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View Full Version : I don't get it. Maybe I don't want to get it.


Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 03:00 PM
A few weeks ago, Jason <a href="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2152&highlight=oslo">posted on the new Palm Oslo device</a> because of its looks. Yesterday, <a href="http://www.palminfocenter.com">Palm Infocenter</a> (PIC) posted on some specs they had obtained - things like audio capabilities, 320 X 320 screen, bluetooth, 175MHz TI processor, etc. And what does the PIC audience do? They blast the device! "Too thick." "Too complex." "Another Zaurus."<br /><br />And this is the problem Palm has right now. You have Pocket PCs nibbling away market share quarter after quarter, and they are doing it with power, not pricing. In fact, they are doing it in spite of the pricing differences. Then you have users like our very own Foo Fighter that are largely device agnostic and just want something cool, powerful and under $500, something the Oslo fulfills. And on the other end of the spectrum you have those that want a small package regardless of functionality, or a particular functionality regardless of what power user features are abandoned.<br /><br />Microsoft has a very targeted focus on who it thinks will buy a Pocket PC. Enterprises and power users. Plain and simple. Want only PIM? Well, maybe the Pocket PC isn't for you. And MS seems happy with that. Palm, on the other hand, seems to be going after everyone with OS5 and beyond. The only thing they have to differentiate the different levels of users though is pricing. There won't be a scaled down simple OS5 on sub $150 devices, and there won't be multitasking on any device at any price. I don't envy Palm's marketing department as they try to guide Palm and PalmSource through this. If you aren't careful in a situation like this as you try to change the direction of a company, the risk of ticking everyone off is far higher than pleasing even 75% of your current base, something the current gripes at PIC seem to back up.<br /><br />So, back to my original thought. I don't get why the Oslo is being blasted at PIC by Palm's core users. If it weren't for the limitations of OS5, Oslo is a device I'd be interested in playing with and perhaps even buying. If that is "not getting it" then I don't want to get it. Do you get it?

Scott R
07-26-2002, 03:36 PM
I don't know that I saw people blasting it completely. I'm sure some people were unimpressed or hated it for one reason or another but, like every community, everyone's needs differ. Here are my thoughts...

When I saw early photos of the device, I was half-hoping that the slidable area would actually slide up to cover the Graffiti area while still keeping the device long, thus creating a nice rest area for your palms for playing games. Of course, it was still cursed by the now-standard center mounted joypad. It turns out that it collapses completely, thus making the device shorter. So, I'll dismiss it as a great gaming device. Now let's talk about the good points...

I agree that smaller can be better (for portability sake), but one of the things I hate is the idea that thinner is always better. This became a trend with laptops. I used to own an old Toshiba Portege. This was one of the original ones that was small but thick. It had a reduced-size keyboard but the keyboard had normal travel. Then everyone started making laptops bigger but thinner resulting in a full-size keyboard (good) and larger screen (good) but reduced keyboard travel (bad) and an overall larger (though thinner) laptop (bad, IMO - good for others I guess). Now let's talk about PDAs...IMO, it's more comfortable to carry around a small but thick PDA than a thin but long PDA. IMO, the CLIEs (even the 665) is too long. The NR70 series is much too long. PPCs, by and large, are also a bit too long. Try this, put a nice thick pager in your front pocket and sit down. Then try the same thing with a thinner but longer PDA.

Nobody wants a brick, so where do you compromise? A longer/wider yet thinner device can have a bigger screen, but will typically compromise on battery life, durability, and expansion (e.g. - for a PPC user this might mean dropping the CF slot in favor of just an SD slot). A shorter/narrower yet thicker device can probably throw more features inside but will have to use a smaller screen.

Back to the Oslo...I think I like it. I like the smaller but thicker aspect since it still provides good resolution (320x320), a fast processor, SDIO, and Bluetooth while being very pocketable. Combined with a Motorola Startac w/Bluetooth running on Verizon (sadly, no such thing exists), I think I might have my perfect combo. Which brings me to another problem...I can't (don't want to) carry a Bluetooth phone and a PDA in my pockets. I want a small, discrete (black Startac style) Bluetooth flip-phone that I can wear in a holster on my belt without looking like a geek.

