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Palm Teams With Microsoft for Smart Phone

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the strange-bedfellows dept.

Handhelds 162

UltimaGuy writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that Palm Inc. is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to launch a Windows-based version of the Treo smart phone, marking the first time the handheld computer pioneer will sell a device based on its former rival's software. 'In terms of the level of importance, this would be - in this space - the same thing as Apple announcing they were going to be using Intel processors.'"

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Call you back... (0, Flamebait)

odweaver (914814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637467)

My cellphone just crashed.

Re:Call you back... (0)

rasty (212471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637478)

This actually does happen more ofthen than you may think already!

Re:Call you back... (1)

rhyno46 (654622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637517)

My 650 crashes at least once per week already.

Re:Call you back... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638022)

I've had occasional Treo600 crashes, and haven't lost data to them.

Re:Call you back... (1)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638189)

I know something about windows on embedded systems, the mfc dll leaks memory! If amateur users write games or "extras" for your cellphone using mfc, and doesn't link statically to the mfc library, then that app will most likely leak a lot of memory thus freezing your device. Some modules like GPS can also malfunction and cause a system freexe if incorrectly tampered with. M$ knows about this problem but they decided not to fix it while they were concentrating on bringing .NET to handhelds. I don't know what the current status of mfc dll is on mobiles....peace.

Re:Call you back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637909)

You must never have used a Treo 650 before. I know most people would never suggest switching to a Microsoft product for stability, but I own a Treo 650 and the random resets, software incompatibility and overall software stability leave a lot to be desired.

Re:Call you back... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638305)

You must be using a Treo 650 with PalmOS then. Nothing crashes more.

Re:Call you back... (1)

aktzin (882293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638489)

You must be using a Treo 650 with PalmOS then. Nothing crashes more.

I've had one since February and it's only crashed a couple of times since then. I wonder if people reporting crashes are running strange / incompatible Palm programs?

Re:Call you back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13638365)

Ya know, the "windows crashed" or any BSOD thing is kinda old and not even true now.

I've been usin XP for years now, and the only time it crashed was from some bad video drivers or I overclocked my memory too much. Yes... 95/98/ME/even 2k crashed on me all the time, but XP is a new leaf (at least for me).

And Palm OS? (2, Insightful)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637470)

I hope they don't stop develping their Palm OS and start focusing to much on Win Mobile. Palm OS is a great platform, and its dead would be really bad.

Re:And Palm OS? (3, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637557)

Palm split into two separate companies a couple of years back .
  Palm Inc. (previously Palm one) does the hardware and Palm source handles the software side .
Palm inc. are still making PDAs using PalmOS but they decided to move their phones to Windows mobile.
I really hope the trend does not continue on to their PDAs , I do have high hopes for the Next versions of PalmOS( with a linux core) .

Re:And Palm OS? (5, Informative)

mok000 (668612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637564)

You can hope, but PalmSource, the developer of Palm OS, was recently sold to a japanese company. It looks like a total rollover to me...
See This link [] .

Re:And Palm OS? (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637569)

Is PalmOS really so great? I've been using it since before the start of the century :) and while it's a nice simple little environment, my latest Clie with camera and wifi really seem to have outstripped the capabilities of the PalmOS. Now that Palms can run more complex software, they badly need memory protection so a single app can't crash the whole thing. And though I almost hate to say it, handwriting recognition on the PalmPC seems several generations ahead of Palm's. And after all these years, Palm notepad is still limited to 4096 byte messages? That's just pathetic.

Also, hardly any software supports the camera, virtual grafiti area, or infrared port on my Clie TH55, because PalmOS was lagging in support for these things so Sony had to jump the gun and make their own APIs. Then finally Palm came out with their own incompatible APIs.

Re:And Palm OS? (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637629)

Is PalmOS really so great?

It's better then Windows. Palm doing away with PalmOS would allow the software giant to gain more of a hold on the PDA market, decreasing the need for Microsoft to compete with it's software features in it's PDA's.

Competition is a good thing, as it fosters development. Another company losing it's OS department and climbing into bed with a competitor doesn't foster development, and the people that lose out are the customers.

Re:And Palm OS? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638179)

I think the reason PalmOS is better than Windows is that it focuses more on doing the PDA thing simply, and well.
Of course, the market is a chrome-and-tailfin race. WinCE, or whatever they're calling it now, is the "SUV" approach, in contrast to PalmOS's "basic transportation" attitude.
Because it's just not a /. thread without a tedious car analogy, no?

Re:And Palm OS? (2, Insightful)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638184)

Competition is indeed a good thing, but Palm OS has festered and been neglected for years. I know it's elegant. But that doesn't matter. Microsoft caught up to them in terms of reliability and features and then lapped them. I use Linux as my desktop. Have done so for 5 years. But recently when faced with a dying Palm M130 I chose a Pocket PC instead. The OS hasn't gotten any better and the hardware has gotten much worse.

So Sad (-1, Flamebait)

Sinesurfer (40786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637471)

Oh bother. The good guys just went to the dark side. I can't understand why you'd want to use a small screen (such as the treo) as a PDA anyway.

Re:So Sad (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637583)

It might seem small to you, but it's really massive as far as PDA screens go. When I first got my m130 I thought the screen was miniscule, but it's really more than enough space to be useful. The fact that the Treo's screen is bigger boggles my mind, but I assure you, you'd get used to the extra space pretty quickly.

