Thursday, June 11, 2009

1SRC Podcast 212

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:


  • Reggie has launched 1SRC sister site PreSwitcher.com.
  • Ed Colligan is leaving Palm.
  • Palm Launches the Pre Smartphone on Sprint!
  • First impressions of the Pre and webOS.
  • Accessories for the Pre.
  • MotionApps Classic for webOS.

Download 1SRC Podcast 212 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 212...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 212...

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 31, 2009

1SRC Podcast 211

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:


  • All of the Sprint Palm Pre documents are leaked on the Internet.
  • Palm demonstrates additional features of Palm webOS.
  • ComputerWorld's Top 5 Pre cool features.

Download 1SRC Podcast 211 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 211...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 211...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1SRC Podcast 210

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:


  • BoyGeniusReport claims they have the pricing model for the Palm Pre on Sprint.
  • Rumors are flying this week about the Centro replacement, the Eos.
  • Will the Foleo II with Palm webOS be the netbook Foleo always should have been?

Download 1SRC Podcast 210 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 210...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 210...

Labels: ,

Monday, April 27, 2009

1SRC Podcast 209

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.




This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:
  • Palm Pre abuse? I hope so!
  • Obligatory blurry photos of the Pre running a YouTube app
  • Smack talk from AT&T dissing the Palm Pre

Download 1SRC Podcast 209 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 209...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 209...

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1SRC Podcast 208

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.




This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:
  • MotionApps updates their Classic FAQ; reveals more details.
  • Ludle.net leaks some new Pre details; says Pre is in mass production.
  • Will Palm charge $70 for the totally cool Touchstone? Probably.
  • Windows Mobile Minute: My impressions of Palm's new Treo Pro (Sprint Edition)

Download 1SRC Podcast 208 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 208...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 208...

Labels: ,

Friday, April 10, 2009

1SRC Podcast 207

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment. Starting with show 207, I will be offering the show in .AAC format for people who listen to the show in Apple iTunes or on their iPhone and iPod. This "enhanced" podcast will include chapter markers and artwork.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:
  • How would you change 1SRC?
  • 1SRC Podcast enhancements
  • Palm and MotionApps announce Classic for webOS
  • Palm talks "cloud services" for webOS and the Mojo SDK
  • Windows Mobile Minute

Download 1SRC Podcast 207 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 207...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 207...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1SRC Podcast 206

The 1SRC Podcast came back from hiatus this week and I sum up what has been going on in the Palm community for the last few weeks.

Listen to 1SRC Podcast 206...

This show was written and recorded before Palm's announcements earlier today at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Be sure to listen to next week's podcast for more news and my usual brand of wingnut analysis.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1SRC Podcast 205

For the latest 1SRC Podcast, the show's original host Jeff Kirvin joins me, along with 1SRC member Rick Cartwright, as my special guests to discuss the Palm Pre smartphone and the new webOS mobile operating system.

Listen to 1SRC Podcast 205 now...

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1SRC Podcast 204

This week on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover the recently announced Pre smart(er)phone powered by Palm webOS. I talk about what is really cool about the new hardware and software as well as some of the things that I don't. (I'm not a big fan of sliders. Maybe the Pre's slide out keyboard will be better than the sliders on the Tungsten T, T2, and T3.) I also cover some of the things that I really want to know more about, like how Synergy works, how will the Pre sync with a Mac or PC without going out to the cloud, and whether or not there will be tools to sync over a wired connection.

Listen to 1SRC Podcast 204...

Labels: ,

Monday, December 29, 2008

1SRC Podcast 203




The latest 1SRC Palm-Powered podcast has been uploaded. In the latest show, I cover:

  • Doug Jeffries will join Palm as the new CFO on Jan 7, 2009.
  • Palm Q2FY09 conference call summary.
  • Palm has launched a web based app store.
  • 1SRC Editorial: Palm App Store 2.0.
Listen to 1SRC Podcast 203...

Labels: ,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

1SRC Podcast 202



The latest 1SRC Podcast has gone up for your listening pleasure. On this week's show, I cover:


  • Yes, I bought a BlackBerry. Let's get back to the Palm stuff now.
  • Palm reports a very rough Q2FY09 , cuts expenses even more.
  • Make sure you check out what happens when " Santa Goes Cento ".
  • DataViz Documents To Go 11 Premium gets reviewed.
Listen to 1SRC Podcast 202 now...

Labels:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Editorial: It’s Time for Something “Nova”

Last week was a rough week for the Palm Nation with the unfavorable economy battering stock prices, delays launching a new Windows Mobile Treo smartphone, and another round of layoffs here in the US and abroad. Long lines at Verizon retail locations for the new touch-screen enabled BlackBerry Storm aren’t helping things either. It is time for Palm to start talking Nova.

Palm OS II/Nova is Palm’s super secret project to develop the next generation Palm OS mobile operating system. There have been at least two false starts in the last five years; however many in the technology sector see this as Palm’s last chance to restore their tarnished reputation as a mobile technology innovator. From what little we know about Palm OS II/Nova, the core operating system is suppose to be done by the end of this calendar year (2008) and devices running the new operating system should be on sale by the middle of 2009.

The development cycle for Palm OS II/Nova, at least from the outside, appears to have run into some degree of trouble. Even if Palm completes the core feature set of the OS by the end of the year, they still must refine the new user interface and obtain certification from the FCC and their wireless carrier partners before the device can go on sale here in the United States. With the virtual shroud of secrecy surrounding the Palm headquarters, it has been next to impossible to glean any meaningful details about Palm OS II/Nova. In the face of all the bad news that continues come out of Palm, it is time to pull back the curtain around Palm OS II/Nova and give the world a glimpse into what Palm has in store of the Palm OS in 2009.

There are three key timeframes in which I expect to see information about Palm OS II/Nova starting to leak out. The first should be coming up any day now as Palm is suppose to be wrapping up development of the core feature set of the new OS. I would expect that any screen shots that pop-up on the Internet will be of an unfinished Nova that will give you a sense of the new direction Palm is trying to take Palm OS. At this stage, keep an eye out for a screen grab from the new Memos application. It won’t be impressive, but it will show off some of the window dressings of the new UI and application controls.

The second window will probably in the middle of the first quarter of 2009 in between the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the 3GSM World Congress. By this time, Palm had better be shopping new Palm OS II/Nova devices to the carriers and developers who have supported Palm for the last 10 years. This time around, I would expect to see some screen shots of the Phone and Launcher applications and maybe some shots of the new Prefs control panel.

The third, and last round of leaks, will likely come around the middle of the second quarter of 2009 when demo devices are in the hands of beta testers. When this happens all bets will be off and the proverbial cat will be out of the bag. Photos of the new device running Nova will be plastered all over the Internet. In the month leading up to the launch of the first Palm OS II/Nova powered device we will learn about the devices specifications and features. For Palm’s sake, the Excit-O-Meter needle had better be buried on the far right of the dial as it has been for the release of the Apple iPhone 3G, the T-Mobile Google G1, and the BlackBerry Storm.

