Rarely has a company so completely mis-managed itself. If I owned shares in Palm I’d be wishing for a shareholder lawsuit for managerial incompetence. For those who haven’t been paying any attention, last year Palm sold its operating system assets to the Japanese company Access. Yesterday Access announced that they were killing off further development of Palm OS and would fold a backwards compatibility layer for Palm apps into a forthcoming version of a linux-based operating system for handhelds and cell phones. This is the absolute end of the road for Palm. By the time this proposed OS is released there won’t be enough folks clamoring for backwards support for their apps to make it worth bothering with it, supposing it’s even released on devices you can buy in the US.
It’s really a shame. I’ve owned and used Palms for years, almost since they were first released, and my current model, a Tungsten|c, has an excellent design:
and has served me well for the last several years. But Palm completely blew it – they owned the market 5 years ago and proceeded to blow through a series of crappy product releases, a purchase of BeOS which amounted to nothing, all while failing to upgrade their OS in any significant way. Products like the ipods and devices running Windows Mobile focused on performance, connectivity and multimedia playback. Palm seemingly focused on….sucking.
Fortunately for me my new employer is providing me with a Blackberry. If that doesn’t work well for me I’ll end up buying a Windows Mobile device, probably one with a gps in it. Meanwhile, I bid Palm a sad farewell.
Meanwhile, anyone want to buy a Tungsten|C, in great condition with a few extra accessories?