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Old 02-07-2002, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 27
Default Back to Palm!? Treo is PocketPC Killer!!!!

I am so sick of my iPAQ PPC and half-baked Active Sync—I am returning to Palm. I intend to buy a Handspring Treo. One thing I initially liked about the PPC was that it had all these cool things it could do. In retrospect, I realize I wasted far, far, far more time showing other people what a PPC could do than I spent actually using or benefiting from those features.

I noticed that the only thing I consistently used the PPC for was the four main things that Palm does better: Calendar, Tasks, To-do and Memo’s. I am thoroughly upset with Microsoft for their lack of real innovation. They could have done a much better Job. ActiveSync is a nightmare and a joke!!

Am I a turncoat? I think not. I was an early adopter of PPC as a matter of fact I came up with the name PocketPCPassion for Dale Coffing’s web site. I am just so disappointed in Microsoft and their lack of innovation and reliability. In the PPC arena Microsoft has been about Symbolism over Substance.

Also PPC’s are a joke when it comes to size. They are way too big and heavy! To draw an analogy, I would say that the PPC is like a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado (huge but inefficient engine and suspension), and the Handspring Treo is like a 2002 Lexus LS430 (Fast, smooth, dependable and effective). The Treo is amazing! It is the size of a deck of cards and has a phone, and email built into it. That is real innovation!!!

I say PocketPCPaperweight! What do you think?

UPDDATE as of 3-2-2002:

I have had my Treo for several days and it is absolutely amazing! It is so much better than my PPC. I am so impressed with the Treo I am selling my iPaq. I will write a mini review once I have had more time to work with the Treo, but in the mean time I can say that the Treo is absolutely stunning!!!!!!!!!!!

LESS IS MORE 3/5/2002

Before I begin my review of the Treo I would like to share some background info with you. I met Jason Dunn when my pal Dale Coffing had an article on saying that Jason was looking to redesign his logo and web site.

I am a designer and have a background in strategic design and marketing and thus this article is really geared toward the design aspects of the Treo. Although I was not very familiar with Jason’s I offered him my insight on how to improve his page. Since that time several years ago, has remained my absolute favorite site, and despite the fact that I won’t be using a Pocket PC anymore, I am certain that it will remain my favorite site.

When it comes to the Pocket PC I believe that Microsoft just “does not get it.” I am not in any way bashing Microsoft, as a matter of fact I am a great fan of Bill Gates, and I realize if it was not for Microsoft you would not be reading this and I would not be writing it.

My first PDA was a Palm3 and then I got a PalmV which was great. When I first saw the iPaq I was amazed and switched over. I was so exited about the potential for the PocketPC Platform but saw so many ways to improve it that I spent several hundred hours of my time putting together a significantly improved user interface for the PocketPC along with a new GUI for Outlook. The name of the new GUIs I designed was called “Bullet Train”

I sent a copy of Bullet Train to Bill Gates office and had Dale Coffing bring several copies directly to the Pocket PC Division at Microsoft. Dale left the copies that I Fed-exed to him at my expense in a conference room in the Pocket PC division of Microsoft and they mysteriously disappeared.

Bill Gates office refused to acknowledge receipt of Bullet Train. Dale Coffing put me in touch with Derek Brown at Microsoft. I sent Derek a link to the PowerPoint version on my web page. Derek said a bunch of people at Microsoft looked at it but nobody thought it was worthwhile. I even tried contacting Ben Waldman’s office and they blew me off.

In my personal opinion Microsoft is lost in space. I think if they had taken my hard work seriously the PocketPC would be much better. I think that the Smart phone “Stinger” is a joke. I believe the new HP Pocket PC with a built in phone is innovative but way too big.

I think Microsoft is asleep at the switch. It is ironic because Bill Gates is always talking about feedback loops and how valuable they are. Think about it. As a passionate consumer and designer, I invested my hard earned money in an ipaq. As a designer I realized what was wrong with the PocketPC.

I invested literally hundreds of hours of my time trying to help Microsoft improve the Pocket PC. They completely insult my intelligence and blow me off. I find out months later from my dodo-brain uncle that Microsoft paid him $90 to participate in a focus group that revolved around whether or not Microsoft should incorporate Treo-like keyboards into the Pocket PC platform. Where is the feedback loop here? Basically I am thousands of times more qualified to speculate about how to make the PPC better than my uncle and they blow me off an pay him money to speculate on something he doesn’t even understand. Go figure!?!?!?!?

