April 30, 2006
Palm OS Left Behind
A year ago, I posted what I thought about the various Palm OS announcements, and that it was probably going to be too little, and far too late.
Since then, PalmSource has been acquired by Access, and is stuck with the old Palm OS for at least another year. That will make at least three years from the last Palm OS release -- more like a decade in mobile tech doggy-time. Today I saw CNET News published an equally sober article, "Is the Palm OS Missing the Multimedia Boat?"
Users of mobile devices are increasingly looking for them to do more, and not just to play MP3's either. Business users like more interactive travel aids, maps, remote access to data, etc. Consumers are already primed for mobile multimedia (thanks in no small part to video iPods). Both markets are leaning more toward multitasking devices with better security. The Palm OS lacks native Java, which is required for some new mobile applications. PalmSource relies on external developers to come up with the cool multimedia tools, not a good sign.
Thus it's not surprising the latest Treo is running on Windows Mobile; however, it's not all peaches and cream. Former Treo 650 users tend to prefer their 650 over the new 700, at least from the online comments I've read. Thus it's not so much a prediction as it is an extrapolation these needs will quickly overpower the Palm OS even coupled with newer, faster hardware. Keep an eye out for more mobile applications geared towards Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms. It might just affect your next mobile gadget choice.
Topic(s): Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard