Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Operating system updates and the value of investition protection

Windows Mobile 2005 was recently announced. Immediately, a few PocketPC makers stated that at least some of their models will get an OS upgrade. When you look further at the devices that get the upgrade, you will see that it is only the business line! HP's "entertainment" machine 3715 won't get one for example-bad luck for my comrade Leubi... . I told him that PPC sucks anyway...
But lets now forget personal sorrows. Look at the strategy. Businesses nowaday don't have the buck to buy a new set of PDA's once every two years or so. Thus, they will go for a manufacturer that allows the retention and upgrading of old devices.
Actually, Palm once had a good history of offering upgrades. The entire III and V series could be updated to OS4.1. The m5xx series could not receive updates due to the way the hardware was built(Motorola Dragonball VS ARM). And well, somewhere in the move, PalmOne forgot about this good tradition!
The T3 still has some bugs in the Calendar application, the T5 has errors in the most elemental API's and so on. Failure everywhere, and no updates. The TT users still have to sacrifice 600k for updates that would have fitted in the ROM for sure,...
And this is the crucial point IMHO. PalmOne was once known for caring about its products. You invested into a product todaym, and could still use it years after. My IIIc was still useful and an ok machine when the m515 was out a long time, and I had no real compatibility problems. Nowadays, PalmOne is loosing this reputation!
Some of you may now say that the WinMobile story is different(no real version jumps in OS5). But no-just look at the T5's scientific calculator. Offering it as a free bonus for TX owners would not cost PalmOne a cent and would make them more popular. Seling G2 for Tungsten T would have been easy as well(just three libraries), and PalmOne would have made a few bucks for sure.
What do you think?


Blogger Tom Frauenhofer said...

You inspired me to comment on this in my blog - here is my article.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Geezer said...

Selling G1 - or better yet, including it as an option would make me much more likely to want to stay with the Palm OS in the future - I can, if I want, use an option very much like G1 on a PPC - although the other downsides outweigh this I admit. I use a Tungsten C and I have a G1 patch. I don't think I can patch the newer Palms and I really think this (and lack of keyboard) would be a consideration in my future plans

4:03 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Hey Tom, you insspired me to write an article here. It should be up on the fron page in a few minutes.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Steven Fisher said...

This is probably one of the consequences of the PalmOne/PalmSource split.

12:24 PM  
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