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Treo Ancestors: Top 100 Gadgets of All Time

Mobile PC lists its "Top 100 Gadgets of All Time" among which we find the original PalmPilot high on the list at number 7 as well as Handspring's later Visor at number 43 (our Treo doesn't yet make the list but we should give it a couple more years). 

# 7. U.S. ROBOTICS PILOT 1000, 1996
A string of companies tried to create handheld, pen-centric computers throughout the early 1990s, mostly to no avail. (Remember Zoomer? Neither does anyone else.) The Pilot 1000 was the first one to hit the sweet spot, and in so doing, it showed how successful simplicity and reliability could be. Despite successive name changes, many people still call their handhelds "Pilots" -- a testament to the power a single product had to create an entire industry.

Founded by Palm inventors Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, Handspring did more than launch the category of wireless handhelds. It also started Palm on the road to licensing its operating system and eventually splitting the company into two.

It's truly incredible to think that it took barely 7 years on the evolutionary product ladder to go from the PalmPilot to the Treo 600.  At the same time, I am currently reading the business history of Palm in a book called "Piloting Palm" and I have to admit that I find it sad that a company which can develop such extraordinary products could have been so plagued with trouble since its early beginnings (not all of its own making).

Also on the list at number 49 is Casio's Cassiopeia E-10 which was introduced in 1996.  Here Mobile PC present the first Windows CE device and take a strong jab at Palm writing:

The first Windows CE gizmo was the original Casio Cassiopea A-10, a notebooklike clamshell unit that challenged Palms with a better interface, based on Windows 95. The Windows CE device soon morphed into a primitive, boxy PDA (the E-10, pictured here) that resembled the Palm but retained the superior interface -- it even included pocket versions of Word and Excel. Soon the new platform, dubbed Pocket PC, eclipsed the Palm in features and functions, including a color screen, stereo sound, a removable storage slot, and later, Wi-Fi. Now Palm's market share is dwindling and Pocket PCs are poised to take over. But in a cruel twist of fate, both branches of this evolutionary tree will likely be wiped out or consumed by the ever-smarter cell phone.

I strongly disagree with Mobile PC's take on the Cassiopeia as well as its concluding remarks about Palm's future.  They have obviously not yet realised that the smartphone that they alude to is none other than our Treo (made by palmOne and powered by PalmSource) and which will indeed 'wipe out or consume' all others in its path (as long as both companies get into the right battle gear).

Top 100 Gadgets of All Time [Mobile PC]

Treonauts are leading the evolution revolution...

Posted by Andrew on February 26, 2005 at 01:22 PM

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