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Palm's Software Chief Quits

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the out-of-hand dept.

Businesses 98

alphadogg writes "Michael Abbott, the head of Palm's software and services team, will leave the company at the end of next week, according to a regulatory filing Palm made on Friday to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He submitted his resignation on Monday and will leave the company on April 23, Palm said. The resignation came as reports surface that the struggling handset maker is seeking a buyer. Last month Palm reported disappointing results for the quarter that ended Feb. 26. Its Pre and Pixi smartphone lines, which run the WebOS operating system, are up against a growing number of smartphones using Google's Android platform as well as Apple's popular iPhone."

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98 comments

Can it be? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882354)

First post?

And nothing of value was lost. (4, Interesting)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882368)

Access owns PalmOS, Access owns BeOS, WebOS was a failure, and it's a damn shame, but Palm hasn't done anything worthwhile since the Treo 650. I loved my Treos, and I loved the Kyocera 6035 I had before them, but the only value Palm provides these days is nostalgia.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Insightful)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882376)

Have you actually used WebOS?

It didn't fail because of the OS. (Well, OK, them dragging their feet on native code didn't help, but the OS is quite good, and probably has the best UI of any mobile OS today.)

Even the marketing didn't do it.

It's the hardware that's absolute crap.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882380)

no blame was ascribed. a failure is a failure imo and webos is one

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882390)

Have you actually used WebOS?

It didn't fail because of the OS. (Well, OK, them dragging their feet on native code didn't help, but the OS is quite good, and probably has the best UI of any mobile OS today.)

Even the marketing didn't do it.

It's the hardware that's absolute crap.

I have to agree. As an iPhone owner I thought the WebOS interface looked pretty nice. It's a shame this is happening to Palm because it seems like they had the start of something great.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (3, Informative)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882714)

You mean the great OS that reports data back to palm? http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/08/12/1616243/Palm-Pre-Reports-Your-Location-and-Usage-To-Palm/ [slashdot.org]

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884466)

Android does the same thing.

And having logged decent time with both a Droid and a Pre, it's 'a good thing'. Having your apps (free and purchased) instantly restored if you need to wipe the device.. having your phone's data restored..

The immediate surface it's scary sound, but it's incredibly handy.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Insightful)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884638)

but why does it need my location?

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (3, Funny)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884858)

Because the phone keeps tabs when you are with your girlfriend and needs to know when you are alone so it can back up _that_ app. Yeah you know which one I'm talking about.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31885710)

Well, to restore your location too, of course...How else would you know where you are after you wiped your device?

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882406)

I agree, WebOS is simply amazing. I've used an iPhone for over two years and switched to using the Pre recently, WebOS is the most elegant mobile platform around. The iPhone OS and Anround are both nice, but I think if more people actually gave WebOS a try, they'd love it.

and yes, the hardware is pretty bad, not "absolute crap" -- but need quite a bit of improvement :(

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882590)

Wtf is Anround? Are you drunk or something you filthy bitch?

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882796)

He's not drunk, he's an Apple customer.

Meeaahhh dun wanaa Anround meuh see guy in turtneck sellun duh phone me wants lots!

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31884668)

You'll be surprised, but WebOS and Android are the same OS. It's just applications which makes it look different.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885072)

You'll be surprised, but WebOS and Android are the same OS. It's just applications which makes it look different.

And the shell

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (2, Insightful)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885770)

WebOS and Android are the same OS

Um....Linux? That's like saying NetBSD and Mac OS X are the same OS - very similar at the core, API/GUI layers are 100% different.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882580)

You can put a lot of money into marketing a good product and it can still fail.
1. The Name WebOS... Sounds kinda gimiky to me. The Web is Popular and we want an os that sounds like it will be good at browsing the web... How About WebOS. That name sound so 90's to me that it isn't funny.
2. Timing. At around the same time other companies tried to make lame iPhone wannabes. The fact the blackberry storm stunk at the same time put credit to people well if I want something like an iPhone ill get an iPhone.
3. What I call the OS/2 Warp add campaign. A lot of talk but little showing the product in what it does... You need to give credit to Apples adds. They show you how to use the phone as part of the add. Web OS adds where soo... All the apps I need to run will be on the web...
4. Tried to be an iPhone killer... Palm wasn't in a position to go head on head with Apple. The whatever you can do I can do better type of stuff really hurt Palm especially as they lowered their prices. Because if it was that much cheaper it must be a cheap ripoff
5. the iTunes compatibility thing. That was rather unethical business by palm in the first place to in essence hack the phone to make it look like an iPod... Then to market it as iTunes compatible. Then try to complain about USB compliance to Apple because apple stopped the hole. Then to push it further until they lost their USB compatibility. In the mean time you give customers a feature which breaks on them until the next update... Not giving them positive reviews.
6. Crappy Developers Emulator... Sorry a VirtualBox that runs a Linux distro that runs Web OS... Without physical buttons that actually let you go back. It made it a pain to do development on it so developers will go well I will do it for the iPhone and we will see if it is compatible later.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882836)

5. the iTunes compatibility thing. That was rather unethical business by palm in the first place to in essence hack the phone

They didn't "hack" the phone - whatever that's supposed to mean. How far has the world come that it is now unethical, even for a technology oriented forum's standards, to interface one piece of software with another's API. If anything, it is unethical of Apple to lock out every other device out of iTunes API besides their iPods and iPhones.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883028)

You mean it's unethical to block out hardware that's not yours and not guaranteed to run on your software platform because you don't know what the hell it's going to do?

