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Given the current state of Microsoft, I see Palm as a dead company walking. Microsoft is poised to do for PDAs, what they did for spreadsheets, word processors, browsers, disk compression, gui's, fonts, and are doing for video. Give it 3-5 years and they will crush Palm and all other handheld devices that have "not microsoft" operating systems.
So Brett, how much does Microsoft pay you every time you herald Palm's imminent demise? ;)
Y'know Brett, with as often as you post about the grevious security holes in M$ software, and kvetch about their business practices in general, it never ceases to amaze me how adamant you are about preaching the death of Palm.
Macintosh did not die. *nix did not die. Heck, to some true die-hards, the C64 hasn't even died yet, lol... They may not dominate the market, but back when Windows and Mac were on more head-to-head ground the computing market was a completely different animal.
Palm has a huge lead in market share and software availability. When Microsoft first began gaining operating system prominence, the computer industry was just creeping out of the age when every machine required custom-coded software...
A little standardization was no necessarily a bad thing in the desktop computer market, and once M$ caught on to the conceptual foundation of the Mac GUI, the whole concept of a truly "consumer friendly" computer was just being born. They began to dominate the market out of the gate, simply by licensing their OS to multiple manufacturers rather than keeping all the expenses in-house (like Apple did).
PDAs have already become their own market, and MS was late to the game... Given that the desktop computer (or laptop in some cases) is still the central piece of computing hardware in the average consumer's life, the OS of their PDA is a secondary consideration... as long as Palm maintains compatibility with Windows OSs, Microsoft's leverage for "crushing" them is limited.
One of the reasons Windows desktop computers became so dominant so early was the price difference between what amounted to "store brand" desktop machines running Windows and "top shelf" machines from the do-it-all-ourselves Apple line. Palm OS has the price advantage over WinCE machines, because of the far lower hardware requirements... Palm OS has the software advantage over WinCE, because (I assume) they are less complex to code for...
Much like the webserver market... *nix/Apache won't be crushed any time soon. Lower cost of operation, widely available support, lots of available cheap or free software... Much like PERL won't be wiped off the face of the earth by ASP. Much like Palm and WinCE. Each has their place, and I can't see CE crushing anyone from where I'm standing now.
WinCE may have more "power" than a comparable Palm OS machine, but most people don't need it, and have shown their willingness to forego brute power for a lower price in the handheld market.
Palm is a dead company walking.
RealNetworks is a dead company walking.
When M$FT tries to kill something watch out! Dump the stock of the company they are trying to kill! I put my trust in Microsoft's Arrogance. But don't be fooled I don't trust them. I use only open source software when it comes to the web. But when it comes to the desktop I use MSFT. I both hate and love MS. As an investor from the late 80’s I love them and will always love them. But I see the company from both sides. All I know is... If you are in business with them watch your back. It is better to do business with them then against them. Microsoft only nibbles off your hand if you are with them. But they bite off your hand if you are against them.
I use only open source software when it comes to the web. But when it comes to the desktop I use MSFT.
As I see it, you're supporting my argument there. A lot of people can say, "I use Palm software when it comes to my PDA. But when it comes to the desktop I use MSFT."
MS may reduce competing OSs to niche markets rather than true, equal competitors, but if the other company/product is serious about staying in the game, and the quality of their products shows it, *nix/Apache and Macintosh both prove that an alternative OS can survive against MS even if they never "win."
You could consider graphic design and web servers "niches" in the overall operating system market... just as you could consider PDAs a niche. And MS has shown a long-term inability to completely dominate niche markets, because all their effort goes into megalith one-size-fits-all products.
The biggest losers in the race to bring converged mobile phones and personal digital assistants to market are Palm and Handspring, according to market research firm Strand Consult.
The firm's latest research shows that Palm and Handspring do not have the financial heft to compete with Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola and, now, Microsoft.
Somber Warning for PDA Leaders [wired.com]
It will help the user to come to the “Multimedia stage” that all the big mobile developers want, and they will market this with their enormous sum of money on marketing.
Palm don’t stand a chance, and this is not Microsoft’s division either.
(edited by: lazerzubb at 9:12 pm (utc) on Mar. 27, 2002)
Ok, so let me see here.
10 years we have 1100% growth in MSFT w/ Market Cap of 321.7 Bil
10 years we have 300% growth in REAL w/ Market Cap of 16.03 Mil
3 years we have 3200% loss in PALM w/ Market Cap of 2.229 Bil
10 years we have 30% loss in AAPL w/ Market Cap of 8.262 Bil
Microsoft is Cash Postive with 40 Billion in the bank.
I think Microsoft has a clear record of "winning"!
With this in mind think about the OS for your palm device...most likely Linux will be the winner here..because they don't have the platform dependancy MS will try to force on people. More freedom in open source == more people will use it.
If MS continues on the same vector they've played for so long they will be a bright shooting star on the distant horizon.
IBM is still around, but they are no longer the undisputed market leader in the computer industry, due in large part to the fragmentation and unbelievable growth of the market. The odds of one company dominating EVERY facet of such a diverse and growing market are virtually nonexistent. Even for Microsoft.
Microsoft does not dominate niche markets. They do not dominate animation & computer graphics... nor webservers and internet applications... nor handhelds and embedded OSes... nor video game consoles... etc., etc., etc. They may be huge, they may be rich, but outside the corporate and consumer desktop markets, their competitors continue nibbling at their heels.
You said that you use only open source in your web-related work... and yet the open source movement has zero presence on the stock market. Does that mean Open Source has "lost" the internet software and services game?
