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the-problems-at-palm-and-some-suggestions

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BusinessWeek points out the struggles at Palm, how their operating system is 5 years old, the last Treo was released in 2003 and they've canceled the Foleo. They announced a new Treo for Europe, which looks interesting.

We've been developing two-factor authentication clients for a long, long time. We had a Blackberry token for the 95x series of Mobitex pagers. We have software tokens for Palm, PocketPC, Blackberry and J2ME so we have dealt with a lot of devices, operating systems and carriers. Based on that, here are my recommendations for Palm:

  • Maintain and leverage your software and developer base. One of Palm's main strengths was the number of apps that would run on it. This is a weakness for the Blackberry, as their developer program is not that strong - and the company clearly doesn't care about it. They think it's all about the email.
  • It is all about the email. And it would not be hard to do better than Blackberry's. You can't even sort by sender, or view only unread messages. It does need to be there instantly - or seem to at least. I see they claim "Automatic delivery of Hotmail/MSN, Yahoo!, and Gmail, email as it arrives" for the new Treo.
  • Make better hardware. I always felt that Palms were flimsy. I think the Blackberrys are getting a bit soft too. I'm tough on things I guess.
  • Get a position in the OS market place. Lots of players will have Windows-based systems. Get a Linux-based phone. What about being the open source player? Developers love to do wireless stuff. Could be a great way to get better software, user feedback, community, etc. Don't even get me started on the BREW platform.
  • Solve the 'walled garden' issues that the carriers have. Carriers are part of the problem too. If Palm can create a solution for carriers like Apple did for music labels that allows software development to flourish, that would be truly awesome.

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