Scott

cscullion
07-26-2002, 03:37 PM
I have noticed the discourse on PIC becoming more shrill lately. I don't know if that's respresentative of the Palm community in general, but I hope not. I use both PocketPCs and Palms because I develop software for both. I choose to carry a Palm for personal reasons (software and peripheral investment, small size [m505]), but I can usually appreciate and understand the value of other models of both platforms.

The Palm community used to be very helpful, and discussions used to be constructive and thoughtful. Kinda like the PocketPC community is now.

On the Oslo... it looks innovative, which is what we've been missing from Palm lately. I'm optimistic about its future. I also think that PPC competition will only help both platforms continue to improve over time. We're now starting to see some nice, thin PPCs, and some bigger, more feature-laden Palms (Sony NR70, for example). It's all good in my view.

I don't see why one platform has to 'win' to the exclusion of the other.

mookie123
07-26-2002, 04:02 PM
For some reason i still cannot see how the Oslo can be a sure winner.

I even see the sliding door as a big design flaw. Can you imagine playing a frenzied quake on that machine?if you push too hard you would slide the door instead of moving the d-pad. Holding the machine while trying to push more than one buttons with both hand will also be hell with sliding door. Unless of course the door come with some sort of locking mechanism.

Screen is just too smal, they definitely have to go with virtual grafitti.

Another one is CF exclusion. I don't even see how they could add it as peripheral considering the sliding door. the sledge cannot touch the bottom part. Despite it's size there are too many CF peripherals out there to ignore.

but than again there aren't ergonomically perfect PDA yet out there.

fundmgr90210
07-26-2002, 04:11 PM
1) Do you expect everyone to like it? Keep in mind, almost no one has seen or used it.

2) Maybe because it's the sheer size of the Palm user base, but Palm Info Center regularly gets over 200 comments in some threads. With that number (mostly unregistered posters as well), you're bound to get some who don't like the device.

3) How is the fact that this device isn't for everyone bad? The beauty of OS 5 is that it's compatible with so many different chips and hardware sets. Palm source has said that diversity is the "killer app". That's hard to argue with. As you said, there are many Palm and "device agnostic" users wanting a device like this. Regardless of what some other Palm users think, they're going to get probably before the end of the year.

4) Pocket PC is not "chipping away" at market share with each successive quarter. I've seen it take a step back in the past by dropping a few percentage points and picking them back up next quarter, but it's been stuck in the same range for quite a while now.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 04:19 PM
3) How is the fact that this device isn't for everyone bad? The beauty of OS 5 is that it's compatible with so many different chips and hardware sets.
Yeah, as long as it is ARM. Pocket PCs can use any ARM chip too. The HP 928 WDA is a TI ARM processor, not StrongARM.

4) Pocket PC is not "chipping away" at market share with each successive quarter. I've seen it take a step back in the past by dropping a few percentage points and picking them back up next quarter, but it's been stuck in the same range for quite a while now.
I don't recall PPC marketshare being at 29%+ ever worldwide. Europe, yes, but world wide I think this is the first time north of 25%.

fundmgr90210
07-26-2002, 05:18 PM
3) How is the fact that this device isn't for everyone bad? The beauty of OS 5 is that it's compatible with so many different chips and hardware sets.
Yeah, as long as it is ARM. Pocket PCs can use any ARM chip too. The HP 928 WDA is a TI ARM processor, not StrongARM.

4) Pocket PC is not "chipping away" at market share with each successive quarter. I've seen it take a step back in the past by dropping a few percentage points and picking them back up next quarter, but it's been stuck in the same range for quite a while now.
I don't recall PPC marketshare being at 29%+ ever worldwide. Europe, yes, but world wide I think this is the first time north of 25%.

