Re: [NTLK] [OT] New Palm Device (flop?)

From: Steven Scotten <>
Date: Fri Jun 01 2007 - 14:05:57 EDT

On Jun 1, 2007, at 10:19 AM, Martin Joseph wrote:

> On Jun 1, 2007, at 3:20 AM, John Chu wrote:
>> I'd just like to point out that somewhere along the way, my name got
>> attributed to this text. I didn't write this.
> Yes, those are my words.

I think I've been arguing off-list with John about what you said.
Sorry to you both.

> Actually as a recent "smart" phone believer, I must reiterate I
> think this product is stupid. Are se supposed to believe that on the
> road we will carry our smart phones and our palm folio, but that
> when we get home we will have to sync with our desktops?

Maybe when we get home we sync our phone to our desktop, but the
paradigm Palm seems to be promoting is to have a lightweight handheld
computer replace the desktop at least for certain kinds of tasks.
Sync phone to desktop, subnotebook to phone.

It seems to me like Palm is trying to hit the buying public over the
head with the Newton, or at least for not having "gotten" the Newton.
No one in the mainstream market believes that you can have a useful
device that only weighs a couple of pounds, but *everyone* knows you
can have your entire office in your phone.

I've used a Palm device as a desktop replacement. The T3 with add-on
keyboard was not bad at all if you're someone like me with above
average vision. (The Treo, not so much). Do you know how many times I
wished I could sync the palm directly to my phone? In any case,
especially coming from the perspective of being a Newton user first,
I often wanted a Palm device with a much bigger screen.

All this Foleo is is a Palm device with a bigger screen, a built-in
keyboard, and some data sync that connects it to the phone instead of
the desktop. The "major paradigm shift" seems stupid to us because
we've had Newtons for a dozen years or more, but what Palm is saying
is, "all this stuff you can do on your phone, you can also do more
comfortably with a larger device, and you don't have to give up your
phone because these devices work seamlessly with one another."

What Palm is biting their tongue and NOT saying is, "you idiots won't
believe that a small lightweight device can be useful unless we tell
you that it's just as useful as your phone."

> Yeah, I agree, although I didn't make that bit up, I read it being
> said by a Palm spokesperson. They didn't say categorically that it
> could handle media, but they said it wasn't intended for that.
> Sounded kind of like a blatant warning.

Well, the thing syncs to the phone by bluetooth. I wouldn't want to
move videos over the bluetooth connection. But pop the SD card out
and put it in the Foleo is probably too much for most people to grok.
I mean, us computer users are pretty dense when it comes to following
simple instructions. How many times each month does someone who did a
fine job of getting ON a mailing list get completely flustered trying
to get off of it, even with pointers to the instructions in every email?

Since they're leaning so heavily on how easy it's supposed to be to
sync with the phone, I'd probably not hype any video capability either.

> I have nothing against a little Linux laptop, but don't see this as
> anything but a loser for Palm as a product. In fact I think it's
> stunningly ill conceived. It seems to me that technologies like
> bigger better screens/projectors built into the phones and wireless
> keyboards (along with speech and touch technologies) are going to
> make the phone the mobile general computing platform in and of itself.

Yeah, I think it's a mistake to think of this as a little Linux
laptop. Palm (and Access as well) has been promising the next version
of PalmOS would be based on the Linux kernel and would be able to
handle a broader range of devices. They've been telling us that for
like five years now. When I was using my T3 as a desktop replacement,
I was missing the Newton and thinking how nice it would be to have a
PalmOS device with a bigger screen and a usable keyboard. Palm did
that, and I think it's a good thing because while I was happy with
the T3 as a computer, the screen on the Treo is too small to use for
writing and browsing and whatnot. And the Treo is on the large side
of what I would consider using as a phone; I certainly don't want my
phone to be any bigger than this.

I'm not saying that the Foleo is going to be a big success, but I
don't want to fault them for delivering what I've been screaming at
them to deliver ever since I put down my Newt in favor of a Palm.


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Received on Fri Jun 1 14:05:59 2007

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