Talk is cheap!

centroleaked.jpgThe Other day, super tech blog Engadget wrote an open letter to Palm about the direction the company has taken. The Editorial hit like a NUCLEAR bomb in the Palm Community, leading many Palm Bloggers and their readers to speak out aggressively. Apparently the Editorial hit home, as Palm’s CEO posted this response. The response has in turn led to a virtual torrent of responses from Palm Community Bloggers. One of the best of those editorial responses can be found here.


It’s no secret that a company can claim the love of its customers and succeed in the market once it is able to meet the needs of these customers – a tenet which may help explain Palm’s fall from grace this past year. I’ll be the first to admit that we can be a rather demanding lot and inevitably Palm will not be able to meet every need all the time. Having said this however there are some pretty basic things that we not only desire but have also now come to demand given the increasingly more attractive competitive offerings from the likes of RIM, Apple, Motorola, HTC and even Nokia. Palm has unfortunately provided us with a rather unimpressive lineup (think Foleo and Palm Centro) and Treonauts everywhere have grown increasingly restless and frustrated with the company’s inability to deliver the future Treo smartphone that they really want – one with meaningful new hardware, software, content and service innovations. Overall we have tried to be polite and diplomatic about this but it obviously has not had the desired effect. It may thus now be time for this community to take a considerably harsher, critical and increasingly more active role to push Palm in the right direction. “

The Engadget article was not the first to address the failings of Palm. In fact many articles and editorials have been written over the last couple of years. Each release of the Palm version of the Treo has been greeted with outrage for Palm’s failing to include Wifi, sufficient memory and a stable OS. Many of the Palm sites have done a poor job of pushing or challenging Palm, instead serving as Palm Cheerleaders. While this has bought them access and free Palm Goodies, it has not served the needs of the community at large. One of my favorite Palm blogs is Palm Discovery, who had a great wrap up this morning.

Looks like Ed Colligan, the CEO of Palm has provided a short reply on the official Palm blog here to Engadget’s Open Letter editorial. Interesting how quick of a response you get from Palm when you’re the “big guys” like Engadget. Considering I’m such a small fry blogger, it’s not surprising that I didn’t get any response PERIOD even now and I doubt I ever will. Sigh.

It is a good step that Palm is addressing the open letters. But unlike many of the positive responses from the PDA community including Engadget, Mobilitysite, etc, I am very skeptical that anything will change. Palm may be “listening” but are they going to “act” on it? This is not the first time that Palm has officially addressed an “open letter”.

Back in November 2006 when Treocentral forum member, Bob-C wrote an open letter to Ed Colligan. And Ed Colligan provided a response back on Dec 13. More info can be found here.

So, have we seen much changes since then? Hardly. The Palm Treo 700p users are STILL dealing with the Treo 700p MR update issues. Actually, Palm recently had to pull all the updates from its website. Certainly gives you a lot of confidence about their ability and transparency, doesn’t it?

Again, this isn’t the first time I’ve read, heard and seen Ed give the usual PR talk, to make us all hopeful that things are going well and there’s Wi-Fi coming for the Treos, exciting times ahead, etc. Basically, as far as I’m concerned, this is just the usual “talk” to shut us up and buy some more time for a while. I am getting quite tired of hearing the talk. Talk is cheap. You can say all the things we want to hear but it means nothing if there’s nothing to show for. And we’ve been hearing it for years. Now it’s time for action. I’ll believe it when I see it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I am hoping but my gut tells me it’s the same old thing. I hope I’m wrong.

Thank goodness that I’m *NOT* the only one who’s skeptical about Ed’s response. Woke up and found at least two bloggers who share the same skepticism about Palm that I had. Previously, the night before, all I read from various bloggers were positive response to Ed’s reply. It was like suddenly, because Ed says it’s okay that everything *will* be fine. The ship’s not sinking. (I believe they said that when the Titanic sank too). Well, if Ed’s the captain and he says it’s okay, then it *must* be okay. Er, I think we may need another captain.

For the other few different reactions, please check out jkontherun and #comments. Thanks for linking to us, #comments!

I am glad to see one of the best of the Palm Sites actually challenging the Palm Dogma. Some of the others who have depended on Palm for “Bling,” and special treatment over the last couple of years, are losing credibility in their silence. The Palm Centro, pictured above, is supposed to be the next release by Palm, like the Foleo before it, it is decidedly “underwhelming.” Its time for Palm to start doing more than talk… Their relevance is slipping away.

Crossposted to ISOU


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