Palm OS units will also be able to utilize chips from Motorola as well. As to market share, a couple more thoughts:

1) I don't believe Treo's are being counted as PDA's in the IDC survey (I could be wrong on this however);

2) More importantly though, I'm sure that current inventory of Palm OS units is suffering at the expense of those consumers waiting for an OS 5.0 device that is just around the corner. If OS 5.0 devices come out in time, I fully expect to see a 3% to 5% gain in market share this time next year.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 05:24 PM
Palm OS units will also be able to utilize chips from Motorola as well
That's right - the new Dragonball MX1 - an ARM chip.
1) I don't believe Treo's are being counted as PDA's in the IDC survey (I could be wrong on this however);
It is included.
2) More importantly though, I'm sure that current inventory of Palm OS units is suffering at the expense of those consumers waiting for an OS 5.0 device that is just around the corner. If OS 5.0 devices come out in time, I fully expect to see a 3% to 5% gain in market share this time next year.
Definitely true. We saw Pocket PC's dive in the 2-3 months preceeding PPC 2002's launch. However, this one is a 6-9 month dive before OS5 devices launch.

fundmgr90210
07-26-2002, 05:33 PM
Palm OS units will also be able to utilize chips from Motorola as well
That's right - the new Dragonball MX1 - an ARM chip.
1) I don't believe Treo's are being counted as PDA's in the IDC survey (I could be wrong on this however);
It is included.
2) More importantly though, I'm sure that current inventory of Palm OS units is suffering at the expense of those consumers waiting for an OS 5.0 device that is just around the corner. If OS 5.0 devices come out in time, I fully expect to see a 3% to 5% gain in market share this time next year.
Definitely true. We saw Pocket PC's dive in the 2-3 months preceeding PPC 2002's launch. However, this one is a 6-9 month dive before OS5 devices launch.

I wasn't saying it wasn't an ARM chip.

I think you're splitting hairs with the 3 vs. 6 month dive scenario. Time will tell.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 05:37 PM
I wasn't saying it wasn't an ARM chip.

I think you're splitting hairs with the 3 vs. 6 month dive scenario. Time will tell.
Misunderstood what you were saying on the ARM. OS5 will run on any ARM4 or higher chip, just as Pocket PC will. Texas Instruments, Intel, Motorola, Granny's ARM shop, etc. :lol:

Time will tell on the marketshare. My point of the thought was Palm has a very difficult path ahead of it. The road is littered with dead companies that failed to guide their company through massive changes. Palm has shown enough progress IMHO that they will not be a dead company by any means, but they are also not out of the woods yet.

mookie123
07-26-2002, 06:55 PM
you gonna need major accounting trickery to say PPC is not gaining market share while Palm OS is not loosing.

both worlwide and US market Palm OS is loosing market share. The quesiton is only what is the rate of change. I doubt Pam Inc. can even maintain 25% by next year.


> 3)....The beauty of OS 5 is that it's compatible with so many different chips and hardware sets. Palm source has said that diversity is the "killer app".

well talking and actual hardware reality is totally different thing isn't it? PALM is only supporting ARM V4. There is no indication they will support SH, MIPS, X86, etc. WinCE kernel support this. Tho' in PPC it is only ARM v4 as well.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 07:06 PM
you gonna need major accounting trickery to say PPC is not gaining market share while Palm OS is not loosing.
Losing and gaining marketshare is not indicative of progress all of the time.

For example, if Palm went out of existence and iPAQ's lost 50% of their sales, HP would now have 75-80% of the market, but the lost sales is not good.

But what happened here is despite a declining market in Q2, HP actually sold more devices than they did in Q1 (both quarters treated as of HP/CPQ were one company) while Palm sold 33% fewer units and the overall market declined 16.5%.

mookie123
07-26-2002, 07:23 PM
I think to a certain degree it does. Market share increase correlate to market interest and steady uptick indicates healthy acceptance. Of course, assuming there is no catastrophic change as you describe, which than the number really doens't tell acceptance accurately, but more describing withdrawal of major players. But the long term trend remains, Palm down, PPC up

More importantly in this Palm vs PPC discussion, it could very well be true that it indicates OS mindshare.

