Tuesday, October 30, 2007
For more information about the Windows Mobile 6 Professional upgrade for the Treo 750, see our August 30th article.
Treo 750 owners can download their updates directly from the Palm website. Please note that this update can only be downloaded once. Please be sure that you are downloading the correct version for your phone. Once the updater has been downloaded, I strongly encourage you to burn a copy of the installer to CD or otherwise it up.
2007 – The Year That Wasn’t
2007 is turning out to be a disastrous year for fans of Palm and their products. The long awaited Treo 700p maintenance release (MR) didn’t go far enough to address performance and stability issues with the device in the eyes of customers. The Palm community was shocked when they learned that the next big thing from company founder Jeff Hawkins was not the media enabled handheld that was expected but rather the Foleo Mobile Companion. Largely panned by customers and the media, Palm shamefully cancelled the product just weeks before it was to go on sale. Most recently Palm enthusiast’s were let down yet again when they learned that devices running Palm’s next operating system, dubbed Palm OS II, would not appear until the first half of 2009 according to executive chairman and head of product development Jon Rubenstein. Just last month, Palm CEO Ed Colligan had stated that such devices would appear at the end of 2008.
I have received a number of emails, private messages, and have read posts here on 1SRC sent to me from the Palm community members suggesting that I write an open letter criticizing the management of Palm for what we, their customers, perceive as mistakes and calling the company out of touch with their customer’s requests for new devices and features. At this point, I’m sure that Palm is well aware of what is going on both inside the company and in the community. Since I am more of a “glass-half-full” kind of guy I don’t think pointing out the obvious does a whole heck of a lot of good. Yes we all know Palm needs to get Palm OS II completed and out the door. The management of Palm knows it. We know it. It’s time to move on. The following are some suggestions that I hope Palm takes to heart as they try to complete Palm OS II.
The Road to Palm OS II
Despite what happened in the past, at the end of the day, Palm needs to deliver a Linux-based operating system that will serve as the operating system that will replace Palm OS 5.4. In the absence of an official product name, I have begun calling the project to bring Palm OS to a Linux kernel Palm OS II. I believe that Palm sees this project as critical. However there have been several missteps in the execution to bring this new operating system to market.
The new operating system needs to be fast. I was impressed by how the Foleo handled application switching. The next version of Palm OS needs to have that same capability. Palm OS II also needs to have a slick looking interface. You can thank Apple for that requirement. Most importantly of all is that Palm continues to provide a great user experience on their devices. This means that the OS needs to be intuitive just like Palm OS 5.4; it needs to look good; and it needs to be stable. Palm should take this extra 18 months to deliver compelling software that differentiates them from the competition. Palm must leverage their top-tier developers such as Microsoft, DataViz, and NormSoft to ensure that applications are in place for business users and consumers when the new OS is ready. Lack of software will kill any platform.
Lastly, Palm needs to get more outsiders involved in the testing of Palm OS II. I know that management will bristle at the idea, however, I feel that it is necessary. Some of the problems with the Foleo were only discovered during the beta test that was held just weeks before the product was to ship leaving little or no time to take corrective action. Palm OS II absolutely needs to be stable, include a robust feature set, and be fully vetted by people from the community if it is going to be accepted. When Palm OS II is loaded into the next generation Palm OS Treo, handheld, or Foleo it is essential that the software is ready for a production rollout.
Work on the Hardware
In the time between now and when Palm OS II is officially released on devices, Palm needs to refine their hardware designs. The Centro is a good first step into making a truly consumer oriented device; yet there is still work to do. Like it or not, thin isn’t just for supermodels anymore. Palm needs to figure out how to make their smartphones thinner than the current crop of Treo smartphones. Palm also needs to look at new hardware designs. The discussion boards are full of requests for alternate form factors. I’m not sure the time is right to bring back the Tungsten T-series style slider, but people are asking for it. (HTC makes a few Windows Mobile devices that have slide out keyboards. I’m not sure how popular they are.)
