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!)