So how about it Palm? Can you pull back the curtain on Nova ever so slightly as to give your loyal Palm OS customers a glimpse into the future while still maintaining the secrecy around the new software to keep a competitive advantage? It has almost been two years now since we’ve been waiting for Palm OS II/Nova and that means people will be looking to upgrade their phones. Give the customer base a reason to stick with Palm and not migrate to the headline grabbing iPhone 3G or BlackBerry Storm.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Editorial: What I Want in My Next Smartphone


This week's 1SRC.com editorial, What I Want in My Next Smartphone, has been posted.

Palm should be in the process of finalizing their next generation mobile hardware and software. Here is what I will be looking for in my next smartphone.

Hardware

While I like the current Treo form factor, it has become a tired design that needs to be refreshed. My next smartphone needs to have a nice clean design that provides easy access to hardware buttons while slimming down the body of the phone. For many shoppers, looks trump function and Palm’s devices need to look good and work well. The new Palm Treo Pro is an example of what new hardware from Palm needs to look like. To help with the miniaturization of the Treo, Palm has already embraced changes already implemented by other smartphone vendors. Palm has adopted microSDHC cards as the new storage card format. Palm has also begun to replace the large Multi-Connector found on the Centro with a miniUSB port that has been implemented on the Treo Pro and BlackBerry Curve. Making the display flush with the rest of the face of the phone is another tool for slimming down the device.

What I would like to see in future smartphones is more internal memory, standardization on 802.llg Wi-Fi, a digital camera with a flash, and the implementation of Sprint’s Wi-Max. Palm also needs to work on correcting motherboard-manufacturing defects that plague the headphone jack and microphone.

Software

Cool looking hardware is important. Software that works the first time, every time is essential. The software that will power Palm’s next generation hardware, Palm OS II/Nova, will either make or break the company. The direction that Palm is taking their Palm OS products is going to be for consumers and small business owners who don’t want the complexity of Windows Mobile. Palm will be required to step up their game to complete in this market space.

In their new OS, Palm needs to overhaul the software that customers will listen to music and watch video. These features have been around on Palm devices for a long time, however, it has been far too difficult for customers to get content into their phones. I would like to see Palm work with the developer community to enhance the multimedia software offering. Palm should be exploring partnerships with Amazon, Sling, TiVo, and Netflix to simplify the process or loading or steaming entertainment content to smartphones.

Palm’s Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos applications, collectively know as personal information management (PIM) applications, are well regarded by customers. Synchronizing that data to a Palm OS smartphone needs to be redesigned. A trip into any of the popular discussion forums, 1SRc.com, Brighthand.com, TreoCentroal.com, and event Palm’s own Community Help Forums, will reveal no end of trouble with the HotSync Manager.

The lack of a wired 64-bit Windows USB sync driver has plagued Windows Vista users for well over a year now. Setting up a Bluetooth serial connection is too complicated for novice users. The Palm Desktop software lacks some of the fields available on the device (Anniversary, Middle Name, Name Suffix), and OLERR data sync errors are too common and difficult to troubleshoot. Wireless data synchronization is one way to reduce the amount of difficulty customer’s experience. The cloud based solution that I have talked about previously in the editorial "Up In the Air" would by pass driver issues on Macintosh and Windows PCs, eliminate the configuration issues with Bluetooth serial ports, leverage the wireless capabilities of the smartphone, and provide data access from any Internet connected computer.

I would also like to see Palm enhance their third-party software delivery system. In “Palm Needs an App Store”, I talked about how Palm has not maximized their partnerships with Bluefish Wireless and PocketGear. The current process of finding, downloading, and installing software is not well understood by many customers. The model that Apple has put forward is the new standard of how the Zen of Palm should be applied to installing software. And did I mention new application delivery should be done over the air? Wires are so last century.

Lastly, any new mobile operating system needs to continue to promote the easy of use and flexibility that has become part of the Palm corporate DNA. People love the Palm OS because of its ease of use. Palm OS II/Nova should build on that user experience with a new customizable, modern look and feel. The user interface (UI) should also be modular. By using a modular UI, Palm could reuse the core operating system in other new products, such as a mobile Internet device (MID), and only have to spend time and money developing a new UI. Apple is doing something similar with Mac OS X on their system software on their Macs and the iPhone and iPod touch.

Conclusion

Palm has been a player in the mobile computing space for a long time. A number of bad business decisions in the late 1990’s have caused the company to lose their leadership position. The changes at Palm that have been made over the last 18 months as part of their People, Design, and Platform have been encouraging. The Centro has been a huge success with consumers and first-time smartphone owners.

Palm needs to continue to press their advances with a new operating system, devices (smartphones and mobile Internet devices), and new, innovating software that continues the tradition of the Zen of Palm.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Labels: ,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Editorial: Palm Needs an App Store


The 1SRC Editorial is back. This week I write about how Palm needs to build an App Store for Palm OS II/Nova powered smartphones.

Palm is in the midst of a corporate transformation, that, if successful, will put the company back on the map as a mobile computing innovator. Palm executives have outlined the three-step plan as being: People, Design, and Platform. This week we take another look at “Platform.”

In previous 1SRC editorials and podcasts, I have talked about Palm’s transformation and the possible products and services that might coincide with it. We’ve already seen the ramifications of “People.” Palm has been steadily recruiting top technology talent to help drive innovation across the organization. That recruitment process continues today. We have also seen the results of “Design.” The new Treo Pro is a radical departure from the smartphones that have their roots in the Treo 600 design. The last leg of the plan, “Platform,” refers to Palm’s efforts to develop a mobile operating system that will be the successor to Palm OS 5.

We know that work on Palm OS II/Nova is still on going and that devices running the new mobile operating system my not appear in the market place until as late as June 2009. Palm OS II/Nova, I think, is as much a means as it is an end. Yes, when Palm OS II/Nova finally does ship on a Palm smartphone, many people will breath a sigh of relief. Many people question Palm’s ability to deliver a new mobile operating system at all. Having already created five mobile operating systems, I think Palm can handle the creation of a sixth. What is of more long term strategic importance to Palm is the value added services that will be launched alongside of Palm OS II/Nova powered devices.

I have already talked about the possibility of Palm moving to a cloud computing solution to replace the current versions of Palm Desktop and the HotSync Manager for Windows and Mac OS X. A “Mobile Me Too” solution that Palm develops will be a boon for small business users and consumers. Even after the MyPalm.com portal shutdown, I still think that a cloud solution is in the works. Device backups will be another popular cloud service that Palm may provide. The Palm Backup beta, also closed, showed how easy device backups can and should be for people who do not fancy themselves as geeks.

