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Handhelds Businesses

Bloomberg Reports That Palm Is Up For Sale 240

Posted by timothy
from the handwriting-on-the-wall-is-graffiti dept.
leetrout writes with this excerpt from a story at Bloomberg News "Palm Inc., creator of the Pre smartphone, put itself up for sale and is seeking bids for the company as early as this week, according to three people familiar with the situation."
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Bloomberg Reports That Palm Is Up For Sale

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  • Re:BeOS! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cameljockey91 (1455491) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:24AM (#31814288) Homepage
    Is that really a feasible or even necessary move? BeOS hasn't been developed in over a decade by the original programmers; what relevance does it have now? Palm failed to utilize the OS, and Be Inc. even changed direction away from BeOS before they were bought.
  • Re:BeOS! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fallingcow (213461) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:29AM (#31814310) Homepage

    Well, open-sourcing it would qualify as "something" :)

    I'm sure that'd help the folks working on Haiku.

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:48AM (#31814382)

    Good business can carry crap tech, even the best tech can't correct for even mediocre business.

    Sad, but that's how it rolls

  • Re:BeOS! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:04AM (#31814436) Journal

    what relevance does it have now?

    The only OS to ever do GUI responsiveness properly?

  • Too bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frist (1441971) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:09AM (#31814464)
    That's a shame, the Palm Pre really is a nice phone, I prefer it to the iPhone. WebOS is nicer, and the native SDK is out now. The browsing experience was comparable when I compared iphone to pre. And it has a real keyboard that pops out. They totally blew the ads though, those horrible TV ads w/the weird chick going "oh wait, I just did that" - most likely alienated many potential customers. I know the freaked me out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:35AM (#31814552)

    I live in a rich country in Europe. Palm will not take my money to buy a Pre, over a year after its introduction.

    I hope Palm will serve as an example to companies: If you introduce a product whose sales are uncertain, you need to sell it worldwide as soon as possible, otherwise you are just turning down peoples money.

    Palm: Great Engineers, Rubbish Marketeers.

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phat_Tony (661117) * on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:05AM (#31814648)
    It's always sad to see a once-great company die, but it's especially sad with Palm right now because they came so close to turning things back around at the last minute, which is rarely the case for long-dying companies. The writing had been on the wall for Palm since before the iPhone even came out, and the mere existence of the iPhone looked like the last nail in the coffin for Palm. Then, stunningly, when it seemed like they'd lost their pulse, Palm come out with an entirely new operating system with some really compelling aspects on a brand new competitive hardware platform. If they'd had a little more capital left to keep up a few rounds of hardware and software revisions, maybe they could still make it. Also, the Pre alone might have saved them if they weren't in one of the fastest-evolving, most competitive consumer electronics markets there's ever been, with the iPhone, Android OS, HTC Hero, Motorola Droid, Blackberry Storm2, etc.

    I still use a Sony Clie PEG-N710C running PalmOS for word-processing on the go. No current smartphone can compete with its docking and folding Stowaway keyboard, its reflective color TFT screen that I can see in direct sunlight at the park or on the beach, Documents to Go to seamlessly sync any word processing documents back and forth with my computer, and the ability to mount its Memory Stick as an external drive via a USB cable with any computer so I can copy my files to others on the go. Of course, it would get killed by modern devices on nearly any other task, but for ultra-portable word processing, it still kills anything else I've found.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:15AM (#31814682)

    I think BeOS stil has a relevance today, as it beats the pants off any current OS in respnsiveness to The User: any command/mouseclick has the highest priority, file copy be damned. I have tested with many current OSes (even OS X fails this test) start copying a huge file, and see if responsiveness is affected at all. With BeOS, it wasn't - not even the slightest. The file would get copied a few secconds later, if I interact a lot with the UI, but so fucking what?

    That's it? So what?

    How many applications are available for it?

    And how many jobs are out there for it?

    Any proprietary software on it that can't be moved to OSX or something?

    And hardware support? Does it support modern hardware?

