PalmSource migration to Linux

I was happy to read the PalmSource announcement that Linux will be the next platform for Palm OS-based smartphones. I think this is a good thing. It should attract a huge audience of developers who have been struggling to find sanity and direction in Palm OS land. Hopefully the manufacturers and carriers can come together with device that takes the smartphone to the next level. Hopefully, PalmOne will not let the Treo go off to Windows Mobile land.

Personally, I’d love to see an Apple iPhone with a variant of the OS that brings all the benefits of sleek design and consumer-friendly user experience that Apple does better than anyone.

A Brief walk down Smartphone memory lane
For me, it all started off when Kevin Myers, the former VP of Sales at SalesLogix and friend, talked about a new phone coming from Qualcomm. The Qualcomm pdQ would to be a phone and a Palm (which we were all carrying anyway) in the same device. The thought of a phone, contacts, appointments, tasks, and email was just too killer to pass up. Kevin was the first to have one. I remember Kevin taking grief because everyone called his phone “The Brick” because it was so big.

When Kyocera took over the device from Qualcomm and released the much anticipated QCP 6035 Smartphone, I was in the Kyocera booth at CES wearing my ACT!/SalesLogix sales and marketing hat sharing glowing predictions of how this device would change the world.

Since I was on the BizDev team at SalesLogix and always playing with th latest gadgets to help salespeople, I jumped into the Samsung SPH-1300, at the time a sleek candybar phone w/ the Palm OS. That one didn’t last too long–hot Arizona days made for frequent sweaty face marks on the screen.

Then Handspring jumped in the mix with the Treo 180. I purchased one of the first ones available in the Phoenix metro. From there I upgraded to the Treo 270 (unlocked version) as soon as it was available.

My Handspring Treo 600 GSM (unlock version) came next. To be honest, I really missed the flip phone. Guess after two in a row, I liked how the keys were protected. However, the 600’s keyboard and screen were so much better. And the heft just felt like the device was a “quality” piece.

I was happy to upgrade to the Treo 650. However, Handspring had been acquired by PalmOne, and now I was tormented by PalmOne’s working with carriers. Sprint was first out. I wanted GSM, so I had to wait and wait and wait and wait for the phone to be launched on GSM. I called Tmobile and Cingular nonstop. Finally Cingular launched, and I switched carriers to have the Treo 650 in late 2004. Still using it–last month had 35 MB of data transfer.

I doubt I’ll ever go back to a regular cell “phone” as I’ve tasted the sweetness of having everything in one device.


2 Responses to “PalmSource migration to Linux”

  1. Kevin Myers on February 17th, 2006 10:32 am


    This thread brought back vivid memories, it’s funny how the blackberry just plodded along without us geek-wanna-be’s giving it the credit so richly deserves. Joe Greenspan and I years ago kept reminding each other of the KISS principle of these gadgets, all anyone wants is Contacts, Calendar and Email (and add a catalog if in sales).

    Today I use a bulky blackberry phone that I swore I would never use, but given I am now in the business of making every day a great day for ice cream, the basics are all I need!

    Some day I am going to find the time to author a blog, or I will just get Joe Greenspan to ghost-write for me!

    All the best to you and your family.


  2. Brad on February 17th, 2006 12:27 pm

    True. The BlackBerry perfected “it just works” principle. Not a lot of overhead to setup, manage, etc. I had one for a while. Today I prefer the one-thumb, 5-way navigation on the Treo to move through messages, calendar, tasks, contacts. The finger wheel makes it a two-handed device vs. one.