palmOne Makes Semi-Official Treo 650 Memory Statement
Following wide online coverage of the Treo 650 memory debate, palmOne - using TreoCentral as an semi-official communication vehicle - has released the following statement:
"palmOne implemented a non-volatile file system (NVFS) in the new Treo 650 because of the strong benefits it provides: preserving data and applications if the battery runs down, and the ability to change the battery on the fly. The tradeoff for these benefits is that the NVFS uses additional overhead, which results in records on the Treo 600 taking up more space when transferred to the Treo 650.
We believe there is ample memory in the Treo 650 for new users to store their contact and appointment information as well as email and other applications. We do recognize, however, that there is a small percentage of Treo 600 owners who have almost filled the memory on their device, and they will likely have a problem upgrading to the Treo 650 because of the reduced effective memory size in the new file system. Fortunately, there is a relatively straightforward solution: Treo 600 owners can move applications and files to an SD card before beginning migration to a Treo 650. This should make the upgrade process go more smoothly.
We understand that this is not an optimal solution for our power users, and palmOne is committed to providing a great experience for all our users. Therefore, we will work to improve the user experience by doing the following:
- Work on a system software (ROM) upgrade that will increase memory use efficiency to allow users to recapture most of the NVFS overhead space currently lost to them; and
- Make available a free 128MB SD expansion card to Treo 650 purchasers on request to help with memory management until the ROM upgrade becomes available . (Details on this program will be posted on the support site in early December.)
To ensure that Treo upgraders take best advantage of SD expansion cards to save data and applications, palmOne will post additional tips on its Customer Support site.
Last month the company released a Software Developer Kit to help software developers take full advantage of the Treo 650 and the Tungsten T5, including memory optimization.
palmOne is committed to providing a great user experience. We will work hard to make the upgrade experience better."
In addition, palmOne has also added a thorough explanation of NVFS in their Knowledge Library.
Now, what to make of this statement?
On the one hand it is great to see that palmOne has taken the matter seriously, that it is committed to developing some "system software" solution granting Treo owners 'full' use of their memory and to also take corrective action by providing a free 128MB SD card.
On the other, it is regrettable that palmOne is still using some of the same 'spin' on the issue:
- "Ample memory for new users":
- "Small percentage of Treo 600 owners who have almost filled the memory"
- "Not an optimal solution for our power users"
Furthermore there are some incongruencies from a technical and business standpoint. On the technical side, I have to assume that the current data allocation of 512 bytes on the Treo 650 is considered 'optimal' and it is therefore not immediately obvious to me how changing this with a new "system software (ROM) upgrade" would provide a better overall solution. On the business side, there will presumably be significant development costs for this "system software upgrade" and naturally also additional costs providing a free 128MB expansion card. Would it not be more cost-effective for palmOne to forgo such initiatives and instead invest (what some have estimated to be as little as $6 per unit) in a full 64MB upgrade on the Treo 650?
Below is a quick poll to allow you to provide your own views about palmOne's proposed solution and statement as well as to share these with your fellow Treonauts.
Treonauts' opinions matter...