You realize this happens every single fucking day? Is it unethical for linksys to lock out buffalo in their drivers even if they use the same chipset?

Next you'll be asking why it's unethical to copy someone else's CS homework because they're locking you out of their software.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Informative)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883936)

I don't usually reply to ACs, but you're already modded to +2 for a comment that's patently wrong.

5. the iTunes compatibility thing. That was rather unethical business by palm in the first place to in essence hack the phone

They didn't "hack" the phone - whatever that's supposed to mean. How far has the world come that it is now unethical, even for a technology oriented forum's standards, to interface one piece of software with another's API. If anything, it is unethical of Apple to lock out every other device out of iTunes API besides their iPods and iPhones.

This shows how much you know of the actual situation. What Palm did was a hack in the original technical sense--it was a quick and dirty solution (a "hack") to an problem, but one of their own making.

Palm *didn't* use Apple's public APIs for accessing iTunes playlists. Instead, Palm faked their devices' USB vendor and device IDs to make iTunes think an iPod had been connected. This is something expressly prohibited by the USB spec. This part of the spec had relied on the honour system rather than strictly enforced via some signed handshake, but Palm violated it, and the USB Implementers Forum which oversees the USB spec rightly slapped Palm silly for even making the complaint [slashdot.org] .

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31884954)

The original comment and the reply was about ethics, not USB specs. You have said nothing that opposes the argument that it is unethical for Apple to use special full API functionality for iPod and iPhone, and give a crappy one to everyone else. What is their market share for online music purchases? Getting close to anti-competitive behavior at some point in addition to unethical as well?

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882968)

"5. the iTunes compatibility thing. That was rather unethical business by palm in the first place to in essence hack the phone to make it look like an iPod"

You mean like COMPAQ did to IBM PC BIOS?

7. No apps on release. (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884152)

While sure there "were" apps, they were all crap and free. They didn't even have a proper billing system in place. Hell, it came out WITHOUT any native code or 3D support. Why the hell have a phone with a 3D chip and NOT be able to use it.

The idea that you could build apps out of AJAX is all well and good, but it blows for performance apps.

If Palm released the phone with the software as it is NOW, then they would of had a killer. Instead they dragged their feet on the API and development tools.

Kind of reminds me of the war between Nvidia and 3dfx. If Palm had just licensed their software to other phones and forgot about the hardware, they could of been in a better position. I am getting a Nexus when it comes out for sprint BECAUSE it has fast hardware and good software. I got the Palm just because of the software:P

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31884870)

> That name sound so 90's to me that it isn't funny.

Hey now, plenty of things came out with horrifyingly groanworthy names and then went on to become popular. Playstation? Xbox? i[Mac/Pod/Pad]? Wii? A whole bunch of cars?

A bad name is only bad if the product is bad too.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885132)

There is no virtualbox that runs on top of linux. You are thinking of Android. WebOS was designed just that way, as WEB OS. The only apps originally ran in the browser. They were HTML and javascript. That's it. Since then, they have released native APIs. Once again, no virtualization.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885796)

I've never had a problem with the Emulator. Just press ESC for the back gesture. Would be nice if you could test the other physical buttons (some [palm.com] are emulated) and gestures, though.

Besides, you should always be testing on actual hardware as well as the emulator ;-)

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (2, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882700)

mostly the choice of CDMA2000 as the connection system. And maybe tying it to a US carrier at first launch.

this btw, is something is think more and more companies will burn themselves on trying to emulate the original iphone launch without considering that the US (and to a lesser degree the world) market have changed.

just observe what dell is trying to do with their mini 5, or google with the nexus one. Basically, they are trying to negotiate exclusivity agreements with one or more carrier, rather then just making a sim slot available and have the carrier, if interested, sponsor parts of the product cost vs a contract for the customer. And if not, sell it worldwide for any and all to use if they have a valid sim on a carrier network.

heck, google having multiple issues with android right now. First off, the android market is not part of the base android package, but rather a google allowed bundle on certain devices (best bet, a 3G radio is required). Said market is also content limited when it comes to payed apps depending on what carrier's sim is inserted. Third, there is little incentive for the hardware companies to update to latest android after a product have gone from design to production.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31883052)

There's a reason why they're carrier exclusive -- the carriers agree to spend $50-$100+ million on advertising in exchange for being exclusive for 6-12 months. For a company like Palm with only $400 million in cash to cover all expenses, it's not something you can easily ignore.

