[CoMoDev] lots of interesting Palm OS news

  • From: David Beers <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 14:24:18 -0600

As Colorado-based handheld computing Internet personality Jeff Kirvin has 
noticed (http://www.writingonyourpalm.net) there sure is a lot going on--or at 
least rumored to be going on--in the Palm OS world right now.  From time to 
time--not too often, I promise--I may post stuff like this to the list to see 
if I can generate discussion, or at least give you folks something to think 
about:

***Rumor: PalmOne may be acquired by Dell***

PalmOne share prices shot up earlier this month on rumors that Dell is 
considering acquiring PalmOne (the Palm hardware maker).  Other handheld 
hardware vendors like Toshiba, ViewSonic, and maybe even Sony seem to be on 
their way out of the market.  Will it come down to just two big vendors, Dell 
and HP, and a smattering of little guys picking up the crumbs off the floor?  

article: http://www.brighthand.com/article/two_horse_race

Keep in mind that the "handheld computer market" is no longer just PDAs running 
Palm and Windows Mobile.  Unconnected handheld sales have been falling for some 
time and the growth market is in smartphones, where Palm OS and Windows Mobile 
have huge competition from heavy hitters like Nokia that license the Symbian 
OS.  Symbian isn't that big yet in the US where Palm is still the dominant OS 
for smartphones, but it's overwhelmingly the smartphone OS of choice in Europe. 
 Research In Motion's Blackberry devices have been selling well in the US, too. 
 So I don't know about the "two horse race" theory, but I will say this: if 
you're not getting on the wireless wagon, it's a good time to start thinking 
about how you can in the near future.  (Or GPS, that's another big area!)

***Palm OS Developer Suite version 1.0 likely to be released this week***

Palm OS software has overwhelmingly been developed using Metrowerks CodeWarrior 
in the past, but that's all about to change.  Metrowerks is not planning on 
going beyond version 9.0 of CodeWarrior for Palm OS and PalmSource has released 
a beta version of a new IDE that's uses Eclipse, a generic IDE framework that's 
popular in the Java world and elsewhere.  PODS is the only way to write 
software to target upcoming Cobalt (OS 6) devices and it also supports 
developing for Garnet (OS 5) and legacy Palm devices.  The first full release 
of is rumored to be coming out this week.  Perhaps the best news: PODS is free 
because it's open source, whereas CodeWarrior was always about a $400 
investment.  Maybe a good time to get your feet wet in Palm OS if you haven't 
already. You should be able to download the new version here when it comes 
available: http://www.palmos.com/dev/dl/dl_tools/dl_pods/  (right now that's 
the "preview release" they're showing).  I'll be demonstrating PODS at the June 
meeting. 

***"Graffiti" lawsuit overturned***

One thing that isn't a rumor: the Xerox patent infringement lawsuit against 
Palm for its Graffiti handwriting recognition has been overturned.  Any 
longtime Palm user who has bought a Palm recently knows that "Graffiti 2" is 
somewhat of a pain.  While it's a little more like ordinary writing (many 
characters involve more than one pen stroke) so there's a little less of a 
learning curve, in the long run it's slower and more cumbersome than the 
original Graffiti.  I for one hope that Palm will now come out with selectable 
handwriting recognition options like PocketPC has.  By the way, has anyone else 
wondered why Microsoft wasn't also on the receiving end of the Xerox suit?  
Their "block recognizer" option is almost identical to Graffiti as far as I've 
been able to tell.  Maybe Xerox just figured PalmSource was an easier target?

article: http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6837

If you want to see something that will make you scratch your head, compare the 
Palm Inc Graffiti keystrokes to the Xerox Unistrokes, both displayed at the 
bottom of the page I just gave a link to.  It's hard to see much similarity, 
quite frankly.

David





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