I am sad to see PalmOS go, though. But Palm as a company has been hurting for a long time in sales, Microsoft could have easily paid them to use Windows (or cut them a really significant deal, to the point it was cheaper to quit developing PalmOS). I still will see Palm as a good company, they're just in a bad market. They're still too far from general computing, but they're too close to the cellphone market and gets swallowed up.

I think that Palm would do good to return to their original model, and generalize it more. Develope a bluetooth compatible, wifi compatible, general purpose small tablet, with address book management software to communicate with your cellphone, computers, and other people's address books (without the annoying "line up your PDAs" IrDA). But then again it might cost too much, and the deals that palm gets with cell providers is probably a very sweet one.

One more speculative thought: What if Apple were to buy Palm? They could redesign the whole cellphone, and release a portable version of OS X. Include a small flash drive and it'd be an iPod (though, I would advise against it; just stick bluetooth in the iPod and let it and the cellphone communicate [ringtones, volume control, etc]). This would be a real coup! Cheers to the thought.

Apple iTREO (1)

adamgeek (771380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637740)

you raise an interesting idea here. The recently released itunes capable ROKR [] has already flopped supposedly... but, as someone who loves both his Treo600's.. I would really love to have a Treo950 (or whatever), with an "OSX-ish" appleOS, and itunes functionality from SD/CF/whatever. Given the size of the Nano, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Apple building a complete 3G phone with all the bells and whistles of a nano and PDA. Not that I think the windowsmobile version won't be nice, i am sure it will, but Apple seems to really have their shit together when it comes to portable digital devices nowadays, with respect to both functionality, and aesthetics. I would be a lot quicker to buy (to replace my 600's) an "iTREO" than I would a winTREO.

Apple.. are you listening?

same thing as Apple ... (2, Interesting)

xlyz (695304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637472)

... announcing they were going to be using Intel processors

shouldn't be "same thing as IBM announcing they were going to be using Intel proc ... AH! never mind ...

Re:same thing as Apple ... (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637481)

IBM used to use Intel Chips in their Thinkpad laptops before they sold it to lenevo.

Re:same thing as Apple ... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637588)

He was trying to say that it was like IBM (who makes processors) using Intel's processors.

Myself, I prefer this analogy: It's like Microsoft using Linux on the XBox 360.

However, the OP's analogy is funnier, because it actually happened...

Re:same thing as Apple ... (1)

Thijs van As (826224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637589)

More like same thing as Apple announcing they'll be using Windows Vista as their new OS.

A deathblow for Palm OS (1, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637480)

As embedded operating systems go, I will really miss PalmOS. It was the OS X of the handheld computer era; slick, easy to use, if you liked it you loved it and if you hated it, you really hated it.

Now that Windows is on the Treo, it won't be long until PalmOS is completely phased out, I feel. I wonder what will happen to PalmSource (weren't they just bought back by Palm?).

Re:A deathblow for Palm OS (4, Insightful)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637515)

I liked the Palm OS because I learned Graffiti when the original Palm came out. It really was a nice, no-nonsense OS, it did everything that I wanted it to do and left out features that I didn't need. I think that sadly many users don't care about the actual functionality, but want to have stupid bells and whistles; just look at the cell phone market today... people own phones that record video, record audio notes, have specialized ringtones, have flashing lights, have changeable faceplates, and can play games, but most of the time they can't get service inside a building... shouldn't that problem be addressed first?

Re:A deathblow for Palm OS (3, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637611)

I think the real problem is bells and whistles only get you so far. I think that's the reason most sell manufacturers are struggling for new ideas and having to go to things like iTunes; there are simply not enough devices they can cram into a cellphone and market anymore.

Sadly, Palm was one of the few companies that was trying to innovate cellphones. Though the Treo is clunky, it has real functionality that I would honestly use, and could be a lot better with compatibility with other devices. Though I think that the cellphone was a terrible addition for a PDA (why can't they be seperate devices and communicate with BlueTooth, is it really that hard???), I think that Palm made a proper job of trying to connect the two devices in a sensible way.

And yes, I agree with you on the antenna/amplifier part. There is really no excuse for cellphones being so bad inside of buildings except battery life might not be able to keep up with the devices, especially a SmartPhone that has an entire operating system including a huge power consuming LCD to drive. Hopefully as OLED prices come down it will help with the power constraints and the cell manufacturers will bring the quality back to where it should be.

Re:A deathblow for Palm OS (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638166)

why can't they be seperate devices and communicate with BlueTooth, is it really that hard???

My old palm m505 and my about as old Ericsson (yes Ericsson, its from before they joined forces with Sony) t39m do this quite fine, so its not hard and they did it like half a decade ago already.

who gives them the idea that .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637486)

three crappy products stacked up together might have a chance to compete the big brother in the field: RIM BlackBerry?

not quite (2, Insightful)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637487)

the same thing as Apple announcing they were going to be using Intel processors.

no.. more like if apple announced they were releasing a windows-based computer; or a wma-only ipod...

my question... will phone calls to windowsupdate be free? or will package minutes apply. i might need to up my plan.

Re:not quite (1)

SamAdam3d (818241) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637624)


I think I have your problem solved.

I give you... the mini usb cable!

Re:not quite (1)

brokencomputer (695672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637673)

my question... will phone calls to windowsupdate be free? or will package minutes apply. i might need to up my plan.

Verizon packages an unlimited data plan with its smartphones so data doesn't use minutes and the phone will always be connected (as long as there is a tower near you).

Re:not quite (1)

Bodero (136806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638382)

Almost. It doesn't "count against" your minutes. It still has to connect to Verizon's network, however, by dialing (I think) #777.