The downside is that the carrier decides the marketing campaign, and it's not always a good one. The Verizon Palm Pre Plus "mom" ads may have even *hurt* sales.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882774)

The non-technical facets of webos are also part of the operating system, not just technical! The marketing of webos just out flat failed and it is the most important part of the product.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882826)

I have used WebOS.

It was one of the worst experience I've ever had trying to use a computer (and this is slashdot I'm fluent in all OSes, etc). I was a passenger while my sister drove and handed me her phone so I could direct her to my cousin's house. Complete fail. The phone would seemingly-randomly jump to different maps and had NO RELIABLE BACK BUTTON and so would require me to enter the address OVER AND OVER (mostly as soon as it went to sleep mode, which, of course, was often). WTF.

This was definitely not a "bug" but the software working as intended and being completely unusuable.

This was also the most standard "use case" you could imagine - using your phone to find a location. You should be able to try in the location and it should remember that location till you've typed a DIFFERENT location. Not merely until you've some random button or until the thing decides to sleep or whatever. There's no half-way or obscurity about this. What do you do FIRST with a smart phone?? What? You FIND THINGS 'cause on the road. If THAT functionality is BROKEN, it's pretty much a guarantee that everything is broken.

It's sad because it's concept that I really like. I definitely not out to get Palm on this but WebOs is completely broken on the immediate usability level. I'm sorry that it's broken but there you are.

(and yes, my sister likes and can use her phone but a device that is usable when a new user just picks it up, is a device that will fail in the market place)

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882882)

I hadn't seen that on the Pre I've got right now.

And, there is the back gesture, although it could be more intuitive. That is, however, IMO, hardware interface. There's nothing preventing a webOS phone from having a hardware back button.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882922)

WebOS hasn't failed. It's circling the drain, with hope of being fished out. As much as I'll shill and fanboy over the iPhone, WebOS IS a decent phone OS. I'd just rather have my iPhone.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884462)

Yes. WebOS is by far the best mobile platform out there. It isn't quite feature complete to compete with BB or Android, but the foundation is rock solid with real room to expand, not just tack features on.

And yep, the hardware was crap. Not the specs, the actual construction. I went through 3 Pres (only 2 died on me, the 1st broke when it was being activated) in 3 months.

(basically a 'me too' post.. but if anyone wanted to know exactly why..)

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885790)

I think the "Crap hardware" is the thing that is possibly freaking me out the most.
This is PALM for Lughs sake. What possible excuse could they have for making crap hardware?

Longish post warning...

Palm. The worlds greatest PDA maker. I was going to quote various Wikipedia articles, but you would have to be living under a rock or be in middle school to NOT understand what Palm really represents.

Ever since the big media storm about the iPad came out, the cognitive dissonance has been incredible; Take a CA 2005 Palm TX PDA, and compare its feature-set to that of the iPad; the TX phreaking wins in every category except that of screens.

For the last 2 months, just for the heck of it, I've been making two home-build devices; They are both kit boxes for Palm products, Both dual-boot Linux/Palm-OS. In one, I'm taking Treo 700p guts and using them to drive a 10' screen, with additional RC batteries, mini-qwerty keyboard & SDIO WiFi. As soon as I get the screen incompatibilities worked out, it should make an extremely versatile eBook reader / Netbook, that could be reproduced for under $150 with basic ebay usage.
The other one is an attempt to simply provide a bigger screen (with a different ratio to the other box) for a Palm TX, which should have even more functionality, but be unable to make phone calls without outside hardware (Like, for instance, just sticking a pay-as-you-go phone guts in the box and linking them by bluetooth); This one should be in the $200 range.

The point? Obviously, I'm just wasting my time. but it's obvious to me that Palm has completely lost all focus.

Oh, I'm documenting all steps and will make them available when I'm done.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Raul Acevedo (15878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885176)

Actually webOS kinda sucks. It's sluggish; not enough that if you use it for a few minutes you notice much, but after a few days of owning it, it gets on your nerves. I can't wait to get rid of my Pre when the HTC Evo comes out.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885810)

Put the 800mhz patch on your Pre and tell me how sluggish it feels then. webOS is not the problem, the Pre is the problem.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31886540)

Myself, I'm used to a Touch Pro running MightyROM (a WinMo 6.5 build,) the Pre that I had felt *FAST* compared to the Touch Pro.

