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Palm New-Ness Coming at CES

Palm Promises To Unveil All That You’ve Been Waiting For At January CES


Yesterday I received the above invitation from Palm to attend a press event at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2009 which the company claims will finally allow me to “see all that Palm New-ness you’ve been waiting for”…

I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure whether to feel mildly excited or utterly bored by Palm’s event – we’ve been waiting for so long and let down so often in the last couple of years that it’s hard to even imagine that Palm could “magically” transform itself at the eleventh hour.

Palm will categorically not even hint at what exactly all the “New-ness” it will unveil at CES might be but people at the company assure me that “it will definitely be worth it”, that “it will not disappoint” and that “it’s [categorically] not a new color for the Centro”…

Since all our expectations for what Palm has in store for us are sky-high it’s evident that Palm had better _really_ deliver on its promises as the company has unfortunately pretty much depleted all the goodwill it had accumulated over ten years pursuing its passion for “mobile computing”.  As someone posted elsewhere in a comment “I really, really want to believe but I have been hurt so many times before”…

So what exactly am I hoping to see from Palm at CES?  Well, for starters I evidently expect to see a full live demonstration of its highly anticipated new NOVA OS (aka Palm 2.0) and hope to see at least “something” completely revolutionary in this new operating system – something entirely unique that Palm can claim to have invented and that will categorically set it apart from the competition.  I basically want nothing else than to see everybody leaving Palm’s event saying “Wow, WOw, WOW!!!”.

The above is already a tall order but I also want to see the unveiling of at least _one_ of the new smartphones running NOVA OS (Palm Quatro ?) that the company plans to launch in 2009.  Ideally I’d like to see more than a picture of it and actually hold one in my hands – even if it’s only a dummy or prototype.

In short, I want to go to CES to see Palm unveiling nothing less than an “extraordinary” new operating system running on truly “gorgeous” hardware.  I want to see the company fully demonstrate that it still knows how to deliver the “Zen of Palm” and that it is at last once again ready to lead the smartphone revolution. 

Can Palm really do all of this?  I’d like to think that it’s certainly possible but I’m curious to hear how you feel about it.  Please share your thoughts with your fellow Treonauts via the poll below:

Palm 2.0 Unveiling at CES
Do you believe that Palm can deliver an "extraordinary" new OS running on "gorgeous" new smartphones?

It's very possible
Not likely

At any rate, the countdown to the Palm 2.0 unveiling has now officially started and we only have four short weeks to wait before all our hopes and dreams finally become reality or are forever shattered…

Treonauts always have a revolutionary spirit

Posted by Andrew on December 11, 2008 at 09:02 AM

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by Doug Boehme | Dec 11, 2008 9:25:02 AM

I just switched to a Palm Treo Pro after using Palm OS since buying my first Handspring Deluxe. Given the way things happen to me, I'm sure switching to Windows Mobile will cause this to be successful so I have to buy another device in a year. :)

by Jack | Dec 11, 2008 10:40:52 AM

It's too late for me. In having messaging issues with the Treo 800w (duplicate texts which proved to be the combo of Treo and WinMo, not the individual handset) I've since moved to the BlackBerry Curve. It would take a grand-slam by Palm at this point to get me back. They are way too unresponsive in support of their devices once released, and I've lost confidence in them as a company and a platform. I say it with regrets because I was a huge fan, having used the 650, 700p, 800w (still own), Centro (still own) and still on the 750 for work. None of these devices even come close to the combination of speed, stability, battery life and features of my Curve though. Feature wise the 800w has more features with WiFi, but the battery life is dismal compared to the Curve. Palm has a lot to do to prove themselves now.

by PalmRigorMortis | Dec 11, 2008 11:09:38 AM

The conference is going to be more like a funeral procession. RIP Palm.

by Businessfirst | Dec 11, 2008 11:57:21 AM

First off, the ideal perfect smartphone will never be built or released. It is sort of like finding the cure for AIDS. The cure is out there, but pharmaceutical companies make billions a year with marketing medication that merely treats the disease so why would the market a cure? I believe the perfect smart phone can be made out of a concept but companies like Palm will never release it because they want consumers who will buy mediocre phones and tire of them so that they can anxiously await the release of a next generation mediocre phone. Hey, its just business 101.

by really | Dec 11, 2008 12:45:13 PM

I think Palm has been working on their new O/S for two years now. I agree that it is make or break time for them. If they don't have a new o/s then it's probably over for them.