Thus, you will be connected on demand (and disconnected when you're done), and this may or may not send your incoming phone calls directly to voicemail (most do).

Visual Studio.NET (5, Interesting)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637491)

I've heard over and over from people who've done some programming in this area that, although alternatives to VS exist they are either with far less features or buggy.
Mod me troll but I believe that VS IDE is probably the best development environment around, and it might me possibly one of the reasons why many programmers are still coding for windows.

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637587)

Agreed. The IDE takes a bit of getting used to, that's for sure. But it is such a productivity booster... .. the only downside. So much is hidden from the user by default. Someone can get themselves into trouble and not understand what is happening. If you do not have a foundation into how things work, it will remain a black box to that user. It is dangerous to turn over the keys to those developers...

Re:Visual Studio.NET (3, Interesting)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637655)

Agreed. People got very distracted over the whole "browser war" circa 1998-2000 because it was an obvious, visible instance of Microsoft abusing is monopoly power, to the point where I think a lot of people forgot how MS got its monopoly power:

Visual Studio on the development side, and Office on the applications side.

In a lot of ways, MS got very very lucky: if Borland, Novell, Lotus and WordPerfect/Corel hadn't spent an entire decade shooting themselves in the foot over and over again, the competitive landscape in 2005 would be a very different place.

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638065)

how MS got its monopoly power: Visual Studio on the development side

No, Visual Studio came much later and isn’t really as nearly a monopoly as the OS and office automation product lines. The monopoly comes from MS-DOS times, specially during the transition (via MS Windows) to the current NT product line.

Ahem (1)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638157)

Visual C++ 1.0 shipped in 1993 [] . True, it didn't get rebranded as "Visual Studio" until much later, but that's, well, branding.

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638203)

Which IDEs have you looked at? Delphi? Eclipse?

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638251)


Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638228)

Unless MS have done something truley magical with VS then I suggest you look at the other options e.g. Borland tools and some people even like Eclipse (which I've found to be an absolute nightmare to get anything working because all the configuration features are nested about four or five deep through a minefiled of badly named features and plugins).
Borland tools have been miles nicer than anything Microsoft produced from rad design through to better management of help files.

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638271)

I've used Borland (Delphi) tools for over a year (a year ago). Not only it was buggy, but administering a service pack to "fix" (claimed by their tech support) these bugs was priced quite heavily. The service pack didn't fix some core issues we had so we scraped the whole thing and moved to VS. The decision was made after submitting endless support tickets which were left unsolved. Delphi might be an excellent tool for many needs, but for the ones we had, it simply wasn't built for.

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638428)

Hmm.. that seems odd, Borland tools are usually well polished (especially when compaired to Microsoft Tools) as you would expect for a company that's been in the business of writing development tools for such a long time. Kylix 1 was quite buggy but Kylix 2 was a lot better (certainly better than anything else available under linux)

Re:Visual Studio.NET (1)

wigry (899492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638255)

While offtopic (related to the article) the VS .NET has a big downside: the designer. It had messed up my custom layout code more than once and since then I avoid using it. I know myself how to arrange GUI components so that they look decent on the screen. The sequence of component addings to the container is sometimes very crucial but VS still does it the way it wants and totally messes things up. The worst thing I have seen was that the designer view just loses the code (!!!) in the InitializeComponent method and I had to rewrite the GUI layout logic again. These things were very annoying until I made the decision do not touch the designer view. Other than that, the .NET is quite nice compromise between low level C and java: development speed is faster that with C and the resulting program runs faster than Java (I mean the GUI apps with SWING, AWT and SWT toolkits).

Palm's free choice of OS (1)

mparaz (31980) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637506)

Even if "PalmSource sale won't kill Palm OS" [] , that OS now has competition as Palm has a free choice. Maybe they couldn't wait for PalmSource/Access to finish its Linux-based project?

That Linux offering needs to be compelling since the low end of the market is coming out with more Linux-based devices, like the GP2x [] .

Whats in it for Microsoft? (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637507)

"Microsoft understands the back end and Palm understands the front end, and the two of them -- if they can work together -- they can do some incredible things," Enderle said.

Really, Microsoft crushed them. The above statement may not be the right reason. Now whats in it from business standpoint for Microsoft to team up with Palm.

Re:Whats in it for Microsoft? (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637590)

Palms market share may have faltered recently , but 18% market share is defiantly not crushed .
It makes them one of the top 3 major players in the market ,which has a great many contenders .
I believe Blackberry at the number one spot with 20.8% and just after palm comes HP with 17.6.

So they are not crushed by any means .. they just have a great deal more competition these days

Re:Whats in it for Microsoft? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638237)

Not to mention that their competition--PalmOS--is no longer a part of the company that is producing the PocketPC Palm.

What a Bunch of Idiots (2, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637513)

Bye, bye Palm then and hello to being a Microsoft OEM on phones where there is absolutely no money and you're over a barrel all the time. A lot of Microsoft's competitors take it like a bitch all the time, that's the problem. No doubt Nokia will do the same and integrate support in for Exchange etc. and once that support is in Microsoft will use it to strong-arm Windows Mobile into the fray. Idiots.

Re:What a Bunch of Idiots (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637548)

agreed. looking at the larger picture ... Apple -> Motorola/Nextel, Linux -> Motorola handsets, etc. merely a competitive move by M$ to gain market share of an industry already dominated by the *others*. Sounds like a grasp at the proverbial straws of cell phone business.

1) Infiltrate
2) Intergrate
3) ???
4) Profit.