But, comparing the Pre to the Droid and N900 would be a good idea, they've got the same CPU. ;)

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Raul Acevedo (15878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31889700)

The reality is that BOTH are the problem. The product should have been designed with matching software and hardware (i.e. if webOS needs faster hardware, it should've had it; or it should've been optimized better for the hardware it does have). But I say in this case it's more webOS's fault because other mobile platforms with similar functionality (iPhone, Droid) work just fine on a similarly powered CPU.

By the way I tried using patches, but I didn't realize you needed to uninstall them all before an OS upgrade and it messed up some of my apps. I'll probably try your suggestion anyway. My point still stands though. If the Droid can run a similarly functioning OS without the same performance issues, it is webOS's fault.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (4, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882426)

Palm didn't do the Treos, either. Those came from Handspring, which they acquired almost a decade ago.

Handspring was Palm (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884370)

They just sold off (and later reacquired) the rights to use the Palm name.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882656)

that's funny cause i think the treo's OS sucks and the webOS is great. i feel like many share this opinion, not yours o.O

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883156)

I still have my old Palm Pilot III complete with dial-up modem. The dial-up modem was probably one of the most useless add-ons but for the few times I did use it I was glad to have it.

250k for the other principals? (2, Insightful)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882370)

So Palm offers 250k in stock, over 2 yrs for the other principal management to stay. Not the most convincing of offers, and what's that Palm stock going to be worth in 2 years? Anything?

Bye bye Palm. It's been nice knowin' ya.

Re:250k for the other principals? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882400)

I don't know man, the stock could come back and everybody would be millionaires. Like 1999 all over again. I'm still holding on to the LNUX I bought at $242/share.

That shits gonna come back man. Servers with Linux on them? Thats a no brainer huge win just like phones with WebOS. To be fair LNUX no longer does servers with Linux on them but still.

Re:250k for the other principals? (1)

blaster (24183) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882440)

Not that it really changes your point much, but they were given a 250K cash bonus AND a stock grant.

Re:250k for the other principals? (5, Insightful)

RobFrontier (550029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883032)

I can only assume by your comment that you don't follow markets in general, or Palm specifically. Palm is more than likely going to be purchased fairly soon which will increase the stock price dramatically before the purchase. HTC seems like a natural fit, though the most interesting idea I've heard is RIM. It would be nice if Blackberry's came with an actual OS. WebOS is the best mobile OS available, with Android a close second, so there is plenty of value there. Palm also hold a lot of valuable IP and Patents.

Re:250k for the other principals? (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884734)

You sir, assume correctly. I do not deny my ignorance of markets and so on...

Re:250k for the other principals? (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885818)

If any mobile phone manufacturer buys Palm, you can kiss everything goodbye except the patent portfolio. Toss webOS up on the shelf with BeOS and OS/2, in the archive of great OSes screwed up by everything else around them.

Re:250k for the other principals? (1)

teshuvah (831969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31887842)

WebOS is the best mobile OS available, with Android a close second, so there is plenty of value there. Palm also hold a lot of valuable IP and Patents.

Wow, got blinders? Good job ignoring the 800 pound Apple shaped gorilla in the room. You know, the company that actually makes the best OS and the best hardware, which is backed up by their sales figures, and people actually want and buy it. There are tons of Android phones on the market and they can't even compete with a single Apple phone with regards to marketshare?

Re:250k for the other principals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31894016)

I think he's talking about reality, not the view fanboys have from inside the distortion field.

"You know, the company that actually makes the best OS and the best hardware"

Pray tell, what exactly is good about Apple's OS? the fact it can't multi-task? the fact it's already fallen victim to multiple security flaws? What about the hardware? is it the high quality exploding handsets? the awesome screen that runs at half the resolution of most modern smartphones? the generally underpowered hardware that's a few generations behind most other handsets- see the likes of GPS, 3G and so forth that Apple didn't implement until years after other handsets had them for example.

"which is backed up by their sales figures"

Er, no, really, it's not. The original iPhone shifted only 6 million handsets, the 3G just short of 13 million, only the 3GS has really shone at around 15 million. In contrast, most Nokia smartphones through the years such as the N95 regularly shift 10 million handsets- that's a pretty standard figure in fact. For reference, the best selling phone of all time, the Motorola RAZR sold 120 million handsets.

"There are tons of Android phones on the market and they can't even compete with a single Apple phone with regards to marketshare?"

You just answered your own question if that's what it was. The Android market is fragemented, so sales are split amongst many different handsets, however, Apple has more sales still I believe than Android overall, this is largely because of Apple's user lock-in system. People who bought iPods originally can choose to lose their hundreds of dollars of DRM'd content, or buy a new Apple product- the iPhone is the obvious next step from their iPod whose battery will now have completely failed and cannot be easily or cheaply replaced. People who went Apple for the music player, are now basically stuck with Apple so Apple has millions of guaranteed sales there from users who don't want to lose their hundreds of dollars of content.