I am a believer in the Foleo concept. During the next year Palm needs to refine the Foleo hardware so that when Palm OS II is completed the hardware will be ready for it. Foleo II should include a faster processor, more RAM, and tools for connecting to and interacting with another Palm OS II device. (Palm also needs more robust Foleo software, but that is an editorial for another time.)
Palm also needs to spend some time with their non-smartphone customers. It is time that Palm retire the Tungsten E2 and TX and replace both handhelds with a refreshed “TX|2”. If you look back at Palm’s quarterly earnings reports you will see that sales figures go up when a new handheld is released. If Palm has any plans for a TX|2 on the drawing board, it’s time to dust them off and move to refresh the TX.
A refreshed TX|2 will be received well even without Palm OS II. I would suggest the following changes and enhancements over the current model:
- Increase the amount of memory; devote more space to the DBCache
- Bring back the Drive Mode application
- Include Bluetooth 1.2 support
- Upgrade DataViz Documents To Go to version 10
- Upgrade NormSoft Pocket Tunes to 4.0 Deluxe
- Upgrade VersaMail to version 4.0
- Include the daylight savings time patch, Wi-Fi Enterprise Security Update, and security patches
- Include the Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) update from Palm OS Treo smartphones
Palm has their work cut out for them as 2007 comes to a close. Palm has lost their leadership role in the mobile computing market. If Palm wants to once again be an innovative company then they will need to execute their plans with determination and careful planning. Palm can’t afford to have another major product, like the Foleo, cancelled so far along in the development cycle. It won’t be easy. There will be a lot of over time hours that will be needed to make this work.
In 2008 I expect to see an emphasis put on Windows Mobile solutions. I offer up the marketing being put into Microsoft’s System Center Mobile Device Manager and the Office Communications Server 2007 Communicator Mobile client as evidence. For the remainder of 2007 and into 2008 I largely expect Palm to coast along on Palm OS 5.4. Maybe we will see another Centro-like device appear before Palm OS II is ready to take over for the aging operating system.
Palm should also listen to their customers and deliver the solutions that they are demanding: namely another handheld and full support for Windows Vista. As I stated earlier, the time is right for a refreshed Palm TX handheld. People will buy the TX|2 as I have outlined it above and it will generate revenue for Palm.
Palm also needs to get a working solution in place for Windows Vista. (Palm’s own Community Help Forums are loaded with posts from customers who are trying to synchronize their Palm OS devices with Windows Vista.) [Editor’s Note: Alan is an active Palm Community Help Forum moderator.] The holidays are right around the corner and there will be a lot of people this holiday season who will find new Vista computers and Cento smartphones under the tree. Without a working 32 and 64-bit Vista compatible version of Palm Desktop I am willing to predict that it will be the Centros and not the computers that will be returned come January. Palm, you need to put pressure on ACCESS to get this synchronization mess cleaned up. (As it turns out, the consumer version of Windows Vista will be one year old come January.)
For all of the negative press that Palm has been getting this year, they have some good products. 2008 will be critical for Palm as they complete the products that will appear in 2009. The Palm TX, Treo 755p, and Centro are examples of successful product launches. Palm needs more of these success stories during the coming year to restore customer confidence in the company.
If done right, I believe that Palm can turn things around and be the mobile computing leader that they once were.
[Originally posted by Alan G on 1SRC.com]
"I just heard about a product that will connect to a smartphone and allow it to be used with a larger keyboard and screen. No, I am not speaking of the Palm Foleo, but of something a good bit more recent that is being developed by i-mate as a companion to its Ultimate series of devices.I have to admit this does sound a lot like the Foleo. Despite all the bad press Palm received over Foleo, I still believe that it is the right thing to do as smartphones advance in capabilities and more cell phone users become smartphone users.
Unlike the Foleo, the "shell" that i-mate is developing only contains a screen (1024 by 768 pixels), a long-life battery (80 hrs.) and a QWERTY keyboard. Everything else would be driven by the Ultimate series device that would be docked into it.