Re:What a Bunch of Idiots (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637903)

I do not believe that Nokia will ever start shipping Windows phones.

The absolute ugly-broken-ass nature of Windows mobile/PocketPC doesn't compare to the creamy goodness of symbian OS, whether it be series 60 or series 90.

Symbian looks and acts the way Palm OS *should* have been working by now. Lets hope they have enough market share to keep going.

Nokia phones always have an elegant/sophisticated interface. I've never seen a Windows mobile phone that came close.

Re:What a Bunch of Idiots (1)

simp (25997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638110)

yes please, give me Symbian OS on a PDA. In the last 10 years I've gone from Psion to Palm OS to Pocket PC. And it was a downhill ride. In terms of organsier software nothing could beat the Psion OS with its agenda/database apps.

Symbian is the modern succesor of Psion OS, so I really want a PDA with that OS. Unfortunately I'm one of the 3 people left in the world who wants my PDA separate from my cellphone, so no luck so far.

Death of PalmSource (2, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637522)

Palm building WinCE based handheld which will be distributed through Verizon.

Essentially Palm is going down (stock wise and tech wise). With Linux Zaurses becoming popular and new products like the Nokia 770 coming out, there's not much room between Linux and WinCE for Palm to build a niche market.

Microsoft helping might be a good thing for Palm, but in that terms Faust really got a deal for his soul too.

Re:Death of PalmSource (1)

billmil (59216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637890)

> With Linux Zaurses becoming popular ...Not on this side of the pond. Sharp stopped selling the zaurus here (in the US) a few years ago. A concession to the inability to crack the PDA market. Great machine, however.

Re:Death of PalmSource (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638027)

Essentially Palm is going down (stock wise and tech wise). With Linux Zaurses becoming popular and new products like the Nokia 770 coming out, there's not much room between Linux and WinCE for Palm to build a niche market.

You speak as if the next Palm OS wasn't already going to be linux.

Rumors about a WinCE Treo have been flying around for months. Rumors about a "windows Palm" have been even longer-lived. And, you know what? It isn't going to do jack against PalmOS. All it does it let a very well-designed device (the Treo) compete in just another area.

In the last few months I did my biannual palm upgrade. In two years, when I expect to do it again, the devices will have a Linux core, and they will have the Palm UI. WindowsCE (or whatever the heck the call it) will likely be an option, just as it would be an option to install Windows Vista or Linux on my 2007 iBook.

it's more like... (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637531)

...Apple announcing that Windows Vista will be an OS option for their Next Mac.

This could effectively kill off the Palm OS. Especially it this treo sells like hotcakes. I hope not since my kyocera 6035 is getting old and I'm looking for a replacement.

Re:it's more like... (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637568)

Re:it's more like... ...Apple announcing that Windows Vista will be an OS option for their Next Mac.
Uhm, so how did you enjoyed being under that rock for the last few months?

Vader's take (2, Funny)

DoctorHibbert (610548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637614)


Palm OS killed Palm OS (3, Interesting)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637618)

The current version is just too unstable to trust on a cellphone. The "Cobalt" version is suppsoedly ready, but Palmone wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Even palmsource gave up on it and decided to go to a linux core, all that should give you an idea of how bad the codebase had become. (espically since palm usually has no reservations in putting out badly flawed products and patching later)

As much as I like my standalone palm, I could not deal with my cell phone crashing daily. If WM is more stable than POS (which shouldn't be too hard), then this may be a good move for treo.

Re:Palm OS killed Palm OS (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637885)

Windows mobile is *NOT* stable.

My cousin uses an MPx220, my father used to use an iPaq 6600 series pocketPC phone, and both sucked. Royally.

I've never played with a Palm Phone, but I can't imagine they were worse. I do find that the new Symbian series 90 is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Best PDA phone on the market? Nokia 7710.
Best reception.
Nice features
Decent software library.
Best screen
Best camera.
Happy Nokia Goodness ;P

Re:Palm OS killed Palm OS (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638448)

Its just too bad that after that long phonecall you will have run out of power for all those functions.. and I am still wondering why people (other then some teenies) want a camera in their phone. Does none of you people have a job that includes going to places where cameras are not permitted? (that is basicly every large company building out there)

Re:Palm OS killed Palm OS (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638057)

You couldn't pry my PalmOS powerd phone out of my cold dead fingers.

If there is a God, and we get stuck with Windows Mobile and it's shitty user interface as the replacement for PalmOS, even Garnet, it's undeniable proof that God hates us.

Re:Palm OS killed Palm OS (2, Insightful)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638118)

I've used Linux as my sole OS for almost 5 years now. I recently switched from an old dying Palm to Pocket PC because, frankly, the Palm hardware sucked. Minus the Treo (I already had a cell phone) the new hardware sucks. The screens are either painful to look at or they produce this high pitched whine after a couple months. They're really not made as well anymore. Which is indeed sad, but I think all technologists should be pragmatic. And I made the pragmatic choice to give up on Palm, because they've ceased making good products. And somewhere along the line they did something that made Sony, Handera and other good hardware makers abandon ship. So Palm OS died because of Palm and PalmSource. They have only themselves to blame. They sat around and rested while Windows-based hardware got better and the OS got liveable (I still like Palm OS better, but if the hardware is garbage it doesn't matter).

The only things that can top this (0)

stew (29814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637625)

What the hell is going on in the world today? Everything seems pretty f*cked-up right now. Hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes oh my!

What's next, the Second Coming of Christ? Or maybe proof of Extra-Terrestial Life!