Sslixtis
07-26-2002, 08:59 PM
To stray back on to topic for a second here, I think the real reason Palm users are blasting the Oslo and OS5 is that it is getting away from the Zen of simplicity. I know, I know, that's a load of dreck, but the Palm marketing department has spent years and millions of dollars convincing their users that that is why Palm is the best. I think maybe they are coming up against their own propaganda now and have to find a way of saying that the functionality of PPC isn't such a bad thing after all, as long as Palms the one making the device. :lol:

sub_tex
07-26-2002, 09:07 PM
I am a palm os user and to tell you the truth, i DESPISE the crowd at PIC.

It seems like all the comments are made by idiotic kids. It pisses me off even more that the crowd there is looked at as "THE" palm user crowd.

I haven't seen a news itm on that place yet that hasn't been hit with a "Too Little Too Late..." comment. Bleahhhhhhh..

That has to be the most overused and tired post i have ever seen or read.

Nothing satisfies is right. They are children.

The actual forums on PIC seem to be a lot better. But the front page crowd? Sicken me.

Oslo looks like nice device. Not something I'll buy (waiting for a new virtual graffiti clie) but still, fits a nice amount of features that I know will be great for many.

Jason Dunn
07-26-2002, 09:38 PM
It seems like all the comments are made by idiotic kids. It pisses me off even more that the crowd there is looked at as "THE" palm user crowd.

They allow anonymous posting, right? That's a big factor that raise the noise ratio...it's easier to shoot your mouth off if you don't have to register in a forum.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 09:44 PM
To stray back on to topic for a second here, I think the real reason Palm users are blasting the Oslo and OS5 is that it is getting away from the Zen of simplicity. I know, I know, that's a load of dreck, but the Palm marketing department has spent years and millions of dollars convincing their users that that is why Palm is the best. I think maybe they are coming up against their own propaganda now and have to find a way of saying that the functionality of PPC isn't such a bad thing after all, as long as Palms the one making the device. :lol:
I think that is a big part of it. Palm's mantra has been if we don't have it, you don't need it. How many times did they tell you you don't need:
Color
Audio
Storage Cards
Multitasking
More than 2MB/4MB/8MB/16MB of memory?
More than 16MHz, 20MHz, 25MHz, 33MHz

Now that they are capable of most of the above, they are increasingly running into their users telling Palm they don't want more. Zen brainwashing, and it is now hurting Palm.

Scott R
07-26-2002, 09:55 PM
I think that is a big part of it. Palm's mantra has been if we don't have it, you don't need it. How many times did they tell you you don't need:
• Color
• Audio
• Storage Cards
• Multitasking
• More than 2MB/4MB/8MB/16MB of memory?
• More than 16MHz, 20MHz, 25MHz, 33MHz

Now that they are capable of most of the above, they are increasingly running into their users telling Palm they don't want more. Zen brainwashing, and it is now hurting Palm.
I was wondering how long it would take you to restate this nonsense. I've told you a million times before and I'll tell you again, Palm (and its customers voting with their money) have said "We don't want color, audio, storage cards, etc. if it means the device will be a brick, cost $500, and won't make it through one day without being recharged." That's where the technology was 2 years ago. Technology has caught up since then (though it still has a ways to go). Palm, Inc. may have moved slowly in adopting these new technologies, but when you're in charge of maintaining the OS and have to build in support for them while maintaining backward compatibility, it takes longer.

Scott

sub_tex
07-26-2002, 09:58 PM
It seems like all the comments are made by idiotic kids. It pisses me off even more that the crowd there is looked at as "THE" palm user crowd.

They allow anonymous posting, right? That's a big factor that raise the noise ratio...it's easier to shoot your mouth off if you don't have to register in a forum.

Very true. And that's something that several people (well ones who used to post 1yr+ ago) were trying to get changed over there.

It became a divide since some people say that users leak info under anonymous posts.

I say screw that. If they wanna leak info, go to a public net terminal and email Ed anonymously. Plain and simple.

Maybe if they allowed only registered users to post, this would change, but i can't stress the MAYBE any more.