The last piece of the puzzle has to be an application marketplace and application delivery system. This concept is not new to Palm. Palm’s partnership with Bluefish Wireless to provide AddIt on Palm OS devices has been around since 2003. AddIt masquerades as My Centro and My Treo on many of Palm’s recent smartphones and offers customers a means to demo and purchase software from their phones without the need for a desktop computer. Apple’s App Store has no doubt popularized this feature. As Palm prepares to wrap up development of Palm OS II/Nova, they will need to have a new mobile application store ready to go live at the same time.

When Palm OS II/Nova enters the market place, Palm’s competitors will be implementing similar solutions. Apple’s App Store is already online. Microsoft, RIM, and Google have all pledged to deliver similar on device shopping experiences. If Palm wants to be taken seriously as a mobile technology innovator, then Palm OS II/Nova will need an App Store of it’s own.

The frustrating thing for many customers is that Palm already has an under utilized solution with AddIt. We know that the web will play a major role in Palm OS II/Nova, and it stands to reason that a cloud solution makes sense. The trick for Palm, and their developer partners, who will populate the new digital storefront with software for us to buy, is to rework what they have. Palm will no doubt leverage their existing relationship with Bluefish to develop a new front-end client to the backend solution that would be delivered by the new PocketGear. (For those not in the know, PocketGear, formerly associated with Motricity, is the outsource partner that runs Palm’s online software store, Software Connection.) I’m a big fan of leveraging what has already been developed, and it would seem that Palm already has a relationship with business partners who can help create a new solution in short order without having to throw everything away.

In conclusion, I believe that Palm OS II/Nova represents more than a new mobile operating system that will be installed on smartphones from Palm. As I have attempted to demonstrate before, I believe that Palm OS II/Nova will be foundation for new products and services that are likely under development in Palm’s software labs.

The proof will be in the pudding as the saying goes. To that end, Palm should be taking advantage of CES in January and the Mobile World Congress in February to generate excitement with their carrier partners and in the developer community about a new on device software purchasing and delivery solution. Having a strong third-party software ecosystem will be essential to driving the success of Palm and Palm OS II/Nova just like it was when Palm introduced the Palm Pilot some ten years ago.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Third-Party Developers Are Essential

I was recently reminded how important third-party application developers are to the mobile computing user community.

Back on September 7, Pimlico Software, the company behind the popular DateBK application and the indispensable DBFitIt utility released a small, freeware application referred to only as “PalmHotSyncSetup” that allows older Palm OS smartphones and handhelds to sync with Palm Desktop 6.2 by ACCESS for Windows.

When Palm released the ACCESS edition of Palm Desktop 6.2, it only provided support for the recent crop of Palm devices running Palm OS 5.4.9. This includes the Palm z22, E2, TX, Treo 680, 700p, 755p, and the Palm Centro. If your Palm OS device didn’t come with Palm’s enhanced PIM applications (Contacts, Calendar, Memos, and Tasks) it was not officially supported. Testing older devices from my personal collection revealed that some older “legacy” devices could be synchronized with the new edition of Palm Desktop. My testing lead me to give the Tungsten E and Tungsten T3 the Foleo Fanatics seal of approval for Palm Desktop 6.2.

My testing also verified that Palm OS devices, including the Palm Vx, Tungsten T, and the Sony Clie NZ-90 could not be synchronized to Palm Desktop 6.2. These devices could be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook however; an option that will cost customers an additional $110 or more if they don’t already have a copy installed on their PC.

Taking this information into consideration, my final recommendation on the situation was to use Palm Desktop 6.2 on Vista if you had one of the officially or unofficially supported devices. If you had an older device, I recommended that customers just stick with Palm Desktop 4.1 or 4.2.

Pimlico Software to the Rescue

Pimlico Software, a long time player in third-party application development for the Palm OS platform, earlier this month has released a free desktop utility that adds support for older Palm OS devices to Palm Desktop 6.2. By flipping some switches in the complex Windows Registry, a database of sorts where Microsoft keeps lots of settings for your PC, Pimlico turns on synchronization support for the older PIM applications: Address Book, Date Books, Memo Pad, and To-Do List.

This is fantastic news for Palm customers who have gotten amazing longevity out of their Palm handhelds running Palm OS 3.5 and later. With Windows XP no longer available to consumers who purchase a new PC from big box retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City, Pimlico’s software gives these customers a way to continue using their favorite Palm with Windows Vista. (There are issues with Palm Desktop 4.x and 6.x on Vista. Read about your options here and then pick your poison.)

Pimlico’s easy to use solution takes the risk and pain out of turning on, or off, the ability to sync with older devices. The contributions by Pimlico and others, offer customers the much-needed tools, tweaks, and fixes that manufactures are unable or unwilling to provide users with.

This is why I believe that third-party application developers are so critical to any computing environment.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Continuing Search for Mobile Nirvana


For this week's 1SRC Editorial, I continue my search for mobile computing bliss for a smartphone/keyboard solution that will afford me a more flexible solution while I wait for Palm to release a Foleo.

From this week's editorial:

I love the idea of having information at my fingertips. Whether it is my PIM information, the mobile web, or my documents. In the last few years, I've only been able to achieve half of my mobile Nirvana. Once again I am going to try for mobile bliss.

The Story So Far

Back in the 1990's I had the dynamic duo of PDAs: a Palm handheld and a folding hardware connected full sized keyboard. It was a winning combination that kept me productive on the go. Type in web addresses was a snap, composing email messages was a breeze, and taking notes in meetings couldn't be easier. That last point also ensured I was able to read my notes after the meeting.

When I made the jump to a Treo, things started to fall apart. Wireless keyboards, connecting over Infrared or Bluetooth were plagued with connection and compatibility problems. In the end, I became frustrated with the whole solution of wireless keyboards and I gave up on the idea and went back to using pen and paper. Not exactly the technological wonder I was looking for.

Mobile Bliss Take 3

"They" say that the third time is a charm. I'm hoping that the saying rings true.

I have a small collection of wireless keyboards in the bottom drawer of my desk. The latest addition to my collection is the iGo/ThinkOutsde Bluetooth Sierra wireless keyboard. I originally purchased it to pair up with my Treo 700p. Any one who has used a Treo 700p in the past knows that the Bluetooth stack had, to put it politely, issues.

Years later, I have come to own a Palm Treo 750 powered by Windows Mobile Professional 6.0. While doing some "fall cleaning" in m home office, I came across my Sierra keyboard. Could this Windows Mobile device and this Bluetooth keyboard offer the solution that I have been longing for?

Read the full editorial over at 1SRC.com...

I’ll provide you with an update to see how I’m doing with my Treo 750 and iGo/ThinkOutside Bluetooth Sierra wireless keyboard during this week’s 1SRC podcast, show 197, and 1SRC Chat on 9/6/08.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coming Soon: The Palm Treo Pro


I have posted this week's 1SRC.com Editorial, Coming Soon: The Palm Treo Pro.



