Sunday, January 02, 2005

Updated-the equillibrium of Palm, Symbian and PPC hardware-or-Tam,the sucker

We all know Mike Cane, and most of us share a strange dislike for him(not me though). Well, the poor guy wrote an editorial with PalmInfoCenter-and he immediately got a nice flogging. Serves him right, doesnt it?
Actually, it does not serve him right. Altough he chose an extremely provoking title-nobody does like beeing called a sucker- and made a few big mistakes comparing kernel and API, two of his core statements are sensible.

Lets start with him stating that OSses shall soon be interchangeable. While this definitely wasn't true a few years ago, the Palm OS nowadays runs on ARM processors. Same architecture like PocketPC, Symbian, Linux and a load of other OSses. Lets face it-my stock Siemens SX1 almost equals a Tungsten T without touchscreen(OMAP CPU, 4MB of RAM, pretty big screen(higher resolution than Zire 31),bluetooth, MMC-Slot,...) . And a standard PPC is more-less a Palm OS handheld with more ROM and a different screen format!
A german reviewer(I know him as a trustable source) even found out that the T3 was produced with ASUS-a company that is known for a huge selection of PocketPCs. I think that the dominant question in the following years will be: Touchscreen?

Next thing:
Mike thinks that PalmSource will soon start porting the core Palm OS PIM apps to other platforms. Many commentators thought that a suite of Date Book, To Do, Address Book and Memo Pad would have no chance on the market. However-lets face it. What is Outlook? It is essentially the same thing bundled with a decent email client. If you think that Microsoft should stop developing Outlook, come on and mail'em! See what they answer you, it will be funny for sure!
What do you think about my statements?
P.s. Thanks to Steven Fisher for pointing out the thing with the API!


Blogger Steven Fisher said...

I guess this is where we part ways.

I did think of the technical contents. And that is why I flamed him. The post was complete bullshit, and technically showed no understanding of the difference between a kernel and an API.

I had no knowledge of Mike Cane before that post. And yet from just that post, I realized he was an ignorant fool, and that a PIC that ran a "story" like that was no longer worth visiting.

I feel the same way about a blog that defends him, or worse yet thinks that there is any value in his arguments -- they're still valueless, and it really doesn't matter who says them.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Steven,
sorry to see you go. While definitely not every one of his comments was good, the two things I outlined here are at least to my beleif true.
1)I own a SX1 and looked at its hardware contents for a long time. Please tell me where you see the difference
2)What is Outlook in your point of view?
Best Regards anyway
Tam Hanna

12:05 PM  
Blogger Steven Fisher said...

Woah, woah. I meant "where we disagree" not "where I stop reading." My fault for being unclaer. But now you know how confused I am after reading your comments sometimes. :)

If you're saying that the OS can be replaced on the device, you might be right. I could see upgrading a PPC to a Palm, for instance -- certainly after PalmLinux ships. Although PalmSource doesn't license to individual users, so this might not actually be legally possible for a while.

However, "the OSes shall soon be interchangable" to me is saying that OSes are similiar enough that applications are portable across them. Obviously, that isn't true. (This is why I thought you first article was rather stupid -- I didn't see the other interpretation of this statement.)

Finally, I can't imagine PalmSource porting the Palm OS PIM apps. First, it would be stabbing all of their licensees in the back. Second, who are they going to port them for? Certainly not end users -- PalmSource isn't going to do anything for end users, that's not how they operate. Maybe if a Pocket PC licensee paid, but do you think a licensee would do that and kill their relationship with Microsoft? Not likely!

11:58 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

sorry for the unclear article and the wrong interpretation of your comment.
You are right about PalmSource not licencing stuff to end users right now, but if sales keep drooping, who knows.
I actually meant the reflashing of the devices-I heard of this about IPAQ's and Linux. I already wonder why PalmSource does not offer "PalmOS paks" for the PocketPC's. Many users are unsatisied with the OS that runs on there-why not give them a choice and let them buy the stuff for say 40$. This would also whirl up the licencees hardware labs-new competition. The PalmOS already has QVGA support-why not use it...
I additionally dont feel that porting the PIM apps to PPC or Symbian would stab licencees into their backs. The PalmOS itself is a better, non-bloating operating system, and thats why licencees go for it...
Now I hope all is clear
Tam Hanna

11:48 AM  
Blogger Steven Fisher said...

See comment about stabbing licensees in the back. Like you said, the Palm OS *is* a better operating system. But most people think that PocketPCs are better hardware. So there's no real reason to buy a Palm if you can buy a PocketPC and upgrade it.

There's almsot certainly a contract in place that prevents this even if PalmSource did want it.

Although maybe they'll find a way around it or it will expire.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Steven,
you are right about saying that people think that PPCs are better hardware-face it, they are!
624MhZ vs 416MhZ
VGA vs HVGA,etc
I don't see any reason why PalmSource is prohibited to do so. They can have as many new licencees as they wish, can't they?

If there is something that hinders the company, it must be the PPC manufacturers. Beause if they support the PalmOS, I think that you can imagine what happens with their PPC licence...
Just my 2 cents
Tam Hanna

7:26 PM  
Blogger Steven Fisher said...

I meant that PalmSource probably is probably under contract with one or more of its licensees to not do direct to-user sales. After all, if they did end-user sales, it would be like before the PalmOne/PalmSource split.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Frauenhofer said...

Actually, I think that the concept of the OS as interchangeable is close but not quite on the mark. What you actually are seeing is OS consolidation into a few options. In fact, what we are seeing is the handheld space starting to mimic the desktop - with Windows (PocketPC/WCE) and Linux (Zaurus and now Palm OS Linux) starting to define their roles.

In fact, Palm OS had to evolve into something more standard - the programming model was too different (Palm OS is basically a real-time OS with a nice GUI and API, with no easy support for concurrency) (I said no easy support, not none - you can do it, but it's painful). They had a hard job trying to provide backwards compatibility while adding modern OS functionality (and improving the programming model). They also needed to get smaller; it's ironic that Linux was their best option.

(BTW, I've written some analysis of Palm OS and Linux in my blog, and I'll be expounding on this over the coming months. I'm also working on why Symbian changes the handheld/phone market dynamics so that it's different from the desktop world.)

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