I have a love-hate relationship with Palm. First, the love: for starters, Palm-based PDAs do everything I want a PDA to do. Just give me the basics, such as a nice contact list, memo/notepad, a to-do list, etc. Palm has always done that, and that's all it really needed to do. If I wanted add-ons, I could buy them, and I've bought some nifty ones, such as a nice timer application, and a city map application with downloadable area maps.

Over my years as a Palm user, there has been plenty to hate, though, as well. To start with, lack of color, and then very poor color. Bad cradles with flimsy latching hardware. ESD discharges which zap your device. Poor design, such as buttons that when inadvertently bumped, turn the Palm on and drain the battery.

I've worked through the issues though, and have always felt smugly superior to those with "WinCE wannabes" in all their me-too mediocrity. As if you really need to edit spreadsheets on a PDA. That's what laptops are for, pal.

Thus, I'm a bit saddened today at Palm's announcement of their first Windows Treo Phone. Yes, it's true that PalmSoft hasn't made a new version of the Palm OS in, well, forever. I will grudgingly admit that Microsoft's Mobile OS is much better at multimedia, which I will also admit is a valid use of a PDA.

I've been holding out, though, for the next new Palm OS, and new models with great color, sound, WiFi - the works. Apparently, that's not to be. Yes, this is a sad day for Palm purists.

Gah! I own the Treo 700W, Palm's first Windows Mobile device, and I'm very happy with it. I think it was a good move on Palm's part - they realize that Windows Mobile has a huge following, and they are giving users a choice. Palm hardware with Windows software. They certainly are not discontinuing their Palm OS nor are they stopping manufacturing future Treos with Palm OS.

I think that Microsoft and Apple should learn from Palm. Offering OS X on Windows hardware (well, not so farfetched anymore) or offering Windows on Mac hardware (without Virtual PC). It's all about offering different users who are looking for different things more choices.

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.