As a mobile enthusiast, I own (or have owned) a cross sample of every major platform on the market today, ranging from Windows Mobile, Symbian, embedded Linux (well, one flavor anyway), and BlackBerry OS. I first cut my teeth on mobile technology with PalmOS way back in 1997 when a small startup named Palm Computing introduced a product called the Palm Pilot, launching an industry of software and hardware development. The Pilot 1000 was my very first PDA, and I immediately fell in love with the software and its hallmark simplicity. That device kindled a love affair with mobile technology that has lasted to this day.
While my tastes in gadgets changed over the years as I migrated from one device and platform to another, PalmOS has always been a key part of my mobile lifestyle. Partly for nostalgia and partly because the OS still had a certain understated flair that enabled me to remain productive even while lacking advanced features and functionality offered by my Windows Mobile and Symbian based Smartphones. I still preferred the elegance and intuitive interface found on my Palm Treos.
Prior to acquiring the iPhone, my primary Smartphone of choice was an unlocked Treo 650. Just months prior I had been using Palm's latest GSM model, the Treo 680, which I later sold on eBay because it sucked so badly (mainly poor battery life). The 650, much like the OS it runs, was tired and showing its age.
Unfortunately the long winding road has reached an end. A dead end. Palm is a dead platform. The OS that we know today as Garnet (PalmOS version 5) has lived well beyond its shelf life, and is built upon on a creaky and woefully obsolete single-tasking framework with an ancient GUI that hasn't seen improvement in nearly a decade. To make matters worse, Garnet's successor is roughly two years away, and potentially may be vaporware like the failed development project that preceded it, a never to-be-seen OS called Cobalt. Too little, too late.
Since the iPhone entered my gadget collection, it has permanently displaced Palm from my list of devices. OSX is everything PalmOS should have been but never came to be. Apple has taken interface elegance and software innovation to a whole new level. iPhone eliminated the need for Palm in my mobile computing lifestyle. I can't even stand looking at PalmOS, let alone having to use it. So, it is with some sadness that I have to report that I am dumping the platform for good. Last weekend I handed down my poor careworn Treo 650 to my niece, where the device will probably end up gathering dust because she doesn't understand how to use it, and shows little interest.
For the first time in nearly a decade I am without a Palm device. Time to move on.
iPhone has rekindled an excitement within me, for mobile tech, that I haven't felt since the early days of PalmOS when the platform was new and fresh, with fanatical development and innovation taking place in all directions. iPhone is the new Palm.
I'll always look back fondly on the platform that started it all and sparked my passion for gadgets. But the past is history, and it's time to migrate to growth platforms.
Bye bye Palm, thanks for the memories.
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