Monday, January 5, 2009

Can Palm Come Back?

PalmDoc shares his excitement over Palm's upcoming CES presentation and has a rather nice wishlist of what he wants to see from them complete with a pretty snazzy mock-up. I've owned ten PalmOS devices over the past ten years and would love to see Palm get its act together. But it's hard to say if I should be enthusiastic or not given how tight-lipped Palm has been about its new OS. 

And yet, I look at my old Treo 680 and Palm TX and think that they are pretty good devices. I still use my TX as a PDA, PDF and e-book reader, and as a universal remote. For all my T-Mobile G1's powerful hardware and sohpisticated Android OS, its software library lacks the breadth and depth the third party software that is available for the PalmOS. The way I use my TX is a perfect example of this—there are PDF and e-book readers available for Android but they are slow and clunky in comparison to Palm's offerings. 

And that's part of the reason why I worry about Palm's new OS. Will it be backwards compatible with older applications? Palm won't say. Historically Palm has been very good about supporting older apps on its newer operating systems but Nova is expected to be a huge leap from earlier versions of the PalmOS. Without its huge software library, I would see no reason to abandon my shiny new Android phone for a new Palm Nova OS with little or no third party software.

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