    The to all the above is 'no'.

    BeOS is dead for a reason.

  • Re:BeOS! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:27AM (#31814720)

    My understanding was that while BeOS had many advantages such as the one you cited, the companies like Apple that looked at it decided it was going to be harder to hone the OS down into a practical and consumer-friendly operating system, in terms of refining or seamlessly adding on all the services that needed to be there. And we take an incredible amount of services for granted now, such as being able to render everything from HTML to streaming video in many different apps. But if they were missing, they would be missed, and apparently they were missing and not all that easy to hook up in BeOS, which was conceived back when computers were far more isolated islands than they are now.

    Maybe BeOS did a few things like performance really well, but the demands on an OS for extensibility, scalability, security, hardware compatibility, etc. are much higher today compared to when BeOS was conceived. An OS today must be holistic - good at everything, including a very long list of features that programmers and alpha geeks either don't care about or don't want but are essential to acceptance by consumers and enterprise.

    Feel free to correct me as I know I'm generalizing the hell out of what I've read.

  • Re:No surprise. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vectormatic (1759674) on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:37AM (#31814760)

    now i dont know jack about the palm-pre of web-os, but since when do you NEED an app store on a proper smartphone? The iphone might have triggered android in hopping onto the "app-store" bandwagon, and with all the ipad-hoopla, the media might make you think that without an app-store you cant do anything, but a proper smart-phone should be able to have software installed which isnt given the official X seal of approval.

    My 3 year old nokia doesnt have an app-store (come to think of it, it has the n-gage thing for games), but i still managed to get opera installed... or just about any piece of java code i write.

    I thought the entire point of smart-phones was that they grew closer and closer to a general purpose computer, not being a walled-garden

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:39AM (#31814768) Journal

    Another good line of products ruined by great management decision. Sad, really sad.

    Remember that next time anyone complains that CxOs are overpaid. Good ones really are worth their money (yeah, the bad ones really aren't, but you can say the same about engineers).

  • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 12, 2010 @05:06AM (#31814842)

    Then HTC should buy out Nokia to combine great touchscreen hardware with a solid/cool/functional platform, and then LG should buy out HTC and put cool blinking lights [youtube.com] and win back the teenage girl market. But by then the phone would have lost their business market so they would have to spin off their business-oriented smart phone division (formerly Blackberry). Of course, former Nokia employees would be pissed that LG is creating flip phones and using touchscreens so they all rage quit and form their own phone company that focuses on simple-to-use candy-bar and slider phones. Also because of the flip phone format, touchscreen user-friendliness would be rendered nearly useless, so LG would spin off their touch division (formerly HTC).

    Are we done speculating now?

  • Re:HTC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RMH101 (636144) on Monday April 12, 2010 @06:23AM (#31815106)
    HTC would own Palm's IP, which appears to be strong enough to ward off Apple - as Apple are suing HTC for features in Android (huh?) currently, this would both strengthen their hand with Apple, and with Google and the Open Handset Alliance, and also give them a choice of going HTC-WebOS, using Android, or Windows Phone 7 (which now you can't skin it removes HTC's Sense UI)
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 12, 2010 @08:26AM (#31815634) Journal
    You know what's really depressing about your post? These 'amazing' features that you describe were present on the Newton 15 years ago. Unfortunately, Apple takes NIH to extremes and won't use something invented here but in a different building, so the iPhone lacks them all.
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Monday April 12, 2010 @08:36AM (#31815704) Homepage

    Yeah, but you're talking about Apple, not Apple. Two distinctly different companies. Apple was a fantastic company that looked to do interesting new things and push concepts and technology. Apple is a company that is so in love with their own vision that they purposely leave out important features if they get in the way of this vision. Palm is/was a great company because they've always had a vision and always pushed the vision, but they've always been realistic about their limitations and mixed a little bit of Apple A with a little bit of Apple B.

    But you're absolutely right, Job's has a major NIH issue and it's honestly a shame.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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