The Future of Palm…

I had almost forgotten about this piece Thanks to the folks at Palm Addicts for reminding me of it…The truth is, despite my own desire to get a Treo 680, and my love for Palm Hardware and Software, (I own both a Treo 650, and a Lifedrive). I am far from being one of those drooling Palm Fanboys, who has sold his soul for the occasional demo handout.

I believe that Palm has grown far to comfortable with it’s leadership position in the last few years and has grown complacent. My Treo is a great business tool. It allows me to stay connected away from the office and to keep in touch with clients via email and chat. It’s an amazing device, made even more amazing by fantastic developers like Hobbyist software, who publish just about every piece of software on my Treo.

But it is fatally flawed. How Palm could ship a smartphone with only 24mb of usable memory is both a mystery, and an insult to people who paid up to $600 for the phone. Especially when HP and others offer WIndows Mobile based smartphones with 128mb of memory at about the same price. To add to the insult, the None of the Palm based Treo line, even the 680, offer Wifi as an option. And while I love my 650, not a day passes that I don’t have some kind of a reset.

Likewise, my Lifedrive is a wonder of technology… 4 Gigabytes of memory (Hard Drive Based), Wifi and Bluetooth… Great Screen… And it crashes daily as well, despite the fact that every piece of software on it is Lifedrive compatible… Not to mention the fact that it is slow as molasseses in winter (Due to the lack of REAL RAM… Even the RAM is based on the Hard Disk). Palm makes the problem worse by ignoring customer feedback, and providing the worst support India can offer.

So why do I remain a Palm Addict? Because I know what Palm CAN do. I am hoping for a T/X 2, because I believe that Palm can recapture the old magic. They just need to provide a good device with multiple wireless functionality and Gigs of memory… At a fair price… And if Skype continues to refuse to release a Palm VOIP Client, program one yourself. It is time Palm got true access to the biggest VOIP network in the world, without having to do black magic to do so.

I want to stay with Palm, and for the short term I will. I have a lot invested in Palm add-ons and software. But if Palm does not come up with a compelling handheld product next year, I may be switching to Windows Mobile.

Crossposted to ISOU

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