The Palm Treo Pro: Coming Soon

Two months ago, Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan told us that Palm would be delivering new smartphones offering “major advancements” built on the Windows Mobile platform. The new Treo 800w on the Sprint network and recently leaked images and details for unannounced Treo Pro/850/Drucker show that Palm is serious about delivering on the promises made back in June.

Making Good on Promises

Palm has been talking about returning to a leadership position in the mobile computing arena by focusing on people, design, and platform. With Elevation Partners help, Palm has addressed “People.” We know that Palm is addressing “Platform” with the continuing development of the Palm OS II/Nova operating system. That leaves “Design” and if the recent Treo 800w and leaked images of the Treo Pro/850 are any indication, Palm has figured out how to make devices that work well, and look great while they are doing it.

WMExperts, PalmInfoCenter (here, here, and here), and Brighthand have posted several good articles that provide product details and clear pictures of the unannounced addition to the Treo product family. What I find encouraging about the Treo Pro rumors is that Palm is poised to provide an elegant looking phone with a robust operating system that enables them to deliver value added features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, and the usual Palm refinements that making using their hardware a delight.

Corporate customers and Windows Mobile power user will have plenty to be happy about with the Treo Pro. Included in this device are a number of nice features including a flush with the body, 320x320 touch screen display and integrated Wi-Fi and GPS radios. According to the rumors, the Treo Pro will also have lots of memory (about 100MB each for application and storage space), a peppy 400MHz processor, a 1500mAh removable battery, and a 3.5mm headphone/headset jack. BlackBerry who?

The recent digital flood of “leaked” Palm Treo Pro information can only be seen as a back door product announcement and leads me to believe that the official release of the new smartphone is imminent. I would be surprised if the Treo Pro doesn’t go on sale in Europe on Vodafone in the next four weeks. The photos and videos that have surfaced on the Internet clearly show a production-grade device. If that prediction turns out to be true, customers in the United States should expect the Treo Pro/850 to arrive on AT&T before February 2009.

What’s In a Name?

Another thing to consider about the new Windows Mobile Treo is the name; the Palm Treo Pro. The Centro is clearly the entry level, consumer-oriented smartphone. The Treo Pro, as the name suggests, stands poised to take over as the corporate flagship smartphone from Palm. But I have to wonder what else Palm has planned for their smartphone line up.

Palm has segregated their smartphones into two clear lines: Palm OS for non-business customers and Windows Mobile for corporate customers. Will Palm further segment their Windows Mobile phone business? The Treo Pro will become the new corporate smartphone. Is Palm’s intent to make the Palm Treo 500v, or similarly styled device, an entry-level device, and what would Palm position as a mid-range candidate for the Windows Mobile platform? Should we expect two see five smartphones in Palm’s 2009 line up? The Centro and a Palm OS II/Nova would hold down the entry-level and consumer mid-range device market. On the Windows side, the Treo 500v would be the value smartphone, a less expensive and feature-laden edition of the Treo 800w/Pro for the mid-market, and the Treo Pro for the high-end enterprise customer.

In Conclusion

Fans and enterprise customers should be very happy with Palm’s new high-end feature phones. The yet to officially be announced Treo Pro is a great looking device that incorporates features that have long been absent from Palm’s smartphone line up. The recent appearance of high-quality photos and video of the Pro indicate that that the device will likely be announced and go on sale in the not too distant future on Vodafone’s wireless network.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Up In the Air




I have published this week's 1SRC Editorial; "Up In the Air."

Back in June I talked about how Palm might be transforming the MyPalm.com portal into a cloud computing solution for the company’s products. With the recent announcement of the MyPalm.com shutdown, I have become more convinced than ever that a new Palm cloud solution is coming.

Recent evidence suggests that even though Palm is closing down their MyPalm.com beta service, work at the company is preceding full steam ahead on a new Internet-based solution.

I suspect that Palm will re-launch their software portal, Software Connection. As you may recall, Motricity has sold all of their direct to consumer businesses, included the eReader and PocketGear properties. Fictionwise acquired the eReader assets and is moving forward with their new assets. I’m glad to see the eReader business in good hands. I really do plan on reading more ebooks before the end of the year. The future of Palm’s Software Connection is a little bit less clear. There is a new management team in place at PocketGear, and their relationship with Palm is still an unknown. The question in my mind is whether or not the new management team is interested in running other company’s software stores in the same manner that Motrcity did for Palm.


One of the key features of the MyPalm.com portal was the ability to deliver new applications to your smartphone over the air (OTA). This was a very nice feature. Simply provide your mobile number and a SMS message is sent that includes the download link for the software. Tap the link and the software is downloaded and installed on your phone. There is no need to sync with a desktop computer. This is the kind of easy of use and simplicity that Palm is so good at. Come September, I expect that Palm will have an enhanced software portal that will allow you to download and purchase software for Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices OTA. If you are a MyPalm member and haven’t tried OTA software installs, go test it out. You will become a convert.

An OTA software store is only a part of the total picture. It is very likely that Palm is moving forward with a new cloud-based service. The Palm Backup beta application alone should be proof of that. If you do need more proof, Palm writes in a recent 10-K SEC filing report that they, “substantially [acquired] all of the assets of a corporation focused on developing solutions to enhance the performance of web applications.” This information taken in consideration with other information that is available strongly suggests that a new cloud application is coming.

Look at it this way; the MyPalm portal beta will have been running for over a year by the time it is closed down. That is plenty of time to learn how people would use a new cloud service and to perfect OTA content delivery. Integrated cloud applications like Google Docs, Mail, and Calendar have been come popular because your information “parked” on servers accessed from the Internet on a wide range of devices. (Yes, I agree that not everyone will want to put all of their data out on servers they don’t control. Lets agree that criminals will get your data one-way or another if they really want to, regardless of where you store your data.) Apple’s Mobile Me service launch was, and still is, a complete mess with tens of thousands of users unable to fully access their account. As flawed as Apple’s implementation of Mobile Me was, rest assured, the underlying concept is sound. I believe that Palm could be working on a “Mobile Me Too” service that will allow their customers to store data on a Palm server and have that data available to smartphones, other Palm products, and all of your computers. Corporate organizations already have these features with Microsoft’s Exchange Server product. Palm has an opportunity to deliver an enterprise class messaging solution targeted specifically at new Centro owners, “prosumers” and small business owners. There is an enormous potential for success here.

All of these new features won’t come with out a price. I fully expect that if Palm does offer a “Mobile Me Too” solution, like Apple, they will charge customers an annual maintenance fee. At $99 a year, Apple’s Mobile Me service is a good value. If Palm where to charge something on the order of $60-79 annually for the kind of service I am talking about, they could potentially steal customers away from Apple.