I think Microsoft has made a major mistake by focusing on developing the Pocket PC platform and the Smartphone independent of one another. They should have taken the approach that Handspring has taken by having a unit that is smaller than any existing PPC but has a phone in it.

There are many reasons why I think the Treo is the Pocket PC killer and that is really what this review is about. One of the primary reasons I believe the Treo will kill the Pocket PC is because of the history of the PDA. Jeff Hawkins, who invented the original Palm Pilot did so out of his desire to make a product that he felt he and the world needed. Jeff was very passionate about creating an excellent product and certainly did so. Ever since he invented the original Palm he has eat, slept and lived PDAs.

Jeff Hawkins carries around his Treo and depends on it every day. Bill Gates probably does not regularly use a PocketPC. If he does I would be shocked. I think for Bill Gates he thinks Microsoft has to compete successfully in the PDA segment and smart phone segment of the market to maintain and gain market share. I believe Jeff Hawkins does what he does because he simply loves it.

So technically why is the Treo much, much, much better? It begins with the form factor. Less is more. The Treo is significantly smaller that any Pocket PC without a phone.

When I had my Palm V, I took it everywhere I went but I did not take my cell phone because it was too big. After I got my iPaq I got a Nokia 8290 which is a tiny cell phone. I eventually ended up not taking either one of them with me because in doing so I felt like my pockets were way too full. Then the challenge was that when I would bring the iPaq, I would need to make a phone call but I would not have a phone with me. When I would bring the phone with me I would want to call someone but I would not have thier phone number.


In design, form and function are everything. The first thing you have to ask yourself is what is this thing for? What am I going to do with it? Ultimately a PDA and a cell phone are tools.

The Treo form begins with a miniature keyboard like a Blackberry. This is profound because Jeff Hawkins invented Graffiti and would not have switched over to the keyboard unless he realized it was better—and it is. It is better because once you get the hang of it, it is much, much more accurate and more user friendly than graffiti, not to mention faster, just pop up the see-through cover and start typing.

Ultimately I believe that keyboards on PDAs will replace styluses because desktop and laptop computers use a keyboard. Imagine trying to use graffiti on a laptop or desktop. Or better yet imagine trying to dial a telephone by writing numbers with a stylus.

Basically the Treo is a miniature laptop. It has a screen and a keyboard. In the future I believe keyboards on PDAs will allow for greater flexibility. For instance, imagine having a feature that would allow you to add additional functionality by holding down keys for an extended period of time. Normally if you use, let’s say, the “C” key it would allow you to input a lower or uppercase “C”. But if you give a PDA like the Treo added functionality, it might have a feature where if you held down the “C” key for 1-3 seconds it would launch the Calculator, if you held it down for between 4-7 seconds it would launch a different application of your choice. You get the idea.

The most amazing thing about the Treo is the integration of the phone and the PDA. When you fist open the protective see-through cover on the Treo it takes you to a screen with ten quick-dial buttons that you program. If you hit the UP hardware button on the Treo it will automatically take you to the next screen of ten quick-dials, and if you keep hitting the UP button it will cycle through five quick-dial screens that give you 50 quick-dials and then loop back and go through them again.

But lets say instead of using a quick-dial you want to call somebody in your phone book, all you do at the first quick-dial screen is type the first letter of their first name and start typing their last name. It will find anyone in your contact database usually within you typing only two or three letters. Why type the first letter of the first name instead of starting out with the last name? Take my girlfriend as an example. Let’s say her name is Jacki Santana. In my book I have a contact entry for her mom, Jill, her dad Ross and her sister Sophia. If I begin typing in Santana it will give my all four contacts, but let’s say I want to talk to her dad, Ross, if I type in “R” then “SA” it will isolate him and I can call him easily.

Another amazing feature is that if instead of typing in a name I just start typing a phone number the Treo is smart enough to recognize I am dialing a number and not a name. For instance, my phone number begins with 441. On the Treo the corresponding keyboard keys are HHY. The Treo will recognize there is nobody in my address book whose name begins that way and it will automatically switch me to a screen with an on-screen dialing keypad and a window with the phone number being dialed.