Like the Foleo, this i-mate shell is making the case that smartphones are all but ready to take over as full computing devices for some users. And it's in this methodology that I have to wonder if in all the blasting that Palm took for announcing (and later unannouncing) the Foleo, if they were actually right about not just smartphones, but the eventual direction of mobile computing."
Read Was Palm Right After All...
Thursday, October 25, 2007
KEELE, UK - October 25th, 2007 - Astraware invites you to celebrate Halloween with a special spooky version of Astraware Solitaire.
Astraware Solitaire - Halloween Edition includes all the features of the highly-acclaimed standard edition but with the addition of a brand new Halloween card back set and a more eerie default color scheme. Select your card back from a choice of werewolf, vampire, pumpkins, bats, mummy, witch, ghost, or spider!
Astraware Solitaire includes 12 of the most well-known and best-loved card games in one easy-to-use pack. Each game offers customizable gameplay so you can play to your favorite set of rules, along with easily changeable color themes, backgrounds, card backs and fronts. It's available for smartphones and PDAs running Palm OS(R) or Windows Mobile(R) and is compatible with a wide range of devices across both platforms.
The Halloween Edition of Astraware Solitaire will be available for a limited time only with a special $5 discount off the regular price. Registration codes for the standard version will work in the Halloween edition and vice versa, so owners of Astraware Solitaire can download this special version for FREE!
To download a trial or to buy, visit http://www.astraware.com/solitairehe.
Sudoku Deluxe works on many of Palm's Treo smartphones and handheld PDAs. The Centro and the Treo 755p aren't specifically listed, however, I would be very surprised if the software didn't run just fine on those newer devices.
- Palm® devices running PalmOS®' 3.5 or higher with 2MB of free program memory.
- Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2000 or higher devices with 4MB of free program memory.
- PC with CDROM drive running Windows 98 or higher.
Visit http://www.filaomobile.com/ for complete list of compatible devices.
This looks like it can be a great stocking stuffer for your favorite Palm owner on your holiday shopping list. This offer is good until November 15, 2007.
More details, and the rebate form, can be found on Palm's website...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The folks over at TreoCentral.com are running an story about a possible design image of the Treo 800w that was leaked on the Internet.
Since this is a still a rumor all the information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Not much is known about the Treo 800w at this point. Some are claiming that there will be a new data port on the device that is different from the Athena Multiconnector currently being used on many of Palm's Treo and handheld PDA products. Some are saying that the new data port will be a mini-USB port. Others are talking built-in Wi-Fi. Of all the rumored specifications, we can probably safely bet on a 320x320 display and Windows Mobile 6 Professional. Anything beyond that is speculation.
Looks like Treo 800w Silly Season is in full swing.
Rumor: Treo 800w Coming to Verizon...
James Faucette, an analyst for Pacific Crest, recently wrote, “Our retail sell-through checks for the first weeks of availability indicate solid sell-through. We also believe that Centro cannibalization of the higher-ASP Treo is around 30%, versus our previous expectation of 50%.”
Unofficial reports are also coming in from conversations with retail sales associates from Sprint stores. To summarize one poster on the Yahoo! Finance discussion board Centro sell through is higher than expected and that Centro is popular with high school and college students.
Both of these reports bode well for Palm. I'll be looking forward to seeing official sell through numbers at the end of the current quarter.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
"Why is FileMaker, Inc. discontinuing the sales and development of FileMaker Mobile 8?
Technological innovations and the availability of Internet-enabled devices are rapidly changing mobile computing. Apple has introduced the iPhone and FileMaker, Inc. has invested in several technologies to enable customers to publish live data to the Web, most recently PHP. For more information on FileMaker PHP technology, visit: http://www.filemaker.com/support/technologies/php.html
For offline use, a number of 3rd party solutions have emerged that help people move data back and forth between FileMaker Pro and mobile devices.
December 19, 2007 will be the last day to place an order for FileMaker Mobile 8."