In conclusion, while I don’t have any first hand information about what is going on at Palm, there is plenty of evidence available that Palm is working on a server based product offering leveraging web technologies. I expect that Palm is working on more than just a new software store and I am looking forward to seeing a cloud-based synchronization solution from Palm.

If the early success of the Treo 800w is any indication of the new management atmosphere introduced by Elevation Partners, Palm can deliver a new data synchronization and OTA content delivery system if they want to.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Labels:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

1SRC Podcast 191





Jeff Kirvin is my special co-host for this week's show as we run down this week's topics:
  • Jeff Kirvin is my special co-host for this week's show.
  • Jeff's review of the Treo 800w and why he is a Palm customer again.
  • Palm InfoCenter is reporting the Treo 755p is being phased out.
Listen to the 1SRC Podcast show 191 now...

Labels:

Friday, July 18, 2008

1SRC Podcast 190






This week on the 1SRC podcast, I tackle:
  • Palm rolls out the new electric blue Centro on AT&T.
  • AT&T slashes the price of the Centro to $69.99 with a 2-year service plan.
  • Palm launches the Treo 800w on Sprint! WinMo fans cheer with glee!
  • 1SRC Editorial: Palm's Marketing Must Be Better
Listen to the 1SRC Podcast, show 190 now...

Labels:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Palm's Marketing Must Be Better



I’ve been talking a lot about makeovers and transformations that are probably going on at Palm. Now it is time for Palm to overhaul their marketing department.

September 2007 can been seen as the official kick off for all of the transformations that Palm is undergoing. To get things started, Palm sold a 27% state in the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners. Then all of the non-essential businesses where sidelined, including the Foleo mobile companion, the traditional handheld PDA business, and Palm’s retail locations. Next came staff reductions and realignment of the remaining teams. Palm has begun to roll out smartphones that are grabbing enthusiastic reviews. Coming up next up for Palm is a new Linux-based mobile operating system that will modernize the venerable Palm OS. With all the positive momentum being generated at the company, the time is right to overhaul their marketing department.

In less than a year, Palm has sold more than a million consumer-oriented Centro smartphones. And they are on track to sell 2 million units by the end of the year. All in all, Palm’s marketing has been resonating with customers looking to replace their feature flip phones. This is a very good thing for Palm. (Evidence also suggests that Palm may soon be able to break even or begin making money on their Centro smartphones.)

However, the events of this past weekend border on being reckless. Just in case you missed it, Palm launched a new edition of the AT&T Centro this weekend. The electric blue Centro went on sale this past Friday at AT&T retail locations and online at the Palm website. AT&T also implemented a temporary price cut for the Centro. You can now get an AT&T Centro for just $69.99 when you sign up for a qualifying 2-year service agreement. (The discount is in effect until September 20, 2008.) And then on Sunday, Sprint began selling the highly anticipated Palm Treo 800w smartphone. Reviews for the Treo 800w are just starting to come in, however, according to the Palm blog, people are writing things like; “ the best Treo ever,” and “the most productive Windows Mobile Pro device.” It is a same that the long lines weren’t for Palm’s new products and that no one heard Palm’s message because the new hardware was introduced during the insanity that was the international Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 software launch.

With Palm running lean and mean, it seems that their marketing department isn’t on the same page as the management. How else can you explain Palm spending money to launch new devices during the same weekend as a major product launch as the iPhone 3G? Why not postpone the product introductions by a weekend? The only thing that I could dream up for a reason to roll out a new Centro this past weekend would be in a vain attempt to be disruptive of Apple’s iPhone launch. If that was the case, Palm’s plan backfired as Apple reported today that they sold over a million iPhone 3Gs internationally as of Sunday; the third day of the new iPhone’s availability.

In the time remaining between now and whenever Palm is ready to deliver the first products running Palm OS II/Nova, I hope that Palm takes a hard look at their marketing efforts. Palm OS II/Nova will probably be the single most important product developed by Palm over the next five years. Palm’s message about the new version of Palm OS and the devices that run it needs to be loud and clear.

There is still time for Palm to put their marketing house in order. To get the ball rolling, Palm has taken the first major step forward by bringing Elevation into the fold. Elevation brings the disciple of product execution to the table and product marketing needs to be part of project plan. Secondly, Palm has hired Lynn Fox away from Apple; a feat that I’m sure Palm Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein had a hand in. In her role as director of Macintosh PR, Fox will know how to add the sizzle to Palm’s steak. Lastly, Palm needs to engage the media and the Palm user community in a combined marketing assault that gets the word out that a new Treo running Palm OS II/Nova will run circles around your current phone.

If Palm can generate excitement for their brand, their new Treo and Palm OS in advance of their delivering the smartphone that there customer base has been clamoring for, Palm won’t just have a smash hit on their hands, they will be on their way to being a meaningful player in the mobile computing field.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Labels:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Editorial: You Can Do More

I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, "You Can Do More". In it, I talk about how Palm might help new customers learn more about all of the great third-party application software for the Centro smartphone.

You Can Do More

Palm is working hard to promote the Centro as a consumer oriented smartphone. Now they need to make sure that people upgrading from feature phones to the Centro know that it is easy to purchase and install third-party applications that can extend the utility of their phone.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the demographics of Apple iPhone and Palm Centro purchasers. We talked feature about phone users who might upgrade from a 12-key feature flip phone to a smartphone. Surely the iPhone is the current darling of the media. However, I don’t believe that brand awareness alone will drive sales. There are a few things that consumers consider before purchase a phone including: hardware costs, monthly subscription rates, features of the software, and whether or not the device is intended for work or entertainment.

It is the software and new customers that I would like to focus on. It is a long-standing fact that most people don’t install third-party software on their Palm smartphones. The last statistic that I recall reading said that about 33% of Palm owners do install third-party software. Let’s assume for a minute that the number is wrong and that 60% of customers install applications on their devices. That still leaves a whopping 40% of customers who are not realizing the full potential of their smartphones.

There are three things that I think that Palm can do to help raise consumer awareness of the vast software library available for the Centro smartphone. To raise awareness, Palm should focus on:
  • In store displays
  • Placing a card in the Centro box
  • Leveraging of the MyPalm.com portal
The object should not only be to inform new Palm customers of what their new Centro is capable of doing. Palm should be showing new customers how easy it is to find, purchase, and install these applications.

The in store display should be a no brainer. On my last trips to a Sprint/Nextel and AT&T location, there where stand up posters and ads all over the inside of the store. I don’t recall seeing any of the Palm information cards make mention the large library of software that was available for the Centro, the Treo 755p, or the Treo 750. The first step in getting the full utility out of a new phone should start at the retail location. Customers should know right form the get go that there is even more that the Centro can do than what is printed on the side of the box.