If when you are on the screen with the keypad you hit the UP of Down Hardware keys it will cycle through the last ten phone numbers you called. The Treo also has a call log that maintains the last thousand phone calls made, received, and missed along with date, and time duration information.

I am not done with this review but I thought I would put up what I have completed.

Best Regards,

UPDATE as of 3-15-2002

It has been a little over two weeks since I got my Treo. My thoughts? Amazing!!!!

I would say that one of the greatest benefits of the Treo is that I take it everywhere I go and use it much, much more that I did my iPaq. As I mentioned before when I had my iPaq and my Nokia 8290 I ended up almost never taking either one with me because they made me feel bogged down.

At the end of the day a PDA is about functionality and portability.

The 160x160 black and white screen on the Treo is acceptable but I can’t wait to get the color Treo when it comes out. It is speculative but I believe it is likely we will see a 320x320 OLED screen with a much faster processor, more RAM and BlueTooth built in. I also heard it will play MP3s.

UPDATE as of 4-5-2002

After having the Treo for over a month I am still very impressed. The thing that stands out the most in my mind at this time is how important it is to not only have a PDA with a phone and email access built into it, but also how important it is to have them beautifully integrated together.

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I take my Treo with me absolutely everywhere I go.

Looking back at my experience with owning an IPaq, the one thing I really appreciate about the Treo is how little time I waste trying to get it to work properly. Hotsync has been flawless. Activesync was a complete nightmare.

Also the Treo keyboard is much more accurate for data input.

In closing I would like to say that I think that Microsoft is doomed in the PDA and Smartphone arena. My advice to Bill Gates and Steve Balmer is to use a Treo for a month and then try using your own products. In doing so, you will see what is wrong with your approach and create a real feedback loop. That is the only way MS will get it.

By the way remains one of my favorite websites to visit.

Good luck,

UPDATE as of 4-9-2002:

Jason (the founder of PockePC Thoughs for those of you who may not know) and I had an exchanging of THOUGHS in another area on the sight on the subject of Myopic Thinking. I though the discussion was valuable in this context so I decided to add a copy of my response to Jason here:

Tool v. Toy


I would like to begin by saying that I have a tremendous amount of respect for what you have built with PocketPC Thoughts. My objective in sharing my thoughts with you and the PPC Thoughts community is to share insight. Insight by definition, being a shift in boundaries.

By the way today’s Quote of the day, which you asked me to remove you from because you are to busy to gain valuable insight was “Have a mind that is open to everything, and attached to nothing.” This quote was said by Tilopa a thousand years ago. I think this quote is perfectly on point for you in this situation.

The reason I got my first real PDA which was a Palm 3 was because I wanted a tool to help me stay organized and thus be more effective. When I switched over to the Pocket PC it was much more of a toy. I spent forever and a day tweaking my Pocket PC which in the final analysis was not only a waste of precious time but really a bunch of aggravating mental masturbation.

And if you still don’t get it, witness Jeff Kirvin’s Thought on your page where he talks about how much time he has wasted. His experience—which he posted—perfectly illustrates what I mean when I say useless mental masturbation:

I strongly believe that the Treo represents a profound inflection point in the PDA and Phone world. I believe the Treo is the PPC/Smartphone killer. I think the Stinger/smartphone is a complete joke. I think Microsoft’s best bet is with the PPC, but in order to make it useful they need to copy several key Treo features. I just don’t think there is any way around it.

I think in order for a Pocket PC product to be able to JUST compete with Treo it would have to have a much smaller form factor, a QWERTY Keyboard, a see-through screen protector, and a more effective UI.

As far as me being bitter toward Microsoft for not getting “Bullet Train” you could not be more correct. The best source of insight is from your customers—the people who spend their hard earned money on your products. Microsoft just does not get it because they are too busy trying to take over the world—but that is a different discussion perhaps for a different day.

My final point is that the writing is on the wall and there are red flags all over the place. What is the saying? If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is probably a duck. I respect and understand your decision not to have a forum for the Treo, but respectfully disagree. I think that the one thing that the vast majority of people who come to your site have in common is not a profound affinity for the PocketPC but instead a profound desire for the best tool possible.

The bottom line is that I feel so liberated with the Treo it is incredible! Before when I had my iPaq and Nokia 8290 I felt like Batman with a heavy utility belt that always made me feel bogged down. With the Treo I feel like Superman.