Now that would be hella cool...

Not in our lifetime tho ;-)

Michael Hoover

only for one device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637626)

The Microsoft deal applied only to this one particular device. All other Palm products will continue to use Linux and Palm OS.

Anybody up for Cell Hacking? (1)

Mayobrains (917251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637630)

Gosh this sounds like SO much fun =) Puts a whole new meaning to Phreaking...

...and yes, I do agree, I'll call you back - my phone just crashed =)

- Trisha []

Actually stable (5, Funny)

wigry (899492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637647)

I don't know about you guys but I have developed quite many applications to Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphone platform and also used the phone quite a lot and it is STABLE and fast. Nothing to cpmlaoin about. The windows that is in the device is huge improvement over their desktop version. As the Embedded Visual C++ is totally free of charge, then it is absolutely logical to develop the program to the smartphone platform. The effect works also oin the other direction: as developers coose smartphone platform, then there are lots of programs available and therefore customers prefer those phones as well. Add to the picture the fact that Microsoft will make the single operating system release for both PDA and Smartphone (Windows Mobile 5.0), the user gets familiar interface and also does developer. By releasing the EVC for free, microsoft basically killed the competition. There is no point to develop to Symbian as the API is totally different and same is with Linux. Smartwhone with timetested Win32 API rules the mobile world, like it or not. I as a developer have experience and I like it. The Windows Mobile is another masterpiece from microsoft, far from what they provide to the desktop.

Re:Actually stable (2, Informative)

xpeeblix (701114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638111)

Before you take the parent seriously, keep in mind it was modded +4 FUNNY.

As the Embedded Visual C++ is totally free of charge...

This too shall pass....

Re:Actually stable (1)

wigry (899492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638194)

I have got the the EVC free for now. milyid=1dacdb3d-50d1-41b2-a107-fa75ae960856&langua geid=f49e8428-7071-4979-8a67-3cffcb0c2524&displayl ang=en []

Or do you mean, that if it's not opensource, it is not free? Who needs the source if the tool just works. Actually the free give away of the EVC is a part of clever Microsoft strategy to rule the mobile world. As it seams they are quite successful on that.

Anyway thanks for modders to take the typos with nice sence of humor. They are worth the Funny flag :)

Re:Actually stable (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638403)

Well it's really funny :) Embedded Visual C++ is totally free of charge and pain in the ass to use. .Net compact is a lot better but is not free. About Symbian - parent correct, Symbain is fragmened into two GUI (s60 and UIQ) and several version of the OS, which are supposed to be completly binary compatible, but in reality not so compatible. And starting from v9 big part of the API closed for unregistered developers. But Symbian market share still growing. Though 83% Symbain users don't use any Symbain features, and only use their smartphone for voice call and SMS.

Microsoft and Smart in the same sentence... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637672)

"Palm Teams With Microsoft for Smart Phone"
Doesn't this constitute as an oxymoron?

Glad to see.... (2, Funny)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637677)

I'm just glad to see that Microsoft has learned it's lessons
about monopolistic practices......


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637706)

I just picked up my newspaper (SF Chronicle) and saw a blurb mentioning this on the front page. I nearly screamed in frustration.

I'd adjusted to the idea of a Linux-based PalmOS, but this is too much.

Waiting on what? (1)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637714)

Could someone please tell me, what are developers waiting on to infuse Linux into this market? I'm not just stating this because I am a fan of Linux vs. Microsoft.. I just want to see competition in this space. The ubiquity of Windows just makes me shudder.

Spell Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637729)

I have a Treo 600 and I think it is a fanastic device.

I've also used Windows for portable devices, known as WINCE, and other acronyms -- and to Palm I say a hearty, "no thank you"!

Every grey cloud has a silver lining, however, so if Palm goes to the devil, then there is hope someone else with Linux based solution will take its place as the leader of the handheld communicator market.

Pics of the Treo 700w (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637747)

Engadget has pics of the new Windows Mobile Treo: []

Sadness. (2, Interesting)

superub3r (915084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637804)

This news makes baby Jesus cry.

I'm using my Kyocera 7135 Smartphone, It's old, using Palm OS 4.1, and quite underpowered, but I opted for it over the newer windows smartphones or RIM Blackberries, because I absolulty love the ease of use of Palm OS, as well as the clamshell design, a rarity in smartphones. If there is ever a smartphone with Palm OS 5, in a clamshell design, you can bet I'll be first in line. As far as intregrations go, this Kyocera is the best intragration of PDA software and cellphone features. [Well, I do like the palm OS treo too, but I need the clamshell :D ]

Re:Sadness. (1)

superub3r (915084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637835)

Errp, I ment if there's ever a phone with OS 6.

*cry* (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637875)

I started out on Pocket PC. And guess what?

Like most other MS products, they suck. My iPaq 4315 was underfeatured and overpriced compared to similar Palm models.

Either way, though, this marks the end of Palm. I've never seen a company thats managed to 'cooperate' and 'codevelop' with MS without getting really messed up.

Re:*cry* (5, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638081)

Either way, though, this marks the end of Palm. I've never seen a company thats managed to 'cooperate' and 'codevelop' with MS without getting really messed

Apple: One of the Mac's biggest and most popular software programs is Microsoft Office. MS even went so far as to bail out Apple in the mid 1990s.

Adobe: Ever notice how Adobe works so well with MS Office? Indesign reads DOCs, Acrobat installs a custom Office PDF writer, etc. All due to cooperation between the two giants.