What if the customer purchases the new phone online? That’s where the in box card comes into play. The first thing a new Centro owner should see when they open the box is a card that briefly talks about doing more with the phone. Palm should pick a few category-defining applications to feature on the insert. Palm might feature games from Astraware, personal utility applications from SplashData, and multimedia applications from NormSoft and CoreCodec. (I also think that Palm should highlight ringtones, ringtone managers, and wallpapers, however, I doubt that the cellular carriers will allow them to get away with doing so.) When you think about it, Palm probably only has a few seconds to impress upon their customers that you can install additional software on the Centro. It might make more sense to put the Getting Started fold out poster on top and a software sticker on the inside of the box lid. I’ll leave it to Palm’s marketing department to iron out the details.

The last thing that Palm can do to help new customers add third-party applications to the Centro is by leveraging the currently in beta, MyPalm.com customer portal. By signing up for the free Palm service, new customers will not only get access to 24x7 support for their smart device, they should also be able to browse all of the content from the Palm Software Connection application web store.

One of the advantages of the MyPalm.com portal is the ability to download and install software on the Centro (and the Treo also) wirelessly over the air (OTA). When a customer finds an application that they would like to try or buy, they can click a button to send the software down to their device. Today, the MyPalm.com portal sends a SMS message to your phone with a download link in the body. When you tap the link, the software is downloaded to the device and the installer runs automatically. Installing software from the MyPalm.com portal onto the Centro OTA is a much easier and clearer way to install software. No one reads manuals anymore and requiring customers to try and figure out how to install software via the HotSync process is too complex for new users to have to deal with. The web portal and OTA installer is the better way to go. I really think that Palm is working on a solution like this. If you haven’t already done so, you should read A Palm Desktop Makeover.

In conclusion, I think that Palm and third-party application software developers have an opportunity to maximize customer awareness that the Centro can do more than a 12-key feature flip phone. This will, in turn, drive more software sales. In store, in box, and online advertising efforts can be used to help drive customers to the MyPalm.com portal where a wealth of new applications await them.

You can discuss this week's editorial at 1SRC.com...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

1SRC Podcast 181


I just posted this week's 1SRC Podcast. On the latest show, I cover the following:



1. Recap of Palm's presentation from the Merrill Lynch tech conference.
2. USB analyst gives Palm stock a "sell" rating and why I think this guy is wrong.
3. Ringo has been updated with a free SMS sound pack.
4. Astraware Platypus gets reviewed this week.
5. Windows Mobile Minute: Oh where, oh where has my World Clock gone?

And, maybe, just maybe, there is a Foleo rant in there somewhere.

Listen to 1SRC Podcast 181...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Palm OS Emulator for iPhone Found in the Wild



1SRC co-founder Joel Suplido has obtained a leaked Palm OS emulator for Apple's wildly popular iPhone and iPod Touch. Of the emulator, Joel writes:
"The icons do look "ancient" but it's great to see PalmOS again. Turning the iPhone sideways produces a much smaller screen. I do wish there's a landscape version too!"
I know that many Palm OS fanboys/girls will be looking forward to the official release of the emulator along with Tyler Faux's follow up to LudusP, Shark Radiology.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Hope you all had a happy April Fool's Day!
-Alan

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Operation: Top Secret

I have posted this week's 1SRC editorial, Operation: Top Secret.
"Back in November 2007, several tarp-covered tractor-trailer semi trucks rumbled down the streets of Sunnyvale in the pre-dawn light. The convoy’s destination, we now know, was 950 West Maude Avenue; Palm’s corporate headquarters. Over the last several months I have been working to discover exactly what the clandestine delivery was all about. After reviewing entries in the Palm purchasing system, I discovered an entry simply noted as “CoS.” Anyone who is versed in classic TV knows the CoS can only be Cone of Silence as seen in Get Smart. Apparently, Palm is putting their new acquisitions to good use.

While the though of Palm CEO Ed Colligan and Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein buying surplus Cones of Silence seems comical, whatever these two Palm executives are going to plug leaks it is working."

Keep reading...

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Astraware Westward Review


I have posted a review of the latest Astraware and Sandlot Games colaborative project, Westward over at 1SRC.com.

Astraware Westward is an adoption of the game of the same name from Sandlot Games. Westward is a family oriented strategy game for mobile devices. The object of Westward to is shepherd a small band of settlers with a few covered wagons into a bustling town full of colorful citizens while bringing the swindling “Mad Russian” to justice.

Go West Young Man

Learning to play Westward is easy. The first time you start up the game, Tutorial Teacher helps you along as you find your way through the first few game levels. There is also a built-in help system that describes the various game control elements if you are in need of a review when the Tutorial Teacher isn’t around. Learning the rules and game control elements only takes a few minutes. In the mobile edition of Westward, Astraware gives your preference to control the action with either the device’s directional pad (d-pad) or the stylus. While playing Westward, I found that the d-pad was acceptable for most tasks, but when I wanted to select a group of things, like the Sheriff Jenkins and his deputies, the stylus was easier to use.

Continue reading...

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Adios, Motricity


I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial; "Adios, Motricity."

"After making a mess of one of the best mobile software portals, Motricity retreats to the west coast and dumps consumers for content and service providers.

Motrcity has decided to leave their direct to consumer businesses behind as they move to the west coast and engage in business with content providers, mobile operators, and businesses willing to contract with the company to deliver mobile “portals, storefronts, managed web and search,…[and] messaging gateway services”. (Read the press release)

In addition to ruining 2008 for the 250 employees who are getting laid off, Motricity decided that it would be a great idea to ruin the best online Palm software store, PalmGear.com, by rolling it up into the “revamped” PocketGear.com as a going away present. To add insult to injury, Motricity is looking to sell the PocketGear.com unit. I’m left wondering if it was even worth rolling the two sites together at all.

Looking back in hindsight, it makes perfect sense for Motricity to have consolidated their direct to consumer software online stores, PalmGear and PocketGear. Knowing that they were going to sell off the “non-profitable and non-core businesses”, rolling Palm and PocketGear into a single online store would make it more attractive to any company interested in buying the property. Unfortunately for whoever the new owner is, they will see that their work has been cut out for them. The repackaging of PocketGear.com has hurt the online retailer.

The roll up effort to migrate PalmGear.com into PockerGear wasn’t executed well. Much of the freeware and shareware applications had disappeared for some weeks. During that transition period, I was really turned off by entire user experience. In addition to not being able to find the software that I was looking for, as a Mac OS X user, I found the new site deign difficult to use. To this day, the drop down menus for device or mobile operating system selection still don’t work with FireFox 2.x. (During the transition, to Morticity’s credit, I never lost access to the software and registration codes I purchased from the PalmGear site.) Several months after the change over, the Palm OS software library is being represented on the site. Alexander Pruss’ FontSmoother is featured on the main page of the site. Great shareware applications like Tyler Faux’s LudusP are also once again available. And the popular freeware Palm OS file manager, FileZ, from NoSleep Software is available along with some 200+ freeware titles. However, are these efforts by Motricity to try and clean up PocketGear a bit too late?"