FileMaker has been working hard to move their application platform to the web, and FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Server 9 make putting FileMaker applications on the web even easier. So I'm not really surprised by this move. Further more, I've never been a big power user of FileMaker Mobile because I never really got the sense that FileMaker was really supporting the product from the beginning. For example, you couldn't store a FileMaker Mobile database on a SD card, and it wasn't until very late in the product cycle were you able to sync to a database that was being hosted on a FileMaker server.
FileMaker, Inc will stop selling FileMaker Mobile 8 at the close of business on December 19, 2007. Technical support for FileMaker Mobile 7 and 8 will continue on until June 18, 2008.
Additional information on alternative solutions and FileMaker Mobile can be found at: http://www.filemaker.com/support/fmm_eol.html
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I have posted week's 1SRC editorial has been posted and talks about some of the advantages that the new Palm Centro has over Apple's much talked about iPhone.
"The Centro can’t stand up to the Apple iPhone. And it doesn’t have to.Via 1SRC.com...
Focus on the Differentiation
The iPhone and the Centro are both being marketed to people who use regular old cell phones. In the United States alone there are millions of people up for grabs. Centro is intended for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider purchasing a $500+ phone from Palm, Apple, or High Tech Computing (HTC).
The Centro offers a better user experience when trying to type out a text message or short email to your friends. There is also a large selection of software to choose from. (Apple is planning on releasing the tools to create native iPhone/iPod Touch applications early next year.) Regardless of what you want to do or what interests you, there is likely an application for you that will run on the Centro. When you compare the ease of use of the Centro to feature flip phones you see that it is possible to obtain a better mobile experience for a comparable price for all but the cheapest cell phones given away free with new service agreements.
You also can’t over look the ease of use of the Palm OS platform. Despite its age, Palm OS 5 is still a very capable operating system. At the heart of the Palm platform are the core 4 personal information management (PIM) applications: Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos. These applications are straightforward and easy to use. It is this ease of use and straight forward approach to PIM tools that has kept me coming back Palm every time I thing about upgrading my phone.
If you accept that the Centro is intended for 20 and 30-somethings, then you also must agree that it offers a better messaging experience over feature phones. Cento comes bundled with an IM, test messaging, and, email applications. Using Centro’s built-in keyboard improves up on the process of typing out messages to friends and coworkers.
The Centro is also cost competitive with the iPhone. After carrier discounts and mail in rebates the Centro can be purchased for the low price of $99. The Centro ends up being $300 less expensive than the iPhone and has almost all of the same features. Centro is also cheaper than the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Furthermore, Sprint’s voice and data plans are slightly cheaper than AT&T’s. If you are on a budget, the Centro just makes sense.
The new Palm Centro is an effort by Palm to reach out to customers who would otherwise not consider buying a smartphone. When talking about sales figures it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. There are more than enough cell phone users for both Apple and Palm to market to. In recent years Palm has lost their leadership position in the smartphone market. The Centro is a good start in working back to that coveted spot. If Palm is serious about getting back on top of the smartphone heap, than future phones will need to be more innovative, look good, work well, and have the marketing muscle behind it to really generate some buzz in the industry. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to have the empowering features of a smartphone without the bloated price tag, the Centro is the device for you."
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Go back five years when Palm handhelds ruled the mobile device market, before smart phones began their ascendancy. It's easy to imagine that Palm's new Centro -- the company's first smart phone not named Treo -- is the device Palm envisioned as the future of handhelds.Keep reading...
That's not damning by faint praise, either. Centro is far smaller than those old handhelds. For that matter, it's significantly sleeker than Palm's Treo, yet it provides most of the Treo's capabilities and, at $99 (with a two-year contract from Sprint plus rebates) is quite inexpensive."
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Palm's latest smartphone, the Centro, goes on sale starting today.
Centro is a new consumer oriented smartphone that packs all the power of Palm's Treo 755p smartphone in a smaller footprint. Centro runs the Palm OS (version 5.4.9), has 64MB of user storage space for applications and data, includes a 2.2" color touchscreen, and a microSD card slot supporting up to a 4GB expansion card. The Centro also features a 1150mAh replaceable lithium-ion battery.
