Friday, November 26, 2004

Quo vadis, PalmOS?

On Thursday I was at the Siemens Embedded Day in Vienna-that's where I had the insights about Palm Handheld Bluetooth speed. However, none of the attendants knew anything about the PalmOS-instead, Operating Systems like VxWorks were used. This is definitely a good choice for Real-Time processing. But navigation, car radio controls,..? Wouldn't it be cool to add games and applications to the radio or navigator? This is however impossible-VxWorks and other RTOS(except Windows CE) are not really supported well by third parties. However, cards were distributed that allowed to obtain a free Windows CE evaluation CD at another presentation I visited-M$ even covered the shipment.
Now, the PalmInfoCenter had an interesting article about market shares. The ique3600 is said to be the most popular handheld with a price of over 400$. However, users commented that they never saw an ique in use. PalmOS smartphones are not available at prices under 400€-but I covered that before.
Now, we clearly see that the ique is a GPS system with added features. The PalmOS seems to be alone in the GPS sector when it comes to adding value. I don't know VxWorks, but I don't think that it is easy to create an address book or a game with it.
In addition, a program called Earthcomber was released, that was basically a digital map. It ships with free maps of the whole USA-and Europe should usually follow soon, as the program gets more popular.
Summarizing-the PalmOS currently has a very good stand in the GPS sector. Palmsource however needs to act now, to prevent the creation of different APIs. We experienced that with the Clies already... . To reduce impact on ique users, standardize at least the basics of the ique API. Its proven that it works-set the standard, and let the licencees implement it themselves....
I am-as always-looking forward to comments!

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