Archive | January 14, 2009

Last Hurrah for Palm?

by: Jerry Liao

I remember a number of years ago when Palm officials was here in the Philippines to launch their new Palm Pilot product. At that time, the mobile phone market was just starting. So I asked one Palm official if the mobile phone will take over the Palm Pilot since some of the functionalities of the Palm are already included in the phone, or will be the Palm evolved and become more like a mobile phone.

NO was the bold answer of the Palm official. The official added that user will use mobile phones to call but when it comes to organizing their work, people will still use the Palm. I have not heard from the official again, and I almost never heard of Palm as well. The mobile phone became an all-around gadget killing organizers, pagers, and other devices.

Palm tried to catch up by releasing Pilot PDA, the Treo and Centro smartphones, and the shortlived Foleo but failed to gain their glory days. Companies like Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, Apple, RIM, HTC, HP, and more became a household name.

Well Palm is back and will try to be part of the equation so to speak by unveiling its new Palm webOS mobile platform, built from the ground up to be constantly connected to the web, and the new Palm Pre, the first phone based on the new platform. Pre is scheduled to be available exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009.

Palm webOS is a brand-new kind of platform, invented exclusively for mobile use. webOS recognizes that you want your people, calendars and information to move with you, wherever you are, wirelessly, as opposed to being bound to a personal computer. Palm webOS is the first mobile platform to automatically bring your information from the many places it resides – on your phone, at your work or on the web – into one simple, integrated view.

The new Palm Pre and webOS are designed to be so in sync with your needs that it feels like Pre is thinking ahead for you.

At its core, webOS leverages several industry-standard technologies, including web technologies such as CSS, XHTML and JavaScript. On top of that, Palm has included creative and innovative advancements to enhance the overall user experience and provided a deep integration of all elements within the platform.

Palm says the user experience is developed around multitasking and the simplicity of a web browser. It features a web based application suite and supports touchscreen finger based input, background applications and is tightly interconnected with the Internet and various web services.

The Palm webOS developer environment is called Mojo. The Mojo Application framework is based on HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript web development standards. Palm says the Mojo SDK will include sample code, documentation, and development tools. An Eclipse-based IDE is included, and you will also be able to use your choice of tools to build WebOS applications. The Mojo SDK is currently in private prerelease, and will be available later this year as a free download from the Palm Developer Network.

Whether Palm will make it big again this time will highly depend on how the user will embrace their new product. As the old saying goes, it’s easier to gain new customers that to win back old customers.