programs to clients and compile for both. The OS that is really growing is Symbian and we see a lot of growth in Blackberry. The great thing about Palm is with OS5 and OS4 we install the stuff and it works. With CE devices shipped and Actisync typically of Microsoft constantly updated things to get around the bugs.

maceyr of (user link) says:

Being a Palm fan, I have to agree with this

I am a Palm fan and although I love my Treo 650 and Zire 71, I have to admit that they have really missed the ball big time now. In the past 5 years or more, they have simply sat around and milked on the Treo line for all it’s worth. It’s now five years later and they’re stuck wondering what to do. Their Linux OS has been talked about for years and yet nothing to show for. There’s no Wi-Fi and even the new Treo lines only show a little bit more RAM and maybe some software updates.

As a Palm fan, I’m disappointed and will likely get a Win Mobile smartphone as my next, so needless to say, my focus will likely be more Win Mobile once I get my upgrade. But I am remaining hopeful that something will come out, sometime.

Derek Currie (profile) says:

I want Palm stuff to survive on into the future...

Clearly Palm have had a multitude of problems. Their R&D got incredibly side-tracked and unimaginative. Their management has mostly been a mess. The market for PDAs never really took off, and what there was of it got extremely anemic. And what was with them selling off then re-buying their OS? Sheer insanity, and the OS is antiquated these days anyway. Apparently no one over there knows how to code it any more. Very sad.

Nonetheless I still lug around my trusty old Palm IIIc and still love it. It remains ‘the other half of my brain’ and I hope it lasts forever. Some day I would love to get something better, but I will want whatever it is to still run all my great little Palm programs. Really, if or when Palm drops dead I think the biggest waste of all will be the loss of the vast collection of great software written for their devices. I damned well want a Palm OS emulator running on whatever device replaces my IIIc. And I ALSO demand to be able to use Graffiti handwriting recognition on into the future as well. It is the only HWR that I consider worth using, and it works great for me. I’ll take it over punching little buttons until my joints ache any old day.

Concept: Make Palm OS and Graffiti Open Source, I mean like do it right now, immediately! No way could the Open Source community bungle Palm OS any worse than Palm have themselves. And, it would provide Palm OS and Graffiti with a future.

n/a says:

old palms - how long they will last

the actual unit itself will last a long time, however the problem is the Datebook ROM. and the date as it will only go up to 2030ish something — so about 30 years left unless someone can make a rom and update the calender to go way beyond that date – in resoponse to “I want Palm stuff to survive on into the future… by Derek Currie on Jul 8th, 2007 @ 7:18pm”

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