Centro goes on sale for $99 when purchased with a new two-year service agreement and the $25 Sprint Power Vision pack and after a $50 mail in rebate. If you extend you existing service agreement with Sprint, you can take home the Centro for $199. Or you can buy the Centro without a service agreement or extending your contract for $399.
The Centro is a Sprint exclusive for the next 90-days. Once the Sprint exclusive is over expect the Centro to start appearing on other wireless carrier's networks.
The Palm Centro can be purchased at Sprint or Palm retail outlets or online at www.palm.com/store.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Astraware has a new boardgames game back available. I know that my kids are going to love the fact that I'm going to be able to carry a copy of Tic Tac Toe with me when we are waiting at the doctor's office, the diner, or at a restaurant.
The best part about this, for a limited time, you can pick up Astraware Boardgames for $9.95.
Astraware Boardgames - 8 classic boardgames in one fun pack!
KEELE, UK - October 9th 2007 - Astraware(R) is excited to announce the release of Astraware Boardgames - a collection of 8 classic boardgames including Chess, Backgammon, Reversi and more!
Astraware Boardgames includes 8 games, each with user-customizable rules and a range of difficulty levels, but designed with casual players and non-experts in mind. If you're a new player or an old hand who enjoys a fun traditional board game, then Astraware Boardgames is just for you.
"We wanted to come up with a range of fun games that everyone knows, and everyone can enjoy playing," said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware's CEO. "I love being able to pick up any of the boardgames, know that I stand a chance of winning, and have fun playing. Sorry, Mr. Kasparov, Astraware Boardgames is for regular folks only!"
Astraware Boardgames offers 3 levels of gameplay that everyone can enjoy, even complete beginners, If you're new to board games, you can play a nice easy game to begin with and when you're winning those regularly, select a harder difficulty.
The game features plenty of options so that you can choose to play it your way - against the computer, or alongside other players, and with your choice of rules, so whether you like huffing in checkers, flying in nine men's morris, want more ladders or less snakes, Astraware Boardgames lets you play it your way!
The gameplay and graphics are designed to evoke the feel of classic board games, played on wooden boards, with traditional playing pieces and satisfying piece movement. Astraware Boardgames includes Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Nine Men's Morris, Snakes and Ladders, and Tic Tac Toe.
Astraware Boardgames is packed with standard Astraware features, such as user profiles, appropriate sound effects throughout, and automatic saving when you exit or receive a phone call. Available now for PDAs and smartphones running Palm OS(R) 5.0 and Windows Mobile(R) 2003, 2003SE, 5.0 and 6.0, it includes support for all resolutions. The game offers a choice of control methods and is optimized for play with 5-way navigation across all devices, but also works perfectly with a stylus if you have one!
Astraware Boardgames is available now priced $19.95, but with an introductory discount for a limited time. To try or to buy, visit the Astraware website: http://www.astraware.com/boardgames.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
KEELE, UK - October 3rd, 2007 - Astraware is pleased to announce The Astraware BIG Fall Sale which offers 25% off a huge selection of games on their website.
The Astraware BIG Fall Sale runs from 3rd - 18th October 2007 and offers a fantastic 25% discount off over 90 games and packs! Brain-teasing word games and puzzles, epic adventures, exciting action games, and compelling card games are all included, so there really is something for everyone.
As well as enjoying these special low prices, Club Astraware members can also earn points on any games they buy in the sale - 1 point for every cent they spend!
To take advantage of this massive offer visit the Astraware website at http://www.astraware.com.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
NYPC membership is not mandatory, but highly recommended to Palm SIG members.
Location: Meetings are held at NYPC's offices in the New Yorker/Ramada Hotel, 8th Avenue & 34th Street, Suite 551.
Directions: Take the A, E, or C trains to 34th Street.
October 3rd meeting: Ted just got a Bluetooth GPS receiver (it's amazing how inexpensive they are now). It works on the streets of Manhattan!!
Come to the meeting this Wednesday, Oct 3, and explore mapping, navigation and other fun GPS stuff on your Palm. Many of the programs are freeware.
See you on Wednesday!