Keep reading on 1SRC.com...

Labels: ,

Friday, January 25, 2008

1SRC Podcast 165



I've posted this week's 1SRC Podcast. This week I cover:


  • Palm is closing all of their retail locations. Photos of the New York City store here and here.
  • Treo 600 and Treo 650 customers will want to read about the Palza Class Action Settlement.
  • Alan is getting a blue Sprint Treo 755p. Don't hate me. Hate the addiction!
  • 1SRC Editorial: The PDA Rebooted.
Listen to the 1SRC Podcast 165 now...

Labels:

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions


I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, New Year's Resolutions.

"With all eyes on Palm Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein and his senior management team in 2008, here are some New Year’s resolutions the company might take under consideration.


Closing the Books on 2007

2007 was a tough year for Palm. Earnings were down for two consecutive quarters. The Treo 755p failed to meet the target delivery date for the crucial holiday shopping season for carrier partner Verizon Wireless. The Foleo mobile companion was cancelled just weeks before it was due to begin shipping. No new handheld PDAs were shipped. And Palm CEO Ed Colligan suggested that the new Linux-based operating system, “Palm OS II” as I call it, would not appear on devices until 2009.

There have been a few successes for Palm. The new Centro smartphone has been a hit. Currently available only from Sprint and in black onyx and ruby red, there are rumors of the imminent release of a new pink Centro on Sprint and the launch of a white GSM Centro on AT&T Wireless. And Palm sold about 27% of the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners.


Looking Ahead to 2008

This New Year, Palm should consider the following resolutions:

1. Drive “Palm OS II” to completion

The single largest liability for Palm right now is the age of its Palm OS 5 operating system. The current code base that powers the Treo 680, 755p, and Centro was never really intended to power smartphones. The new Linux operating system needs to be completed this year and certified by Palm’s major wireless carrier partners.

Some of the features that customers will be looking for in Palm OS II include:
• a true multitasking operating system (voice and data at the same time)
• an updated modular user interface that still preserves Palm’s ease of use
• robust file management tools that will interact with other Palm devices
• robust web browser and email client
• support for multiple active wireless radios (cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi)"

Keep reading...

Labels: ,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Foleo Rants

Listeners of my weekly 1SRC.com podcast know that I prefer to take a measured approach to covering what's going on in the Palm community. However in the last few weeks there have been reports of Palm's Foleo being used. Allow me to recap for you.

Back in New York at the DigitalLife conference where Palm announced the new Centro consumer-oriented smartphone, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked a question about what was happening with the Foleo after it was disclosed that it was going to be canceled in an on camera interview. Mr. Colligan said that the company could possibly release a Foleo-like device in the future and that he still uses his all the time.

Similarly at the JP Morgan Small/Mid Cap conference that was held in Boston, Massachusetts, Palm CFO Andy Brown indicated that he has been using the new Palm Centro for the last two months and that it works great with his Foleo.

Last week blog GearDiary.com published photos of the Foleo in action, including photos of the configuration page, file manager, and the Opera web browser. In one of the web browser photos it is clearly visible that the date on the article was November 14, 2007.

Three separate instances of the Foleo in action after it was canceled. Foleo Fanatics can get their rant on with the following two segments from 1SRC.com podcasts 154 and 156.

Just for the record, I do agree with all the business reasons that Palm sited for not doing the Foleo right now. The decision to focus on Palm OS II and then later using the new Linux-based operating system in both the Treo smartphone and any future Foleo or Foleo-like device has some really appealing synergies that I'm interested in seeing in action; such as portable applications (between Treo and Foleo devices), file browsing across devices, and the ability for the Foleo to operate as an independent low-cost (read: sub-$400) computing platform for mobile business professionals, educators and students, and busy individuals.

For more news, analysis, reviews, and commentary on the Palm community, check out my weekly 1SRC.com Palm Powered podcast. You can subscribe to the show with your podcast catcher of choice with the 1SRC.com Podcast RSS feed.

Foleo Rant 1 from 1SRC.com Podcast 154 (11/9/07)...
Foleo Rant 2 from 1SRC.com Podcast 156 (11/21/07)...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Editorial: Sideling for Success

I have posted this week's 1SRC editoral, Sidelining for Success.

In an editorial last week Brighthand Editor-in-Chief Ed Hardy wrote that Palm will not be releasing a Palm TX2 handheld, or any other PDAs, anytime soon. I know that customers who prefer having a stand alone device won’t be happy about this news. Taking a longer view of what this development means, I feel, gives you a better idea of what is going on at Palm and why there won’t be a TX2 coming in 2008.

The Palm TX2 isn’t the first device that we have learned won’t be shipping. Earlier this year, the Palm Foleo was announced (May, 2007) and then later canceled (September, 2007). The rumored Treo 770, which included a leaked, marked up user guide, also never materialized this year. If here is demand for these devices, and I really do believe that the Foleo answers a need for mobile professionals, why aren’t they making it to market?

There are two reasons why I believe that these devices are being taken off the drawing board and being put on the shelf. The first is that Palm’s management team has had a dickens of a time executing on their long-term goals to deliver products. Palm executives have already admitted that the company has had trouble with execution. The second is that there are some new corporate owners in town and they are reprioritizing Palm’s internal product roadmap.

I was listening to the Business Week Cover Stories podcast, specifically a show called “Perform or Perish” with John Byrne and Emily Thornton. The two talked about an article that appeared in a late October print issue of Business Week in which the magazine took a look at what happens to companies when they are taken over by private equity firms. The Business Week podcast caught my interest because Palm recently agreed to give up a 25% stake in the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners. The article focuses on the intense pressure put on the CEO and management team to drive down operating costs and increase profitability. It is a high stress environment for sure; however, the rewards can be equally great.

“So how does this all fit in with Palm?” you might be asking yourself. Palm’s greatest asset is their ability to differentiate their products from all of the other devices on the market with their software. The problem is that on the Palm OS side it is becoming increasingly more difficult to differentiate due to the age of the underlying foundation of the operating system. How can they leverage their software, drive down costs, and increase profitability? I think we already have the answers.

I suspect that the new management team at Palm has re-evaluated the internal product roadmap. Palm CEO Ed Colligan has stated that he had been working with Jon Rubinsein on a consulting basis prior to his joining Palm as the Executive Chairman of the Board at the close of the Palm/Elevation transaction. With the number of products that haven’t been released this year, three by my count, I suspect that any project that does not directly relate to the development of Palm OS II or the next generation Treo are being set aside for the time being. Make no mistake; Palm OS II is a high priority project for Palm and they need to deliver the new Linux OS on a redesigned Treo within the next year. Palm is looking to reduce costs by using a common hardware architecture that is expected to provide the company with the ability to leverage a lower bill or materials costs and accelerate the product delivery cycle. If Palm is able to execute on their plans to develop a new Palm OS, a redesigned Treo, and lower costs, the company can achieve the increased profitability I talked about earlier. With the distractions of non-essential products out of the way, Palm will be able to better focus on the items that are important to the company long term. And sometimes this means that products need to be canceled or postponed as was likely the case with the Foleo.