If they come out with a rock-solid o/s then they can have have a few iterations of phones to run the o/s and possible get other manufacturers involved like the days of old when companies like Samsung shipped devices with the palm o/s. Redoing their o/s was their only option to support the new technologies. The palm o/s was originally designed for hand helds and it's a wonder it ever went this far. If they have an o/s designed for phones.

Hmmm, I really like all the Palm apps. I'm not sure why, but I am rooting for Palm.

by Ladie Golf Pro | Dec 11, 2008 3:14:43 PM

I have the 800w and it is so so....I really hope they introduce something mind blowing. I want to stay loyal to Palm - but I have been bored with their stuff recently.

by ian in NZ | Dec 11, 2008 4:10:09 PM

Oh boy. it is a bit like watching someone slowly dying of motor neuron disease! my palm 680 is crumbling in my hands but i refuse to go windows mobile ( tried it HATED IT! - It was like being told off by my phone!!!!)
i- phone (this is very hard to say ) is SO COOL! this new plam thingy better be earth stopping or i am going to have to walk! I hope someone at Palm is reading all this stuff! It has to look good, work like lighting, run like a dream, NEVER FREEZE - do you hear me NEVER!!! have huge memory and battery, run the net - THE REAL NET! great camera, lightweight, usb charge and conection, be funky! It better be good! It better be good... it better... Oh boy!

by Dave N | Dec 11, 2008 5:13:34 PM

NZ I agree. My 700p is slowly dying too. It freezes up just about anytime I move around in it. Its becoming very unresponsive and annoying. It's the best phone I've had to date though. I need to do certain things, like use it as an analog modem to dial into routers and switches remotely. My company wants me to go to a Blackberry. I'm going with the HTC FUZE. I've waited long enough for the new Palm OS. I guess Windows is the future. I was thinking about the Treo Pro, but it's still an HTC phone, with a Windows OS, so either way I look at it, I am switching off of PALM. I've had a Visor, Visor Deluxe, Treo 650, and the 700p.

by John C | Dec 11, 2008 5:53:49 PM

I ticked the first box: "Absolutely", they _can_ deliver an new, exciting OS.

Will they? They're capable of it because they were the first ones to do it at all. But will they do it again? My crystal ball is broken again. You'll have to let us know next January.

I've used the Treo650 and my current phone is the 800w. When the Palm OS and the mobile Windows do the same thing, I much prefer the Palm OS. The Windows screen is crowded and the software is excessively fussy. Nothing is straightforward on Windows. The problem is, Windows does so much more than the current Palm OS. Palm wouldn't even have to be particularly innovative for me to want to change back. All it would have to do is get up to speed with those features that are now standard in top of the line phones and keep the simplicity and clean lines of its software and I would definitely be counting down the days - O.K., months - until my current contract ran out.



by Ellen | Dec 11, 2008 6:06:04 PM

The problem is we have all been waiting for so long and making do with our older Palm OS devices, taking in the hype and speculation, that our expectations are sky high. Expectations that high will never be met. I agree with businessfirst - the perfect smartphone will never be built, it is not possible. There are too many variables plus too many user opinions about what the "perfect smartphone" would be and look like. But I am rooting for Palm and hope any new OS is easy to navigate. BTW, that was a funny comment about Palm's impending announcement not being to announce a new Centro color. That cracked me up.

by todd martin | Dec 11, 2008 6:35:02 PM

I am using a 755p and am just waiting for my Blackberry Storm to come in and then I think I am gone from Palm. I have had ever Treo and even a Kyocera 7135. I love the way Agendus works in Palm but I am afraid I can't wait any longer and the Blackberry version of Agendus will at least make me feel a little better.

by JP | Dec 11, 2008 7:33:18 PM

Given the way its earnings have been tanking lately, this could literally be Palm's last throw of the dice. They had better deliver NOVA in all it's purported glory. Otherwise, this event could end up being simply a stage for the fat lady to sing .....

by ken | Dec 11, 2008 8:07:22 PM

I've been a fan of Palm since the M100 PDA. I have had a 700P since it came out. Loved the phone. Got my wife the Centro. Loved the phone. Now work has given me the 800W. Have had it for 4 months. Still can't get use to it. If the Quattro/Nova phone is a bomb, I don't know what I'll do. Using mobile phones will not ever be the same.

by proee | Dec 11, 2008 8:10:38 PM

Here's my two cents...