Re:*cry* (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638291)

Apple was screwed numerous times by Microsoft, the bailout was because Microsoft had an antitrust case on their hands, Adobe was below the radars until now, Microsoft currently is working actively on shooting adobe with competing products out of the market...

Re:*cry* (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638302)

No Palm smartphone (or PDA for that matter) lets you open an SSH session and then switch applications while maintaining that session. To me, that is the single biggest flaw in Palm-based smartphones, and it's a killer flaw if you ask me.

To be honest, there's nothing that the Palm phone does that the PPC phone doesn't (at least, nothing I need). The PPC phone has much, much better handwriting recognition and the ability to multitask network applications. Both types of units play media, if that's your bag. A few PocketPC phones even have WiFi as an option, something the Treo line can't claim (I can't speak for non-Palm PalmOS smartphones).

What does Palm have? They've got really great PIM apps, and pretty good hardware. PPC has acceptable ones, but the rest of the features overall seem much better.

I'd really be looking forward to this PPC Treo if only the screen was larger. Many PPC apps assume 240x320, which means some things may not show up on the screen correctly. Whether I pick one of these up is mostly going to be a matter of which 3rd party apps fail in this way.

Weird reporting, rather than the end of the world! (2, Insightful)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637887)

Recent press reports make this sound as if Microsoft had devoured its one and only contender to the smartphone crown - and we'd all have to start clicking tiny Windows icons (and the reset button) on our cellphones, forever, really soon now. Curiously, almost all of these reports seem to forget how Symbian [] /Psion [] (and Linux itself) make a great platform for a smartphone OS while having many years of extremely loyal following by both countless customers and the mobile industry giants.

Palm is Dead, Long Live Palm (3, Interesting)

Aron S-T (3012) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637897)

I've said this before and I'll say it again - this is great news. There are many, many people who grew up with Palm OS. I have been using it since the Palm III days and in that period I went on the desktp from Mac to Windows to Icewm to Gnome (version 0.7) to KDE to Gnome and back to Mac OS X. I write faster in grafitti than on pen and paper. I have several Palm OS add on apps that I use everyday, several times a day. The Treo is popular because of the Palm OS not Palm (which why, as others have noted, the Apple analogy is way off - its the Mac OS X experience that people love, not PowerPC chips).

Palm as a company has grown to suck big time (it began with the 3Com purchase and it has been downhill ever since). When I had a choice, I avoided Palm products. The only decent Palm since the Palm V is the T3, but Palm support is less then useless (lot's of horror stories here).

Now that Palm has become just one more Microsoft OEM it will die a long, protracted painful death. But its customers like me, won't have to endure the death rattle. We will be able to go out out and buy Palm-enabled or rather ACCESS-enabled devices. And there is a great likelihood there will be many of those from multiple vendors and with multiple options.

Here's why: Let's face it - the PDA market is dying, and the cell phone market is rapidly on the rise. Does Palm/Microsoft really think it can compete with Nokia, Motorola, Sony/Erricson, Samsung and China Inc? How many cell phones do those companies sell? How many does Palm sell, with all the success of Treo? How many of the latter companies are using Microsoft's WinMobile? How many of those companies do/plan to sell embedded Linux phones?

In case you don't know the answers to the above rhetorical questions, it is likely the case that by now Motorola has shipped more embedded Linux phones in China alone than all the Treos out there. These phones will soon be available outside the US. Isn't it likely that these companies will add ACCESS as a feature/add-on to entice millions of Palm customers like me? When that happens, how many TreoNGs do you think are going to be sold? All of you can count on one hand.

So yes, Palm is dead. But fortunately, Palm OS has just been reborn. With it's old master dead it will take off even more rapidly.

Re:Palm is Dead, Long Live Palm (1)

gothfox (659941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638366)

Here's why: Let's face it - the PDA market is dying, and the cell phone market is rapidly on the rise.

Oh, get over yourself. The world is not USA's market trends. I've seen more people with PDAs here in Russia in the last year than in four years before. The PDA market here is booming. And, surprisingly, no one wants these madly overpriced convergence communicator beasts. Palm has an international loyal following (kinda Apple-like) which exists despite Palm screwing its customers over and over again. Just pulling out of PalmOS would be suicide for them.

Or the same as... (1)

holiggan (522846) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637898)

...Sega's Sonic showing up on a Nintendo console ;)

Bue-bue. Palm. (1)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13637912)

You will be missed.

The only reason to be a Palm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13637933)

is because of the Palm OS...

Good news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13638089)

The typical Microsoft bashers are on this thread. The simple fact of the matter is that Windows Mobile and more so with Windows Mobile 5 is a better operating system than Palm OS 5.x.

Palm OS 5.x though, a fine OS, is OLD. It is woefully out of step with the hardware in modern devices and is crippled with limitations of its OS. For example, it does not have true multi-threading... that is fine (maybe) for a PDA where you mostly only work on one app at at time, but it is causes all sorts of headaches for developers for a smartphone where the phone app needs to be able to take priority at any time. Also, the age of Palm OS 5 means that it does not come with a unified network or bluetooth stack. Many third parties have tacked on their own "enhancements" to Palm OS 5 but these simply means that software developers have to consider all these variations of Palm OS to have their software working. In general, a Pocket PC app will work for all Pocket PCs and a Windows Smartphone app will work for all Smartphones. With WM5, the code base has further been unified which means you only need to create one application which should work for both Pocket PCs and Smartphones.

