Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Palm ignores history, forges ahead.

by alec on May 30, 2007

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I've long been a fan of clamshell design mobile companions.  They start quickly, they're ultralight, and their batteries way outlast laptops.  Does anyone remember the NEC Mobilepro line?  How about the Sharp Mobilon Pro?  The Vadem Clio? Don't worry.  Nobody will hold it against you if you can't remember them… it's been nearly 10 years since these products were on the market, although you can still pick up a ready (if dwindling) supply of used ones on EBay.

They were all what we in the Windows CE group at the time dubbed HPCs, or Handheld PCs.  Running Windows CE, with solid state memory, they were designed as companions for a desktop.  And they were superb!  They were also abandoned like a hot rock by the industry when a runaway hit called Palm entered the market and showed everyone that a pocketable tablet with basic handwriting recognition (the PDA, as we call it today) was the wave of the future.

That's why there's more than a little irony in Palm's announcement of the Foleo today.  The Foleo is a 2.5 lb clamshell, with a five hour battery life, that does email and web, and is married to a Treo, as opposed to a PC.  In fact, it appears that the only connectivity option the Foleo has is a Treo. 

Without commenting on the Foleo specifically, because I haven't seen it yet, I'm a huge proponent of this class of device. But a breakthrough device?  The future of the company? As the old saying goes, "Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it".

For Palm's sake, let's hope that's not the case.

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#8. Lunch was being provided

by alec on May 30, 2007

Raising funds?  Suzi Dingwall-Williams' candid list of reasons why she took meetings as a VC is a good, and potentially eye opening read.

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Skype hasn’t lost relevance for me. It just doesn’t work.

May 30, 2007

Ken Camp asks Has Skype Lost Relevance?.  He's observed that fewer people are using Skype today than a few months ago.  True.  There are now so many options for quality cheap calls that Skype isn't as exciting as it was when it first hit the market a few years ago.  It's been off my computer […]

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illumio 2.0 is truly engrossing

May 30, 2007

I have a terrible problem.  It's suddenly become much harder for me to quickly scan my RSS feeds the way I used to, because suddenly there's a lot more good stuff.  The reason for that is the new illumio 2.0 beta.  illumio is a tool that makes it easier to stay informed and connected with RSS feeds, websites, […]

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Scratching the surface with Surface Computing

May 30, 2007

Compute surfaces of various kinds have been experimented with for many years now.  A few years back, for instance, Microsoft was demoing a projection system that would allow you to interact with the surface of a kitchen counter.  Features included measurement and recipes for food preparation.  Today's announcement of the Surface Computer by Microsoft, however, takes […]

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