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The Sad Story of a Mobile Technology Pioneer -- The Death of a Technology

From Chris Ziegler at The Verge:

"It's easy to look back at Palm's story arc from 1992 to 2012 and feel a sense of loss and sadness — this was a company that pioneered PDAs, popularized smartphones, and developed a revolutionary new platform on limited resources with an extraordinary concentration of industry talent before meeting its demise at the hands of HP."

As an early adopter of Palm (thanks to Mr. Kesler, way back in the NCG days), this story really saddens me.  My Palm experience included  the Palm IIIx, Palm V (a fantastic device!), Treo 300, Treo 600, and Treo 650.  There are so many things they got right early on, but simply failed to keep innovating.  (Are you listening, RIM?)

Think about this: The beauty of Palm OS (back in the Palm/Treo days) was the simplicity and speed of the interface. It catered to business users (95% of the market), not techies (5% of the market).  Windows CE (mobile) users criticized the device for a lack of home screen widgets (they stuck to a simple list of  app icons) and lack of of true multitasking.  Sound familiar?

A lesson for us all . . . ignoring the onslaught of the growing technology trends due to user demands and market innovation, while keeping the technology simple and user friendly, increases the risk of being obsolete within a few short years of cresting the mountain peak of success.




The Difference Between 2nd & 3rd Place - It's the Apps!

From Nilay Patel at The Verge

"And while Windows 8 has a long way to go before it can challenge the iPad, it feels almost inevitable that Microsoft will quickly succeed where Android tablets have thus far failed — especially because Microsoft is aggressively courting developers to write apps for its new Metro interface.

Perhaps more importantly, Google doesn't seem to feel any pressure to increase the quality or quantity of Android tablet apps, which have lagged far behind their iPad counterparts. Rubin told reporters this week that he "can't force someone to write a tablet app," but that he's hopeful developers "put in the muscle" to make their Android phone apps work better on larger screens. Until Google articulates a clear strategy to make Android relevant on tablets, that doesn't seem likely to happen."

It is hard to believe that Google isn't being more determined in recruiting quality developers.  Surely they recognize that much of the success of the iPhone, iPad, not to mention Windows, can be carried on the back of quality apps.  Of course, if your entire financial model is based on driving ad revenue, they just may not see the value.