It's too late to compete against iPhone and Android - both of which have tons of people developing apps. For this new palm phone to even have a chance, it will have to launch with an apps store and somehow(?) convince developers its worth developing for.

As more, and more, and more applications come online with the iPhone it's going to be harder for others to break into the market.

I tried to buy a docking station the other day for my Sansa MP3 player (aka non-iPod). It was like pulling teeth. 95% of the MP3 accessories are designed for the iPod.

The same is going to be true from the iPhone in a few years. Every good piece of software or killer accessory will be iPhone ONLY.

Android has a chance to compete, but it better release a bunch more phones onto the market quickly..

Maybe, just Maybe Palm has partnered with Google to release a new Palm branded Android phone!

Is that possible people?

by ken | Dec 11, 2008 9:03:54 PM

I've been a fan of Palm since the M100 PDA. I have had a 700P since it came out. Loved the phone. Got my wife the Centro. Loved the phone. Now work has given me the 800W. Have had it for 4 months. Still can't get use to it. If the Quattro/Nova phone is a bomb, I don't know what I'll do. Using mobile phones will not ever be the same.

by Gene Leff | Dec 12, 2008 2:05:27 AM

My Sprint contract just ended and I'd love for a new Palm phone to make its debut so that I can make a deal to sign up for new service somewhere.

My 755P has been resetting regularly lately which is, as you all know, a PITA.

I'm hoping for a new OS that will allow multitasking and be as intuitive as the previous Palm OS.

I'm not holding my breath. :(

Seriously, I don't know what to go with for my next phone. I'm using Entourage as my calendar/contact app on a MacPro and syncing with Agendus using the Missing sync. This has worked for me for years now, but the Treo's shortcoming are just too irritating. I'd jump ship in a second if I could find a reliable replacement.

But, as I always say, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." :)


by serge | Dec 12, 2008 9:09:26 AM

Dear Friend

If the new "behemot" will not be Macintosh compatible I will spit on Palm for ever.
I mean it !

by serge | Dec 12, 2008 3:46:17 PM

Andrew I really don't know why you do persist in beleiving in the the Palm CEO...and its team ?
I was a huge fan of Palm, wich lost its credibility by lack of imagnation, by alienation to US telephone companies and submission ( almost prostitution) to Windows when the Palm OS was and could have remained the best smartphone software... Nokia had the guts to maintain Symbian and they are still the Number One in an harsh competing world...
In psychoanalysis there is a well known phenomena named:
"the lack of self estime" and its consequence : "the self hatred behaviors "...
The full Palm team should have been fired or went to few vists to a "shrink"...
You have been almost eloquent at the defence of Palm products. But franckly Andrew why did you ever questionned the economical collapse of Palm. You never asked yourself why they did stop inventing around the 2000, nos guts, no passion, no risk taken and always frustrating unfinished product. Who is the "shmock' marketing guy who told them to create unfinished machines... Look the beauty of Apple or HTC or Nokia or Samsung !!!...
What the Hell sticks you to this messy decadent team of poor minded ingenieuring...
In 6 years now you never answered to my questions.
I was a great ambassador of Palm, a great supporter until I reached a level of disgust and "ad vomitam" expectations... Opens your mind.
Please if you ave any mental power find them a good "psy"!

by proee | Dec 13, 2008 7:46:30 PM


I've followed this blog for years and I agree that Andrew is a bit over the top when it comes to giving Palm undue praise. His criticism of the iPhone is all but dilussional and I can only imagine what kind of reaction he would have had if the iPhone was merely branded with a Palm logo.

However, putting the last number of "fan boy" years aside, this is one of the first post I've seen where Andrew actually took a rather cynical take on the whole "new-ness" annoucement.

Read the first section of this post again. I think Andrew has started to come to his sense and realizes that Palm is a sinking ship.