I'm not saying Apple haven't done well, absolutely not, they've done amazingly well as a new entry into the smartphone business, but to pretend their hardware and OS is better than the competition? that takes an impressive stretch of severe fanboyism. I mean, you really believe the iPhone's hardware is good? you really believe the iPhone's OS is good? are you really that naive? It's the combination of average hardware, average OS, decent app store, and user lock-in to the Apple iTunes ecosystem that's helped Apple shine, it's certainly not their hardware or OS quality that's for sure.

Read what he said again, WebOS is the best mobile OS, and Android the second, he is right. No one's saying your precious iPhone is a failure of a product and that no one's buying it, they're just pointing out the fact that it's OS is pretty poor, which it is for a number of reasons including fundamental issues like lack of multi-tasking support, abysmal security.

iPad FTW!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882408)

Think Different, Think Better, Think APPLE!

Re:iPad FTW!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882544)

Off topic, and childish

Re:iPad FTW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31882638)

Personally, I would be happy if more people would just think....

Palm's crappy hardware killed them (4, Interesting)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882668)

I started with the Palm Pilot 5000, and over the past 10 years I've never been without a Palm OS PDA. Just to prove that I am as familiar with Palm OS devices, here's a short list of the ones I've owned for at least a few months at a time: Palm Pilot 5000, Palm Vx, Clie SJ30, Palm m505, four Palm TX, Clie NR70, two Clie NX70 and three Clie TH55. The reason there are so many duplicates on the list is because I was buying and selling them at a small profit.

For the most part the hardware was reliable, but the ONLY devices to completely fail on me were the Palm ones. The battery died on my Vx, and replacing it was impossible without butchering it (disassembly instructions involved using a heat gun to melt the glue) or spending a lot of money to have it replaced by Palm with a refurbished unit. The touch screen on one TX stopped responding, and another TX stopped charging. Every Clie I've ever owned on the other hand was still running, no matter how abused it was. I bought a Clie NX73 off Ebay, and when it arrived, the hinge was completely worn out, the casing was beaten up everywhere, the screen was scratched BUT it was working perfectly. In terms of features the Clies were also far ahead of any Palm device. They had high resolution color screens, memory card slots, wifi, BT before anything from Palm, and they had MUCH better build quality and materials to boot.

When Palm announced the Pre I was really excited, because WebOS looked amazing and the hardware had great specs. Backwards compatibility with PalmOS apps was also a HUGE bonus. But the anticipation lasted precisely until I got to actually hold a Pre in my hand. I absolutely, positively hated it! The shiny plastic shell was cheap and scratch prone (just like the TX). The sliding keyboard was awkward, cramped and had a raised lip around it that feelt unfinished. Overall the Pre was a big disappointment. Not a bad device, but worth half what Palm was charging for it.

At this point I was really hoping someone will license the WebOS and design a GOOD smartphone to run it. That never happened and probably never will, since all manufacturers went with Android. In the meantime I picked up a Nokia N900 and I'm not sorry I did. I can still run my PalmOS apps through Garnett, and having a full Linux computer at my fingertips is simply amazing.

So that's my take on it. :)

Re:Palm's crappy hardware killed them (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882756)

Who knows, perhaps the manufacturer of the group you rather like, Sony, might be still the last hope ;). Sony Ericcson seems a bit undecided where to, launching new WinMob, Symbian and Android devices. Throwing WebOS to such bunch wouldn't seem to be that much of an overkill, I guess ;). One can even imagine they're the ones to whom Palm will get sold...

Re:Palm's crappy hardware killed them (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884516)

I have had several Palms since the early pilot days, and have had just the opposite results, NONE have failed. I stopped with palm products with a T/X and eventually switched over to a blackberry due to work compatibility. Now its an iphone since i was able to ditch that evil BB.

Still love the T/X but it pretty much is what it is, nothing new will come down the pike for it ( oh, and the missing microphone what were they thinking?!?! ) so it was time to move forward. ( thus the apple product )

Re:Palm's crappy hardware killed them (1)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884878)

I have had several Palms since the early pilot days, and have had just the opposite results, NONE have failed. I stopped with palm products with a T/X and eventually switched over to a blackberry due to work compatibility. Now its an iphone since i was able to ditch that evil BB.

Still love the T/X but it pretty much is what it is, nothing new will come down the pike for it ( oh, and the missing microphone what were they thinking?!?! ) so it was time to move forward. ( thus the apple product )

My experience is by no means exhaustive, obviously there were Palms that never broke down. Overall their reliability was not bad, but the cheap plastic housings, low res screens with THICK screen fonts, antiquated launcher, and generally a lack of features made them feel like sub par alternatives to Sony Clies. It was almost as if Palm OS was created by Sony, and Palm was just a licensee that didn't quite know how to implement it or design the hardware. You should really look at a TX side by side with a Clie TH55 or better yet an NX80, and you'd know what I mean.

