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Mobile Summit & DevCon Final Day

PalmOS Linux
Larry Slotnick, PalmSource’s CTO, presented the elements and a roadmap for the next generation PalmOS Linux – dubbed ‘Rome’ – which should be ready by the end of Q2 2006.  The most interesting part was to see the components that Rome is envisaged to contain.  These include built-in support for:

  • Mobile TV DVB-H
  • Video Telephony
  • Graphics Editor
  • Doc Viewer
  • VPN
  • Voice Control
  • UMTS
  • Integrated Messaging
  • Linux Kernel
  • OMA Digital Rights Management for protected content
  • SyncML
  • J2ME (Java) on Linux

I don’t know if we’ll be seeing a Treo with all of these by the end of 2006 or early 2007 but it looks like it will certainly be worth the wait!

Additionally, just to make sure that all developers at the conference had proof that PalmOS for Linux was ‘for real’, Larry’s team demoed a live pre-pre-alpha version of it by placing a call from a test PalmOS Linux box to his Treo.

Don Norman & ‘Social Touching’
The world famous guru of interaction design Don Norman presented various stories to illustrate the elements that combine to deliver an ‘emotional impact’ in the context of software design – something which a great many developers still fail to understand well and to integrate in the development of their applications.

He outlined three stages of emotional attachment consisting of:

  1. Visceral > Is the overall appearance of the product beautiful/appealing?
  2. Behavioural > Does the product give people a sense of control and ease of use?
  3. Reflective > The stage at which people become committed to a product.

Finally, he closed his presentation with a call to all developers to think about “delivering solutions and convenience” which again is something that I don’t believe has been widely understood or incorporated into many of the applications that we use every day from either PalmSource, palmOne or independent developers.

A sign that the mindset may be about to change is the fact that all people attending the conference received a free copy of Don Norman’s latest book entitled “Emotional Design”…

What is Palm?
PalmSource’s Chief Competitive Officer, Michael Mace, has traditionally filled the last session of the DevCon’s and everyone is always looking forward to hearing about his latest insights and market research.

Following the recent news of the sale of the “Palm” brand to palmOne, Michael took a little time to explain how research had clearly demonstrated that there was serious confusion on consumers’ part when asked what or who Palm was.  This follows years of name changes from the Palm Pilot to Palm to Handspring to palmOne and PalmSource.

Additionally, even a developer survey pointed out that barely 6% of respondents considered ‘Palm’ to mean just software – further validating the company’s decision to sell the brand to palmOne.  Naturally, Michael reassured all present that PalmSource would change its name to one that would make all of them proud and also noted that they had already hired the person who had developed the original Palm brand to work on their new one – news which cheered the audience.

Following this, he presented us with a view of mobile phone users in general and smartphone users in particular outlining that 60% of consumers describe themselves as ‘non-value users’ who are not prepared to pay anything for additional wireless phone functionality while the remaining 40% “value users” are those like Treonauts who are looking for (a lot) more than just making a phone call.

These “value users” are further broken down in three categories depending on what customer problems need to be solved.  These fall under 1) communication; 2) entertainment and 3) information tools.

Finally, I like his description of the Treo as a tool to “remember, capture and retrieve” information – something which we naturally do all the time.

Treonauts have a wonderful nature

Posted by Andrew on May 27, 2005 at 09:39 PM

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» Rome: así será Palm OS Linux from CanalPDA
Ya lo dijo David Nagel hace unos meses, cuando aún dirigía PalmSource: el futuro de Palm OS es Linux. En la reciente convención DevCon 2005 se han conocido algunas de las características de la futura versión del sistema operativo, denominada internamen... [Read More]

Tracked on May 31, 2005 3:36:18 AM


by Chris | May 27, 2005 6:21:29 PM

Thanks for a great summary of DevCon! I'm very curious to learn more about "Rome" PalmOS/Linux over the coming year.

Who is the "person who had developed the original Palm brand"? Some outside marketing/design company?

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