Cobalt, aka Palm OS 6 is simply dead in the water compared to Windows Mobile 5 and that should be obvious to everyone. Not even Palm is using it and prefers Palm OS 5. As for Linux based Palm OS, there will not be a functional product for 1-2 years. Do we really expect Palm (as per the hardware company) to sit around twiddling their thumbs until then?

Frankly, a WM5 powered Treo is very exciting. Palm mades some great PDA designs and the Treo is one of the best Smartphones around. WM5 is best featured mobile OS. We should be getting the best of both worlds.

The end for Palm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13638106)

I swear, Palm is absolutely on crack.

First, tons of bizarro name changes. After some years, it's Palm again - what was so wrong with that in the first place that it was worth all the churn and confusion? Why make people who hit the front door of Palm's site choose what company or country they're really trying to reach?

Next, why make it so Palm has to pay to use its own OS on your its devices (re: PalmSource)? I'm never going to figure that one out.

Finally, why, oh why can't they put the whole thing in one package? My nice, fast T3 can connect wirelessly to the internet via "Any Bluetooth Wireless Access Point". WTF?

Took Palm years to come up with the SD WiFi you could already get for Pocket PC. And it works on what, 2 Palm devices? Meanwhile, they actively prevented Sandisk from developing working WiFi for the Palm line.

And if I want to spend money with Palm and get a nice Treo phone? Can't get one that's anything like as fast or capable as my several-years-old T3. Screen is tiny by comparison. And WiFi? The Treo 650 can "Connect with Bluetooth wireless devices." "That's odd, the lights are on, but there's nobody home!"

Can't buy an upgraded Palm OS for your older device anymore either. Might as well not matter 'cause each OS upgrade breaks a bunch of stuff that used to work fine, and there's not enough money in PalmOS software for developers to support their products and rewrite for the new OS or support multiple versions (in general). And since you can't upgrade your OS, they will need to support those multiple versions for a while. And as mentioned above, Palm owns a nice new OS that runs on exactly zero devices.

So now: Linux! NO! WAIT! Windows! NO! WAIT! The Treo 800 will be the ideal embedded controller for nuclear power plants and mission-critical homeland defense applications! And it will connect wirelessly to the internet via any Bluetooth Access Point!

Honestly, think of the dumbest thing they could possibly do, and I guarantee: it's in the business plan.

Re:The end for Palm (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638200)

This is exactly the problem that so many are missing. The problem isn't just the OS. Palm OS has its issues, but largely it's elegant and works well. The problem is that Palm hardware sucks. And they're virtually the only company making Palm OS-based hardware these days. So really your best bet is a Pocket PC. If only because the hardware is at least decent and you have some choice.

Re:The end for Palm (1)

mhollis (727905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638371)

An anonymous coward initiated a number of comments that encouraged your reply. I wish to take issue with a few things he or she said but I don't reply to anonymous cowards. And then I would like to reply to your post.

...tons of bizarro name changes. After some years, it's Palm again - what was so wrong with that in the first place that it was worth all the churn and confusion?
Palm has simply never been its own company. Jeff Hawkins could not manufacture the device on his own and needed a large investor to do that. Initially, it was US Robotics, whose primary engine was the sales of modems. Since modems are now not really viable, save as a chip you put onto a motherboard if you are an OEM, USR divested themselves of just about everything. The name changes have everything to do with the large investor that provides the capital for Hawkins' company, which had to split off and re-merge on at least two occasions due to funding issues. No large corporation can invent the way Palm does. They're too hidebound and cannot innovate like that, unless they create an autonomous business unit.

why make it so Palm has to pay to use its own OS on your its devices (re: PalmSource)? I'm never going to figure that one out.
See above. Everything has to do with funding. PalmSource is what remains (on the software side) of Handspring, which spun off from Palm when the large corporate Tiger that owned Palm started to eat its young.

My nice, fast T3 can connect wirelessly to the internet via "Any Bluetooth Wireless Access Point". WTF?
The Palm Treo 650 has the capability to do the same thing. It is disabled by the cellular companies that offer it. They don't want you to be able to dial out on your Treo, using WiFi. I think that's the question one would ask.

Now, to your issue: The problem isn't just the OS. Palm OS has its issues, but largely it's elegant and works well. The problem is that Palm hardware sucks. And they're virtually the only company making Palm OS-based hardware these days. So really your best bet is a Pocket PC. If only because the hardware is at least decent and you have some choice.
You are entitied to your opinion about the Palm hardware. I think it's perfect for my uses. I have owned a Palm m505 for some 5 or 6 years. It came with more RAM than I needed and has a card slot for more storage. I can find applications that work with it just fine and the user interface simply works. It's simple, elegant, intuitive and tremendously RAM-efficient. Windoze CE takes something like ten times the memory of the basic Palm OS and then you need more to run applications.

Of course the big thing I see with my Palm m505 is that I use it in a manner that is akin to Jeff Hawkins' original vision: Don't try to make it into a laptop; Don't try to get it to do everything; Make it do several simple things extremely well and stick with that, then refine it to do those things perfectly. I still admire the original VW Bug, which did not essentially change its body style from the 1930s through the last one assembled in Puebla, Mexico in 2003. The refinements were all internal. Volkswagen was dedicated to perfecting the engine and drive train to the point where the car was the most reliable little car on the road. This is how I see my m505 -- it is a very refined Palm Pilot and it does the job I need better than anything else: It keeps my calendar, addresses, notes and information very close to hand and allows me to back them up on my computer.

Lastly, I do not think that any Windoze device will sync with a Mac.

