PDA News – Treo rumors, New Garmin PocketPC, If I were Palm’s CEO

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Rumor: Autumn Treo to have Cobalt, WiFi, 64 MB

Increasingly, Palm release rumors are like US elections: new ones start 15 minutes after the last one ends. Bear in mind the source of the following information: A user on TreoCentral has reported running into a person in an airport who works for “some company close to Palm”, and this person happened to relate details of a new next-generation Treo scheduled for release in December, or early next year. The TreoCentral user does point out that he never saw the device, and is only relating the claims of the man he met in the airport.

According to the report, the next Treo will feature Palm OS Cobalt 6.1, Bluetooth 1.2 (including stereo headphone support), 64 MB of memory, and EVDO on the Sprint version. The prototypes were supposed to have WiFi, but it was unsure if this would make it into the final production units.

While most of these specs are the sort of small, incremental upgrades that Palm is famous for, there is a lot of them at once, plus one big one–Cobalt. Palm has gone to great lengths to avoid using Cobalt, and I find it very hard to believe that they would suddenly pick it up shortly after PSRC discontinued development on it. I would think this spec sheet far more likely if it listed Garnet 5.4 instead. I would be happy to be surprised, but my cynicism doesn’t allow me to believe this without proof.

Meanwhile, a fake image of a Windows based Treo was briefly passed off as real, before being debunked. The image’s creator has since admitted to having forged the image. It’s not a difficult call to make, as the image has several obvious flaws: most notably, the shadow of the antenna is still present, the Palm logo is fuzzy and off-center, and the buttons are still Palm OS standard. Not to mention the fact that “Bluetooth” is misspelled.

TreoCentral thread

MobileTechReview thread concerning faked image


Garmin debuts cheaper PocketPC

Garmin has launched a new, cheaper GPS-integrated PocketPC. The Garmin M3 is a slightly scaled back version of the M5 debuted early this year. The M3 lacks Bluetooth and the extensive car mounting kit of the M5, but comes in almost $200 lighter for the effort.



Editorial: If I were Palm’s CEO

1SRC has an interesting new editorial by their regular ranter, Jeff Kirvin. The article centers around what the Palm companies could do better

The first thing I’d change would be Palm’s horrible developer support. I’ve talked about this before. There is no reason, none, why developers like Jean Ichbiah, Paul Nevai and Steuart Dewar should have to guess about what Palm changed every time Palm rolls out a new device. There is no reason why [software] should break inexplicably.

While some of the article’s points are good, there is one thing on which I disagree most strongly. Kirvin recommends that Palm hire prominent community enthusiasts to act as Palm representatives online, and to perpetuate what amounts to an “astroturf” marketing campaign, surfing the online message boards to promote Palm products. While the idea of having direct go-betweens from the community to the developers and higher-ups at the Palm companies is good, I draw the line at these people acting as sales representatives. “Astroturfing,” the creation of fake grass-roots support, is little better than a scam tactic.

Ironically, some people already consider Jeff Kirvin to be a spokesman for Palm, due to his sometimes excessive enthusiasm for whatever Palm/PalmSource says, an opinion that probably won’t be lessened by this idea.




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