A lot of the registered users suck just as much.

mookie123
07-26-2002, 10:16 PM
I was wondering how long it would take you to restate this nonsense. I've told you a million times before and I'll tell you again, Palm (and its customers voting with their money) have said "We don't want color, audio, storage cards, etc. if it means the device will be a brick, cost $500, and won't make it through one day without being recharged." That's where the technology was 2 years ago. Technology has caught up since then (though it still has a ways to go). Palm, Inc. may have moved slowly in adopting these new technologies, but when you're in charge of maintaining the OS and have to build in support for them while maintaining backward compatibility, it takes longer.
Scott

How about Sony's NR-70? (bulky, color, $699, and selling well)

How about these more mundane items that was also given same excuse? Is it also immature bleeding edge hardware technology?

- Brighter screen (m505)
- FAT32
- Office app inclusion
- Virtual grafitti
- Scroll bar
- D-pad

Do you really believe "technology cought on" song and dance? gimme a break. I am wiling to bet they will also say the same excuse about Wi-Fi/BT, Big screen, USB2.0, SD/IO etc etc...

Palm Inc. simply doesn't have the capability to incorporate recent hardware technology. They need massive engineering help from TI for OSLO, while on OS5.0 they finally give up and bought BE to develop the 6.0.

Now let's analyze Oslo, it fails to incorporate latest screen technology. the OS fails to take full possibility of ARM. the GUI are still hardware dependent. No possibility of CF support. There is no GAPI. etc etc.

Is this also a case of "hardware technology" fails to cough on? or Palm has no know-how to integrate them? How about OS aspect? How come the more advance E310 can be marketed at $399 en par with m515? they certainly cannot blame external development, but their own failure to innovate and add crucial features.

Palm fails to push the technological envelop. Period. There is nobody to blame but themselves. They could have created ARM based PDA several months before iPAQ and maintain technological lead. But they didn't.
Instead they were embroiled on the 90's excess and stupidity and still suffering the result.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 10:30 PM
[How about these more mundane items that was also given same excuse? Is it also immature bleeding edge hardware technology?
And the Handera/TRG Pro. The latter has had CF for 3+ years and voice recording for over a year now.

fundmgr90210
07-26-2002, 11:21 PM
It is included.


You were referring to Treos being included in the study. I didn't know for sure either, but actually I checked and IDC does NOT include smartphones. So no the Treo 180 models are not included in the marketshare numbers. The 90 models are, but not the communicators.

I don't understand this on IDC's part (maybe they just want to sell a new piece of research in a new category), but if this isn't a Palm OS based "handheld device", I don't know what is.

Ed Hansberry
07-26-2002, 11:58 PM
You were referring to Treos being included in the study. I didn't know for sure either, but actually I checked and IDC does NOT include smartphones. So no the Treo 180 models are not included in the marketshare numbers. The 90 models are, but not the communicators.
Yeah, I just saw another article that said all Handspring devices weren't included, meaning Treo 180/270's.

Hmmm.... I wonder if when Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition starts shipping if they will not include those either? :?

roberto_torres
07-27-2002, 01:27 AM
As a palm user for years (now eyeing toshiba e310 afther seeing the pic of Oslo) and active palm community member I get it (why people are bashing the Oslo). I can't speak for everyone on PalmInfocenter but I can speak for my friends and myself and here are my thougths:


Many of you have posted that Palm users are bashing the Oslo because it is not simple and has multimedia features, thats totally wrong. Palm users want High resolution, MP3 and multimedia, that why Clie is selling so well.

Palm people bash the oslo for two important reasons:

1) Size: Plam created the ultra thin category with their .4 inch Palm V (PPC recently reached ultra thin size). From the V on every high end palm handheld has used similar ultra thing form factor. Plam users have always critiziced PPC due to their size. Now the Oslo comes out breaking that patter with a huge .75 inch thickness, bigger than ppc. with this palm loses its main advantage of size.

2) Shape: The sliding mechanism does not add aniything to the desing, palm OS users wanted virtual graffity not a Zaurus clone.