And that's also the feeling I get when I compare the Pre to the iPhone or to my N900. It's cheap, cheap, cheap.

Re:Palm's crappy hardware killed them (1)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884912)

I have an Palm M500 and the sucker works to this day (even the original battery!) I have a metal exterior case for it, but I've dropped that thing, stepped on it, spilled stuff on it and it continues to work like a champ. I've never bought a replacement PDA because it still does what I need it to do. In fact, I still use the Palm Desktop software, because in my estimation, it's the perfect day planner/address book.

Not sure what their current hardware is like, but my m500 owes me no favours given how bad I've treated it and in terms of hardware quality and endurance, I'd have to say excellent. It would be a shame if slacking off in terms of quality is what is killing this company because IMHO they used to produce a great product.

Palm needs to be put out of it's misery. (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882670)

Seriously, their past decade has been nothing but fail - uninspired me too phones, horrible battery life, and totally missing the smartphone boat through lack of vision despite having the killer device factor (m500. m505) and OS model more than a decade ago.

What executive or consultant realistically thought the Pre was any competition for the iPhone? What market were they trying to target?

Or better yet, where do I get one of those consultancy jobs?

ha! (4, Interesting)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882722)

I used to work for Palm about 8 or 9 years ago. I was one of their higher level tech support agents and had direct contact with their software engineers. Their corporate people, like Mr Abott were a joke. The real programmers we all in Asia as well as all their hardware manufacturing. They just had a corporate staff in the US... they all had their heads so far up their butts that Palm was never going to go anywhere. They started the market, and could have come up with an iPhone/Blackberry like device years before anyone else did. That's what their customers were screaming for... that's what we kept telling them. But they wanted a more closed OS and had little interest in allowing any really interesting apps unless the developer was working in direct partnership with them. Their OS updates were, for the most part, not backwards compatible. Lots of software would work on one model but not another even though they had the same OS on them. It was all just silly. I'm really surprised it took this long for them to tank.

Re:ha! (2, Informative)

Chysn (898420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883004)

I used to work for Palm about 8 or 9 years ago. I was one of their higher level tech support agents and had direct contact with their software engineers. Their corporate people, like Mr Abott were a joke.

You supposedly worked at Palm way before Abbott started there in 2008. How do you know he's a joke?

Seems like an unfair assessment, is all I'm saying. I opted for the Hero over the Pre this year, but WebOS is a pretty damn slick bit of work.

Re:ha! (2, Informative)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883414)

I was referring to their corporate leadership, which I doubt has changed much over the years. Especially given their current state.

Re:ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31907120)

I think you are a bit confused, given Palm's abrupt changes in attitude towards openness and open source in specific. Probably still angry about not having a job there due to the death of the original PalmOS. Most of the people who made the stupid decisions (like selling the OS to another company) are GONE, thrown out when Rubinstein and crew came along and rebooted the company.

But thanks for playing.

Oh... PALM (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882840)

I think I need more coffee - when the title caught my eye, I honestly thought it said "Palin's Software Chief Quits". I had a few seconds of confusion where I tried to think of a reason Sarah would have a software chief. Worse still, I kept seeing "Palin" through the first part of the summary.

Funny thing is, if you replace "Palm" with "Palin", some peoples' comments here are still strangely relevant...

Hopefully Samsung will buy them... (1)

JoeSixpack00 (1327135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31882946)

That way they will stop having good phones is absolutely abysmal sofware. It isn't even limited to their smartphones - their flip/slide phones are buggy as hell too.

It's a shame really... Samsung phones are some of best phones physically, but their software can really use a boost. WebOS on the original Instinct might have actually produced a decent phone.

Re:Hopefully Samsung will buy them... (1)

ckotso (121347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883126)

Would be a nice match, but Samsung now has Bada [bada.com] .

Re:Hopefully Samsung will buy them... (1)

ThadMan (171233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884718)

Actually I think that the perfect match for Palm would be Nintendo. In order for Nintendo to remain relevant in the mobile gaming market, they need to build devices that can compete with the iPad/Phone/Pod.
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/Nintendo-Shrugs-off-Threat-from-Apple-iPhone-Game-Center-477183/ [eweek.com]

Nintendo is big on usability. So the WebOS would be a good fit.

Re:Hopefully Samsung will buy them... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885006)

In order for Nintendo to remain relevant in the mobile gaming market

The Nintendo DS is an even more successful product than the very successful iPhone/iTouch. Apple has just as much to worry about from Nintendo, as the other way around.

.NET and biochemist (4, Interesting)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883246)

Anybody notice that Abbot was formerly the general manager for .NET online services @ Microsoft before webOS?
http://www.neowin.net/news/palm039s-head-of-software-resigns?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+neowin-forum+(Neowin.net+Forums) [neowin.net]

Seems to be a biochemist by education too:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelabbott [linkedin.com]

So not sure if his leaving is a huge loss for Palm. May be just cutting the fat.