In Conclusion

Palm will have its work cut out for the 2008 calendar year. Investors, analysts, and customers will be watching the company to see if the new management team will be able to execute to drive to product delivery for early 2009. Palm isn’t a company without ideas; it is just one that needs help getting those ideas from the drawing board and into people’s hands. Palm has a long history in the mobile computing space and with the right resources in place; they can design easy to use products that help customers meet the needs of their personal and professional lives.

[Via 1SRC.com...]

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Centro: For the Rest of Us



I have posted week's 1SRC editorial has been posted and talks about some of the advantages that the new Palm Centro has over Apple's much talked about iPhone.

"The Centro can’t stand up to the Apple iPhone. And it doesn’t have to.

Focus on the Differentiation

The iPhone and the Centro are both being marketed to people who use regular old cell phones. In the United States alone there are millions of people up for grabs. Centro is intended for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider purchasing a $500+ phone from Palm, Apple, or High Tech Computing (HTC).

The Centro offers a better user experience when trying to type out a text message or short email to your friends. There is also a large selection of software to choose from. (Apple is planning on releasing the tools to create native iPhone/iPod Touch applications early next year.) Regardless of what you want to do or what interests you, there is likely an application for you that will run on the Centro. When you compare the ease of use of the Centro to feature flip phones you see that it is possible to obtain a better mobile experience for a comparable price for all but the cheapest cell phones given away free with new service agreements.

You also can’t over look the ease of use of the Palm OS platform. Despite its age, Palm OS 5 is still a very capable operating system. At the heart of the Palm platform are the core 4 personal information management (PIM) applications: Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos. These applications are straightforward and easy to use. It is this ease of use and straight forward approach to PIM tools that has kept me coming back Palm every time I thing about upgrading my phone.

Messaging Matters

If you accept that the Centro is intended for 20 and 30-somethings, then you also must agree that it offers a better messaging experience over feature phones. Cento comes bundled with an IM, test messaging, and, email applications. Using Centro’s built-in keyboard improves up on the process of typing out messages to friends and coworkers.

The Centro is also cost competitive with the iPhone. After carrier discounts and mail in rebates the Centro can be purchased for the low price of $99. The Centro ends up being $300 less expensive than the iPhone and has almost all of the same features. Centro is also cheaper than the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Furthermore, Sprint’s voice and data plans are slightly cheaper than AT&T’s. If you are on a budget, the Centro just makes sense.

In Conclusion

The new Palm Centro is an effort by Palm to reach out to customers who would otherwise not consider buying a smartphone. When talking about sales figures it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. There are more than enough cell phone users for both Apple and Palm to market to. In recent years Palm has lost their leadership position in the smartphone market. The Centro is a good start in working back to that coveted spot. If Palm is serious about getting back on top of the smartphone heap, than future phones will need to be more innovative, look good, work well, and have the marketing muscle behind it to really generate some buzz in the industry. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to have the empowering features of a smartphone without the bloated price tag, the Centro is the device for you."
Via 1SRC.com...

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 31, 2007

1SRC Podcast 144





On this week's 1SRC Podcast, I cover:

  • Palm releases the Windows Mobile 6 update for Vodafone's European Treo 750v customers.
  • No new updates on the Palm Foleo or Centro.
  • Should the Foleo be a stand alone product ?
  • 1SRC Editorial: Mobile Linux - The Key to Interoperability.

Listen to the 1SRC Podcast Show 144
...


Labels:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1SRC Podcast 143







This week's 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

1SRC Podcast 143 Show Notes

  • Carl W. Brooks, Editor of PalmLoyal.com is my special guest this week.
  • Palm confirms the existance of the Centrol.
  • PIC has details on pTunes for the Foleo.
  • Check out Gx-5's DialByPhoto. For a limited time, it is 50% off!
  • 1SRC Editorial: Foleo: Big Blue Inside.
  • What's on my Palm
Listen to the 1SRC Podcast 143...

Labels:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1SRC Editorial: Big Blue Inside


I've posted this week's 1SRC Editorial which deals with the recent reports that IBM is looking at possibly purchasing Wind River Systems, the embedded Linux operating system company.

"Palm recently announced a partnership with Wind River Systems to provide the underlying open standards Linux operating system for future Foleo Mobile Companion products. Over the weekend, PC World Magazine ran an article on their website about a possible acquisition of Wind River by IBM.

Powered by Blue

Palm is a company that has a lot of balls in the air. The Elevation Partners recapitalization deal still needs to be approved and potentially executed with a backdrop of an already jittery financial marketplace. Palm is also gearing up for a number of new product roll outs including the Foleo Mobile Companion sometime in the next few weeks; the release of the new form factor Centro smartphone, and last, but not least, the launch of a new Linux-based version of Palm OS, which I’ve dubbed “Palm OS II” until Palm officially names the new operating system in advance of its introduction during the 2008 calendar year.

As if this wasn’t enough to keep a medium-sized technology company occupied, the possibility of having a new business partner acquired, I’m sure, has a few people at Palm interested in the latest M&A (mergers and acquisitions) newspaper headlines. The last operating system provider that Palm was working with, ACCESS/PalmSource, ran into trouble. So what is to prevent such a thing from happening again?

Enter IBM."
Keep reading...

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

1SRC Podcast 142


This week on the 1SRC podcast, show number 142, I talk about the new details regarding the Verizon Wireless 700-series updaters, getting Reuters news on your Palm; Carl W. Brooks from PalmLoyal.com sends in an audio postcard, this week's 1SRC editorial and more!

Listen to 1SRC Podcast 142...

Labels:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Foleo Update on the 1SRC Podcast



On this week's 1SRC Podcast, show 141, I cover all of the latest Palm Foleo news coming out of LinuxWorld.

1SRC Podcast 141 Show Notes:
  • CNNMoney.com reports that the Foleo will ship in September. Are they correct?
  • Palm partners with Wind River Systems for future Linux development on the Foleo.
  • Palm also announces a LogMeIn client for the Foleo will become available.
  • Brighthand's Ed Hardy has details on production Foleo specs.
  • PalmAddicts has posted an notice about the new TalkPlus.com beta for the Treo.
  • 1SRC Editorial: The Evolving Treo.
Listen to 1SRC Podcast 141...

Labels: ,

Friday, June 1, 2007

1SR Podcast 131 Covers the Foleo

This week on the 1SRC Podcast, show 131, I am joined by Gadgets On The Go editor, Jimmie Geddes and PalmAddict podcast host Tyler Faux to discuss the launch and initial reaction to the Palm Foleo.



Listen to 1SRC Podcast Show 131...

Labels: , ,