All in all we Plam users want more power and multimedia but definitely not at the cost fo size.

cscullion
07-27-2002, 02:50 AM
Multimedia? Not so much. There are a few things I still struggle with on my Palm, but multimedia is not one of them. I love the size of my m505 and can't forsee going to a much larger size (maybe a little bit larger, but not much). Here's a thought... how about an email client that handles most popular attachments correctly, can connect via modem or wireless, and doesn't have a monthly fee. Yes, MultiMail does some of this, but it's buggy. Eudora doesn't do attachments, and DataViz Mail doesn't do POP3 (only syncs with a desktop, though it does attachments VERY well).

How about a plain text file viewer that can handle the expansion card FAT directory structure? How about a built-in image viewer?

Wi-Fi - got it. Bluetooth - got it. Web surfing - got it.

The new ARM speed will be nice, but not critical (Palm is already very fast). Higher resolution color? Nice, but not critical. Virtual Grafitti? Hated it when I had it, don't like it on PPC either.

PPC has most of the things Palm devices are missing in the above list... but I'm still waiting for the size to come down...

fundmgr90210
07-27-2002, 09:01 AM
Hmmm.... I wonder if when Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition starts shipping if they will not include those either? :?

While it would make sense, I'm guessing they won't. :evil:

BillRogers
07-27-2002, 11:13 AM
The Oslo is being blasted for its massive size not for the features.


First excuse me for interrupting the forum, I am a loyal Palm OS user and want to clarify something you got wrong about PICs forum.

I don't know how you got the Idea that people are complaining about Oslo's features but it is wrong. Every complain about the oslo has been about its thickness. Afther having used a slim sub .5 inch m515 it is impossible for palm users to go to a .75 inch device. Features? what we want is more features.

Palm promised to continue making the most compact slimmest handhelds with OS 5, but they failed their promise. :cry:

Also Palm users want virtual graffity like the Clie NR, the stupid useless folding graffity cover in Oslo just adds insult to injury and remember us how much we want Virtual graffity.

I hope this answers your though and now you can "get it"

"So, back to my original thought. I don't get why the Oslo is being blasted at PIC by Palm's core users."


PS: Also consider that most people at PIC are inresponsible 13 years olds that don't know how to politely express their opinion and simply start "bashing" and flamming.

Thanks for allowing me to post my thoughts,

Bill

spursdude
07-27-2002, 05:51 PM
from the sounds of you palm users, it seems like the toshiba e310 would be a perfect "match" for you guys. pretty much all the reviews of it say it's an amazing device, and it's extremely thin - .4 inches according to Toshiba. it has all the multimedia features of Pocket PC, no sliding hardware feature, and no hardware graffiti area. (not to mention no graffiti at all! yay for real handwriting recognition). and its list price is $399, the same as the m515.

btw - where are all these palm users coming from? because they're speaking earnestly and logically, i have no problem with them, but i'm just wondering who pointed them towards this thread.

BillRogers
07-28-2002, 12:59 PM
Dear: spursdude

Thanks for your suggestion with the e310, that is definitely a nice looking PPC. But it is still too long for may taste and I prefeer Palm OS. In the future if all Palm OS 5 handhelds come out as bigh (.75inch thick) as the Oslo I may consider a PPC.

By the way do you or someone else knows if Vaja is going to make cases for the e310? A friend of mine is interested.


About where Palm OS peoople where pointed to your site: Well maybe from the same place you PPC people found out about Palm Info Center :wink: . To be truthfull some PDA enthusiasts are always looking at various operating systems not just owr OS of choice, ie, Palm, PPC, Linux/Java. It is good to see the handheld market grow; in general it if weren't for variety and competition prices on PDAs would be a lot higher and innovation would be slower.


Palm community in general is definitely not represented by the inmature posters at Palm Info Center, the mayority of Palm people don't post on sites. Most palm enthusiasts are very polite and open minded people not "zen guys" like some people think. Palm users want features in their devices like Sony that introduced the 320x480 screens, but definitely we don't want a geeky useless folding graffity area in a bulky .75 inch device.