Re:.NET and biochemist (1)

chameleon_skin (672881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31885194)

Having worked with Mike before, I'm going to guess this isn't the case. He's an incredibly talented software engineer and has a good head for business as well. More likely, he saw that the ship was sinking and decided to get off.

Re:.NET and biochemist (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31893618)

That's fair then, and an incredible loss for Palm. I apologize for any negativity.

Re:.NET and biochemist (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31893628)

Along this route, fat to the company execs isn't always fat to engineering, especially in a merger where highly paid == expendable no matter how irreplaceable.

I've seen the side where corps will let go of core people because they're considered trouble-makers even though it's this exact personality that builds and expands the company technically.

Any phone company could succeed. (1, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883314)

Making a good phone isn't rocket science. Give it the same form factor as the MyTouch/iPhone, and then give it:

A) Good battery life
B) Good call quality
C) A front facing camera

And why not use the free and excellent Android Operating System, and then put money into some really killer apps, rather than duplicating effort trying to reinvent the wheel with YET ANOTHER phone OS? I'd like to see a Skype alternative that worked on free and open codecs like speex and theora, in particular. If I had that on a phone that was less than $100, why would I buy anything else? I'm really surprised at the lack of innovation in the phone market. I STILL don't have a video phone, which is ludicrous given a 640x480 webcam can't cost more than $5 to install on the front side of a phone.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

teg (97890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883590)

A front facing camera

How are you going to use it? Many phones have had front facing cameras, but video calls from cell phones have been a complete failure so far... and I guess one of the reasons is that holding the phone half a meter in front of you is awkward, plus you can't see the one you're calling then.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31886208)

I'm sure these are difficulties that could be easily overcome with a minimum of R&D budget.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883620)

Do you really believe that fitting all your requirements in a sub-100 phone isn't a difficult task?

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31889494)

Yes. Electronics manufacture is not rocket science.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884698)

A front facing camera is good for one specific task (which - to date - hasn't had a good working implementation). For all other usages of a camera (you know -- taking pictures) front-facing is useless. Ever try to use an LCD viewfinder that you couldn't see?

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31886204)

For the price of a little CCD, I didn't presume to suggest you do away with the rear camera. I was merely suggesting that you could ADD one to the front, under the glass of the screen..

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31898952)

Ah, that makes more sense. Though still I have to say pretty limited in use, until the software/processing power/bandwidth catches up.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901790)

If there is wifi in range, those problems aren't as much of an issue.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31891340)

C) A front facing camera

Your spelling seems to be a bit off, perhaps you meant "solid hardware" or "2100/900 HSPA" because these are features I'd look for long before a front facing camera. The market for front facing camera's is tiny and most people would rather it would work on the two most prolific mobile frequencies.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31891366)

Those are features that already exist in phones on the market. I was suggesting those would also be included in the new phone, in addition to a front facing camera.

Re:Any phone company could succeed. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31891826)

Those are features that already exist in phones on the market. I was suggesting those would also be included in the new phone, in addition to a front facing camera.

Fair enough,

Try looking at phones marketed in Aisa, this is the only place I've seen that has any kind of a market for video calls. The only phone I've seen in Australia with a forward facing camera is the Nokia 6120 Classic, which has not got the screen for video calling.

I still hope it works out for Palm (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31883940)

I think there is a bit of "not dead yet" for Palm. Things do look pretty dismal for them right now, but I really want for them to pull through. WebOS is vastly more open than the iPhone's OS, and the HW is pretty decent. WebOS is a truly great phone OS.

Jon Rubinstein (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884200)

1) Crappy Hardware. They countered this with even crappier?

2) Too slow getting real development kit out. The App store is a huge advantage for Apple, and Android is closing fast.

3) Lame marketing from TV ads to Sprint exclusivity.

4) Sending another companies USB identifier from your device, and then whining about it to the USB consortium. And they expected what to happen?

Jon may be great at software, but a great CEO he is not.

Fuck it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31884230)

I'm going home.

Can't trust Palm (1)

fredrickleo (711335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884282)

I'm sorry but I just can't buy another product from Palm.

The TX has some pretty good hardware but there hasn't been any kind of software update or improvement in features since it was released.

How to make Web OS popular (1)

fredrickleo (711335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884302)

In fact, now that I think about it, if they made a WebOS upgrade for all existing Palm OS devices (that could run it) the adoption would be huge.

Not only would it signal to customers that yes, Palm will support its hardware into the future, but it would also give developers a huge base to sell applications too.

Re:How to make Web OS popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31884324)

In fact, now that I think about it, if they made a WebOS upgrade for all existing Palm OS devices (that could run it) the adoption would be huge.