Ted and Grace
NYPC PalmPilot SIG
Grace Lee & Ted Cohn, Co-Chairs
Palm released the full financial details today for the quarter that just ended for the company.
By now I'm sure that you have read that when all is said and done, Palm has lost money this past quarter, something that the company hasn't done in over two years. It also seem that the current quarter will be about the same. I want to leave the financial analysis to those folks who have a better understanding of how it all works. Brighthand's Ed Hardy has written a good summary of today's financial earnings statement. I would like to spend the next few minutes talking about Palm and where they are going.
Palm is moving forward with their recapitalization plan which will bring three members of the Elevation team to the Board of Directors at Palm. The arrival of Jon Rubinstein at Palm is generating a lot of buzz. Mr. Rubinstein is a former Apple, Inc. executive who was in charge of the iPod division. Analysts, investors, and customers alike are hoping that he will be able to bring some of that Apple magic to Palm and help then bring new products to market in a timely manner. According to Palm, the deal with Elevation Partners is expected to wrap up by the end of this month (October 2007).
With the introduction of the Treo 500v and Centro smartphones, Palm is indicating that they hare better positioned to meet the needs of customers at price points that make sense. The Palm smartphone line up is now positioned with the Treo 750 and 700wx at the high-end for enterprise customers. The Treo 500v, 680, and 755p hold the middle ground for the "prosumer;" while the new Palm Centro rounds out the consumer level category. With the Centro, Palm is clearly looking to grow their marketshare by drawing in new customer whom would have otherwise purchased a standard feature phone that is $99 or less with a new subscription.
Still to Come
Palm's senior executives are still tight lipped about the company's future plans, but it seems that they are committed to moving forward with their plans to release a new version of the Palm OS based on a Linux core. While Palm has yet to name this new software development effort, many, including myself, have taken to calling this new operating system, "Palm OS II."
As far as the timing goes, Palm will only state that Palm devices running the new Linux operating system will be made available to customers by the end of the calendar year 2008. I would like to see Palm offering Palm OS II-based Treo smartphones by May of 2008.
And what about the Foleo? While it would seem that Palm is trying to divert attention away from the Foleo, there is a still a dedicated following who would like to see Palm deliver on the promise of the Foleo. Palm OS II is the key to finally bring the Foleo to market as any new Foleo product will likely run Palm OS II in place of the operating system that was to be included in the recently canceled device. If Palm OS II devices arrive at the end of 2008, then I would expect we won't see a new Foleo product until mid-2009.
Brighthand: Palm Takes a Loss for the Quarter...
Palm InfoCenter: Palm Reports Q1 FY08 Results...
TreoCentral: Palm Reports Q1 FY08 Results...
Monday, October 1, 2007
Until recently, the Treo 700p and 700w|wx maintenance releases where unavailable, the new Centro will be a Sprint exclusive until the new year, and the 755p, which has been available on Sprint for months how is nowhere in sight on the Verizon radar. Will Verizon go a holiday season without a new device from Palm? Until recently, it looked like the answer might be "Yes". Starting today, I'm officially calling for the start of "Treo 800w Silly Season."
Silly Seasons are the months leading up to a new Palm product launch where Palm fan sites, like Foleo Fanatics, and discussion boards are a buzz with rumors and wild speculation about the next rumored device. In this case, it is the rumored successor to the Treo 700w|wx, the Treo 800w.
I'm not even going to start making predictions about what this device will have on board or even what form factor it will have; except to say that I expect the Treo 800w, if it is real, to be running the Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional operating system. (And I'm not even going to go near any rumors of a Treo 800p running Palm OS II. It is way too soon for anything like that to be even close to ready.)
For those who want to get a head start on the Treo 800w Silly Season, check out TreoCentral member howicam's post from this past weekend. If that doesn't jump start rumors, I don't know what will. Just keep in mind that this is only a rumor at this point, and I have not confirmed any of the information in the post.
Do you think we'll see a new Windows Mobile Treo on Verizon before the Christmas holiday? Let us know by clicking the Comments link below and sharing your thoughts.