Pretty Good Move (1)

jacoby (3149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638121)

I started out with a Palm III and had a Visor for a while. Now I'm an iPaq guy. For the glory of what it did -- and "forget what you think a 'q' looks like, this is what I'll accept as a 'q'" really did open up pen computing -- the Palm always was the prehensile tail for your computer, while PocketPC is 3/4 a complete system. I browse the net and ssh from mine every day. I don't currently run Linux on it, but I can.

Why not Symbian? (1)

sjofi (307114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638241)

It's far more popular as smart mobile phone platform. Product development time and probability of ever reaching the markets seem to favor Symbian as well.

Crap! (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638247)

I was waiting for the inevitable Treo 700 to come out to upgrade to from my 600, which is painfully slow and has a crappy camera. I've always been annoyed that they left graffiti out of them, but now to find that they're putting that windoze crap on it... Well, at least the 650 will drop in price now --- I can upgrade to that to hold me over until someone else comes out with something comparable.

first pos7 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13638270)

already dead. It is number of FreeBSD the N3tBSD projec?t,

Why Bother? (1)

poutineboy (86060) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638289)

I have a Motorola MPX-220 which is a Microsoft Smartphone and it was the most unstable POS that I've ever used. It'd actually crash when answering a call. The Treo's are just too bulky in my opnion. Who wants to lug around such a big device? Give me a small candy bar shaped phone that is stable with a good user interface and I'm happy.

Just recently bought a Sony Ericsson K750i and have never looked back. It's sooooo much better than the UI disasters that Motorola and Nokia inflict on their customers. The phone is fast, flexible and stable. One shortcoming was the built in email was really slow like every other GPRS phone. I found the solution though, [] -- it is really fast plus it works with GMail/Yahoo/etc. Now I have the perfect device. Enjoy rebooting your smartphone's guys...

treo 700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13638356)

Cant wait for the next apple rocker to replace my palm 600.
The 650 is garbage and the 700 dosen't derserve space in my trash

Not like the Apple-Intel transition at all! (2, Interesting)

browse (557685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638367)

"...the same thing as Apple announcing they were going to be using Intel processors..." I disagree. Most people don't give a rat's ass what processor is inside of a Macintosh; the thing that makes it unique is the operating system running on it. The Apple transition (if done right) should be seamless, with the OS running as it does today (or faster) and most existing apps continuing to work as today. Palm is doing essentially the exact opposite. They are changing the OS, changing the look and feel of the software on the Treo, and breaking compatibility with all existing Palm software. As a current Treo owner, I'm pretty sad about the transition.

crashing won't be any worse (1)

Barbarian (9467) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638442)

My Treo 600 crashed, DAILY. Usually it would freeze at the start or the end of a call, and require a reset. After a few months it would cut out constantly during calls. Sent it in for a replacement by warranty, plugged in my SIM card, and on the first call it freezes. I got a regular cellphone with bluetooth recently, and a Dell Axim X30. The phone never crashes, and the Axim requires a reset about once a month. Good bye Palm, when did your quality control become so poor?

I need a PDA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13638466)

(Okay, I accidentally hit "reply" in the wrong fucking tab so this comment is actually posted [] in the "Developers: RMS Previews GPL3 Terms" [] story.)

I was planning on getting a Treo and setting it up with a Socket Communications barcode reader [] to explore that kind of functionality in a PDA. I hope they don't outright kill the Palm OS on their devices but rather carry both. I'd like to have an alternative to Microsoft when trying out those kinds of device setups. I keep coming across hardware I want that only works with Windows, like mobile phones and sheet-feed scanners, and it is frustrating.

Years ago, I had a top-of-the-range Toshiba laptop that came with Windows 95. When I upgraded to Windows 98, all of a sudden, the power management got all screwed up. To turn the machine off, I had to Shutdown, wait for it to hang, unplug the AC power adaptor, and pull out the battery. This was extremely frustrating, considering it wasn't exactly an obscure brand that was unsupported. Because of those kinds of experiences, I would really like to use another company's product.

Yes, there were things about their products that I did like. Despite the major security problems that came with it, I did like the whole COM thing from a development perspective. Being able to use the same controls in Access, Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Internet Explorer did have a nice consistency. And I don't recall having problems with my Palm on Windows the way I do now on OS X. If anything happened to your computer, all your PIM data was backed up on the Palm, so all you had to do was re-install the system and hit a button to restore it on the computer. But on OS X, I've had the computer wipe the data from my Palm when I did clean OS upgrades. They also managed to include programs along with their main products that helped you do more, like a graphics application that came with Office which was useful for web design. On the Macintosh, it seems like it costs much more to do really basic web design compared to Windows.

But that power management thing was really a bitch to deal with. I couldn't believe that any company would be so incompetent as to cripple a computers ability to simply turn off. The security problems were also unbearable. Allowing remote code to install itself on your computer automatically was just pure brainlessness. I can recall that there was an exploit in which an attachment could open itself up automatically in the preview pane in Outlook Express, and I had read about it as a proof-of-concept security hole possibly a year or two before virus writers actually started using it. The fact that a company would allow a common-knowledge exploit to go unpatched for so long was ridiculous. I've seen friends who's jobs depended on their computers lose all their data because of exploits like that.

So in the end, I opted for a more expensive computer setup that had less third-party hardware support, but could turn on and off like a television and actually allow me to do other things instead of having to constantly patch and implement work-arounds for newly discovered exploits. I got a computer I could use rather than one I had to maintain. Maybe things have been different since, but I think that it is just a fundamental issue that consumers have alternatives when piecing together computer systems.

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