Best Regards,

P.S. If anyone wants to goto the discussion on Myopic Thinking please goto:
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Old 02-07-2002, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16
Default Back to Palm!?

Originally Posted by Jake
I say PocketPCPaperweight! What do you think?
I think you really dont need the bold huge letters to indicate this is an angry post. :roll:

Palm is great for what it does so its not like youre making a bad decision. PPC's just arent for everyone. While they are working just fine for us, obviously it appears that PPC isnt something you have the patience to deal with. 8O

I'm not sure if the point of your post is to get people to try to convince you to stay or just an attempt at PPC bashing. But regardless, there is no reason to make someone do something they dont want to so have fun in the palm world and lets hope you can maintain your composure a bit better next time. :twisted:
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Old 02-09-2002, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 13
Send a message via ICQ to popko

I went back to Palm (well Sony Clie actually) after I had enough of E-125. I just couldn't stand it's rather large size and it's short battery life.
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Old 02-12-2002, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 27
Default PocketPCPaperweight!

If you are interesed in reading more about this subject you can go to:
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Old 02-13-2002, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 26

Well, I still have my Clie, so in a sense I never really left Palm (nor Psion, nor Apple), but I do use my Jornada 568 far more than the others. It's the one PDA that always comes with me.
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Old 02-17-2002, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 36

yes, leave the dark side and come back to palm.
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Old 02-17-2002, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 243

Originally Posted by kettle
yes, leave the dark side and come back to palm.
You have that backwards
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Old 02-17-2002, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 623

Originally Posted by speter
Well, I still have my Clie, so in a sense I never really left Palm (nor Psion, nor Apple), but I do use my Jornada 568 far more than the others. It's the one PDA that always comes with me.
Yeah, I am kinda like that. I still have my Visor Edge, but my iPAQ is the one I use the most. I still use the Edge from time to time, for tech support purposes(I work at a help desk during the summer) as well as testing purposes. But the iPAQ is the one I use the most, simply because of the many more features it provides.

Originally Posted by pocketmon
Palm is great for what it does so its not like youre making a bad decision. PPC's just arent for everyone. While they are working just fine for us, obviously it appears that PPC isnt something you have the patience to deal with.
Very true, some people just want a replacement for their paper organizer. Palm and Pocket PC are both very good at that, the difference comes when you get into other more advanced features. While it is true that Palm and Pocket PC do not handle date book, contacts, and task functions the same, they are both very efficient at doing those functions. However I will agree with Jake, ActiveSync does tend to be a little slower, and have more problems than Palm HotSync. But I for one like the way ActiveSync works, it keeps you updates so you don't have to tell it when to sync the information. I like the fact that I can run in, pull it off the cradle and leave, knowing that the latest e-mail, contact, and task information is on there.
~SpencerOwner-Editor of TabletPCBuzz.comMicrosoft MVP - Tablet PC
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Old 02-24-2002, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 556
Default Back to Palm!?

Originally Posted by Jake
I am so sick of my iPAQ PPC and half-baked Active Sync—I am returning to Palm. I intend to buy a Handspring Treo. One thing I initially liked about the PPC was that it had all these cool things it could do. In retrospect, I realize I wasted far, far, far more time showing other people what a PPC could do than I spent actually using or benefiting from those features.
Sheesh! You're describing my experience. I too spent more time (trying to) show others what my PPC could do and, rightly so, they were impressed (when it worked).

I thought about moving on to another device, thought twice and then thought thrice. I almost went to that lovely looking Clie, but instead went back to my 'first love' :lol: , Symbian.

But you matched my sentiments precisely. My PPC was a nice device. It did almost everything I wanted it to and nearly almost everything I needed it to. My new device does nearly almost all of what I want it to, but everything I need it to (in other words, if I wanted to play games, watch videos and listen to music, I'd have stayed with my PPC - but what I need are core productivity applications).

I hope you have many happy days with your Palm
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Old 02-26-2002, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 31

I can't really say that I would go back to Palms 'cause I never had one, but before owning a PPC I had a Psion Series 5 which was very good and stable.
Had Psion continued to exist and had the (in)famous PDA project seen the light I would have probably stayed with Symbian as it was very stable and nice, I do like Symbian's new OS's look, who knows, maybe a PDA-phone combo using this OS could turn me back to Symbian...I do love my Em505 though!
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