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Happy 10th Birthday Palm

Or, as I considered calling this post, “Wow, you guys are still in business?!” I was one of the first and most loyal of Palm’s original customer base. I was fortunate enough to see the original product at DEMO ’96 and I ordered one on the spot. Why? Someone finally invented a portable device that was just the right size and, more importantly, did just the right things.

Over the course of the next few years I wound up buying at least two of their next generation products as well. I thought I was a customer for life…and then came Microsoft. In typical fashion, Microsoft’s hardware partners came out with products that offered more features at a better price than Palm’s lineup. In 2004 I finally jumped ship and bought an HP iPAQ. As I mentioned last year, it was a great product but was victimized by a lousy upgrade policy. I learned my lesson and decided I wasn’t going the HP route again. In fact, I was so turned off that I didn’t know where I’d go next…until I got my first Blackberry.

So, a great product (Palm) gets crushed by the Redmond monster (PocketPC) which then gets trumped by awesome usability and feature set (Blackberry).

Happy birthday Palm. Even though you’re a shadow of your former self, we have you to thank for the rebirth of the PDA marketplace. (Remember the Apple Newton?! Yeah, that’s right…Apple isn’t immune to poor product design!)

Comments

Kathy Sierra

Them's fightin' words about the Newton, Joe. Some of us were nearly obsessed with our Newtons (that's plural--like the iPod, one is never enough).

Sadly, most people were just not technically or artistically sophisticated enough to appreciate the real magic of the newton. Or they didn't have a pocket big enough to hold it... ; )

Joe Wikert

Hi Kathy. Sorry to offend you. On the other hand, if you owned and lugged around more than one Newton you must have incredible arm and back strength! I recall the Newton being roughly the size and weight of the typical phone book...

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