Not only would it signal to customers that yes, Palm will support its hardware into the future, but it would also give developers a huge base to sell applications too.

/quote

*facepalm*

Re:How to make Web OS popular (1)

fredrickleo (711335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884334)

*facepalm*

I don't get it...

Re:How to make Web OS popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31911408)

Besides the obviousness of what a facepalm means, uh... basically NONE of the old Palm OS devices could handle webOS. Zero percent. It's way more than they could handle. Which makes clear that the OP had zero idea what he was talking about, which seems to be common for people pontificating about Palm's situation of late...

Sad... (3, Interesting)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884508)

The sad thing is that Palm TX (a 5-yr-old product) can do more than the majority of today's phones, and specially iPhone. I still have mine working, and I can watch DIVX videos (I can just copy the full 700mb video to the memory card and play there without hiccups), play MP3, run any J2ME program using an emulator, etc, etc. And I can, for example, listen to music while I do other tasks. It have Bluetooth, WIFI, and with a downloaded software I have a very neat interface (the original one is ugly in today's terms). Yes, I know that the processor is slower than today's, that the battery autonomy is very short, etc, but it's a 5 YR OLD product.

My point is: Palm could be one of the big players today, if they haven't stopped in time. They were almost alone for too long in the market, and forgot how to evolve. This is why I admire Google: they are the top of the top in several things, but still they keep evolving, adding funcionalities that we didn't think of in GMail for example, way before someone else's do.

Like the first poster said: Palm today is nostalgia. And this is from someone who loves Palm...

Re:Sad... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31884654)

I used to love Palm.

The TX pretty much ruined me on it. I really used to pine over the Sony CLIE devices, and thought when Palm brought out the TX that it would be one of the best new handhelds ever.

I used it for a bit after my wife bought it for me for Christmas the first year they were out. Fast forward a few months later, and the power button stopped working. Meh, no biggie, ship it back to Palm (paid for shipping) and repaired. Next, the screen started to whine. Sent in to Palm twice for this, paid shipping both times. The first time, they couldn't reproduce the problem. The second time they stated that the high pitched whine was "normal" and that all tft screens whine.

Now, I have tinnitus in my left ear from a firecracker that blew up near my left ear. It's not typically noticable, but flybacks from CRTs bug it - and this noise coming from the screen bugged it too. This made the device unusable to me - if you've ever experienced tinnitus, you'd probably understand better. Just imagine a whine in your ear constantly; most times it's not even noticeable but if the right frequency hits it, it can elevate to annoying levels.

Searching on Google, all of the new Palm devices seemed to have the issue. One such poster advised to go to one of the stores (Staples, Best Buy etc) and listen to the demo units. Every single one had the whine. Since then, I got a software app that somehow eliminates most of the whine and actually makes the device usable again. After that, I had a Dell Axim X51v from work which when sync'd up was actually a very decent device. Work also started putting in wireless about that time, and I had a laptop so my use for a PDA started to wane.

I still have the TX. Right about the time the TX came out a lot of people switched to more portable laptops. In addition, smartphones were just around the corner. All of this along with what I consider to be a major hardware flaw in the TX just killed it.

Oh yea, 2 years after my wife bought me my TX, they were still "on sale" for 250. Seriously? ugh. Never again a Palm device for me....

Re:Sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31907146)

You really might want to take a look at webOS.

A shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31885178)

WebOS was a good piece of software. Let down by poor marketing, average hardware and waiting too long to release an SDK.

The wrong fork in the road (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31887484)

What bugs me most is that I'm on my third Tungsten|E2 and it's already older than the previous two and I need to be ready when it fails, but I haven't found anything to replace it.

I was among the first buyers of the original USR Palm Pilot and I've been using the Palm Desktop and Palm (or Handspring) devices ever since. That's a big investment. The PDA and Desktop are loaded with information, Cloak (er--Turbo Passwords) manages my passwords, and I can write graffiti as fast as I can write on paper. I shudder to think of the training involved if I have to switch to the bad to horrid handwriting recognition on a "more advanced" product. Switching also means switching to Outlook from the Palm Desktop; what moral transgression deserves that kind of Hell?

To make life more difficult, I have no interest in a PDA that thinks it's a phone.

Am I annoyed with Palm for making the best device of its kind, hooking me on it and then "Oh look! A butterfly!" abandoning it to make mediocre devices for an already crowded market? Yes.

Re:The wrong fork in the road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31911584)

Get a used/unlocked Treo - they have keyboards (no handwriting reco) and are basically just an old school Palm with a phone program. You really don't seem to understand the products, considering Palm basically invented the category.

Also, the Tungsten E2 was a real dog in my experience - I went through 3 of them in a much shorter time, had all sorts of problems with it. Had to brute force of will get Palm to take at least one of them back. Still, it was better than the Tungsten E.

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