Palm should have hired Andrew four years ago and placed him as a lead designer of their new products division.

In all seriousness, the latest TREO pro still looks like a glorified Treo600 (obviously with a few more bells and whistles, but same candybar concept).

It's 3am, do you trust your smartphone with Palm?

by qst4 | Dec 14, 2008 12:40:03 PM

I think all this comparison to the Iphone is a little unfounded. Yes its a beautiful device, but without an actually qwerty keyboard its in a different category. I bought a Touch just to see if I could live with it, and got no where. After owning it for 4 months, I still can't type a sentence without at least two errors. So I think there is still market space for palm. But I agree, if it doesn't happen this year, they're done. They are so close sometimes, if they would've released the Pro with a Nova OS and about $100 cheaper, I think they would have had a hit, even without offering something new hardware wise. IMHO the issue is their OS, and as a poster noted above, the lead the other companies have in regards to apps.

by Ken | Dec 14, 2008 7:51:07 PM

It's too late for me. The money I've spent on Palm hardware is astounding and I've been disappointed every time. My next phone will be a touch screen Blackberry.

by Michael | Dec 15, 2008 8:09:59 AM

anyways, Palm is massive working on digging its own grave by making the residual fans upset: http://www.palmpowerups.com/PalmLetter.pdf

by random9q | Dec 16, 2008 10:07:14 AM

Andrew, good heavens, what happened to your unflappable indefatiguable Palm boostering cheer? Don't worry, that's actually meant kindly. I thought you might've gotten a bit tired back when your posts started dropping off in frequency.

Well, unfortunately for me (and apparently others, time ran out). Had to renew with Verizon and my ol' 700p developed an unusual habit of reseting once or twice a day in response to the menu key being pressed. Probably a bit of flash memory in just the wrong spot gone flaky. I can't stand certain aspects about Verizon but their US coverage is second to none and their customer reps are actually genuinely helpful. I can't stand how they corrupt their phones, though. VZW's version of the Touch Pro, for instance, will probably be OK, one day, after a few ROM patches but... what'd they DO to that poor keyboard? The poor 'M' key! The one other network (Sprint) with close to enough coverage in the places I travel is seemingly in deep financial troubles and can't quite keep up with the call/connection quality.

I'm curious to see what Palm's finally come up with and if, in their presently weakened state, they'll survive the current economic context. It's one thing to survive by scraping along when things are rosey for most folks' pursestrings. It is quite another to survive in a recession. So even *if* they *finally* deliver, it may be Palm's swan song regardless. That'd be such a sad shame.

I and a bunch of other folks spotted the T-wing design once it was repeated on engadgetmobile. Nice design. Keyboard's Palm's for sure or a dead-ringing-ripoff. And from an artist's view, the design kinda goes nicely with the background colors on the invitation you'd received, Andrew.

Hey, maybe if they make something attractive enough I just might make good on my "one-day" plans to become a mobile app developer. Since I just bought an Omnia, that's about the only way I could legitimately go about getting my hands on Palm's new phone(s). We'll see. Depends on many things.

by JayB | Dec 18, 2008 6:08:36 PM

For work, it's either a Palm or a Blackberry (with a real keyboard). For fun (music, movies, games, browsing), it's the iPhone. These are facts on the ground not opinions. And strangely, Apple fans seem to be unaware that the top engineers and managers at Palm today are ex-Apple superstars who were responsible for revolutionary stuff like the iPod and iMac, and who could have written their own paychecks anywhere instead of coming to Palm. Yet they chose to come to Palm and they are unanimously super-positive about the stuff they are working on. I'm betting that they are not about to commit collective suicide at CES unless they are 100% sure they have a winner.

by Elena Bryant | Jan 7, 2009 11:01:06 PM

Like others I've waited for tomorrow (CES 2009) for years. I bought the first Palm and consistently upgraded until buying the now old Treo 680 I still use for many hours daily but want/need/do I dare say pray for? the Nova OS Quatro to be all that's been hoped for. My stocks in Palm have plummeted yet I've held on. Tomorrow will tell the tale. Either I stay with a PalmOS or switch from Apple to a Windows computer and go with a Windows mobile handheld. Please, Palm, don't disappoint me again. I can wait until May if shown I'm no longer being foolish.

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