MS is late to every game they play. They wait to see what is available and what is really going to last and then spend their resources. MS has never had any luck trying to be an innovator. They simply can't lead - it's not in their makeup to be a ground breaker. After all, this is Bill Gates we are talking about - the worlds ultimate idea pirate. His last original product was Basic programing lang in the late 70's (and that's being generous - I figure he must have copied that idea somewhere too).
So we've seen the ill fated WinCE, and we are now at the 2nd incarnation with PocketPC. That leaves MS one more try to get it right.
In the meantime, the video guys are perfecting the design and manufacturer of led/cd/flat screens. They are getting more powerful, higher res, and use less power with every passing month.
Intel is also flushing out the processors into something truly suited for handhelds. Not only is the price falling, but the MS<->Intel (WinTel cartel) affords MS some very serious leverage that they have not been shy about using.
We are reaching a critical point right now with stats showing there will be 1 billion mobile users before the end year. Remember what happened to desktops in the 96-98 days? Prices decreased 30-50% while power increased 200-2000%? It was simply the laws of mass manufacturing coming home.
Hardware guys in the previous 15 years had time to pay off the plant and equip purchases, develop process, and build the entire infrastructure of manufacturing desktop computers. When the starting gun of the internet sounded and everyone bought desktops, they were "ready" in spades.
The same is almost true for the handhelds. They are poised and ready to go. What we are using right now, is nothing but a toy. The hardware is going to go through the floor in price, and the power is going to skyrocket. Within 3 years, I bet we see a 1ghz processor with 1 gig of memory and 20gig storage in the standard color hand held for under $200.
As that happens, the hardware will become meaningless, and the software is what will matter. In that arena - Microsoft will dominate by continuing to give away PocketPC for free. Palm will either have to go PocketPC, or die.
Handhelds are to 2002, what calculators were to 1970. We are just in the infancy of this market.
Who dominated the calculator market? Hehe.... I guess that was before Bill's time, eh?
It took them 3 times on windows, (95 being the 3rd time), 3 times on Word, 3 times on Office, 3 times on networking, 3 times on disk compression, and 3 times on browsers.
All products of the desktop computer market, Brett. Handhelds are not the desktop market. Microsoft dominates the consumer/corporate desktop market. They don't truly dominate any others. There's room. Maybe it won't be Palm that keeps the lead... but there's room. Maybe lazerubb's right, and this will be Linux's day in the sun...
Ummm... Microsoft was pretty much the one that did that.
So who's going to do it to Microsoft? The Roman Empire fell... The British Empire fell... I'm betting the Microsoft Empire will fall eventually as well...
But I'd be totally happy to get a Linux device next, if it provided all the same functionality I have on my Visor now... for a total spent (on software) of <$40 USD.
Thing is, what Linux will need is someone to design a dominant, free linux-based PDA OS for multiple hardware manufacturers to use. I don't think it will work with every hardware company brewing up their own little flavor of a Linux OS. Put out a stripped-down but easily expandable Linux PDA OS, and let the manufacturers compete based on their hardware and their software add-ons.
They are all software based products. The hardware doesn't matter. Just as the line between handhelds and phones has been blown away, the line between handhelds and the desk top will be blown away. They are currently blurred with palm tops such as Psion's, and the subnotebook computers.
The differences between what is a handheld and what is a desktop will continue to be crossed until eventually they'll all be the just extensions of one another where we use bluetooth to log into the net anywhere on the planet.
Suffice to say, I don't think Microsoft is an immortal megalith of now-and-future computing. It's future will come eventually, it will become the next IBM... I see the PDA market as the first pick lodged in a chink in its armor.
They expect to release that Q3 or Q4 of this year. Now those are cool! I got to play with one. Bye bye cell phone. Hello all in one device that can do everything! I can't wait for the years to tick by and the hardware and software to become better and better. Then I can sit on a beach in Hawaii and chat with you guys via my Super-PDA.
The current PDAs on the market leave a lot to be desired. I have owned a few in the last few years... But I am sure in the next few years the PDA will be my new best friend.
What gives MS the advantage? They dominate the desktop and the browser. Those two devices are integral to the success of a good PDA. I want 100% freedom from my desktop but to keep 100% of my access and ability.
Are you saying Microsoft won't come up with a proprietary alternative to Bluetooth
I don't think Microsoft will try to enter the hardware market that much.
And lisa don't say you mean this one [bitecomm.co.uk]
I tell you, if you have played with Motorlas 3G phone, you would not want to have a microsoft phone, i think the software will be on other servers in the future, you will only have a "shell" in your mobile phone.
(edited by: lazerzubb at 9:56 pm (utc) on Mar. 27, 2002)
Microsoft will eventually fall. But I could be dead before it happens. I don't see it happening any time soon.
Palm could survive if they don't screw up. They have to be absolutely perfect. One bad release, wrong product, bad pricing, wrong CEO, bad merger, whatever, and Microsoft will clobber them. And that would really be too bad. I love Microsoft when they are hungry. They actually do a great job of grabbing someone else's features and doing good stuff with it. They run a really good race chasing after the leader. But after they are in the lead, they have trouble figuring out where to go.
For example: Microsoft only made the Xbox so they could push their software! They lost a Billion on the hardware... Just think what they will make on the software in the next couple of years.
Not much, if people don't buy the hardware. ;) Sony's got the Palm advantage in that market too... Software out the WAZOO for the Playstation... Who's going to buy a console with no software? I'm wondering how many years MS will have to flush money down the XBox drain before they start seeing wide market adoption?
The game console market is similar in many ways to the PDA market, with the notable exception that MS is going up against a BIG brand in the form of Sony. Still, though the Xbox started with a puny 1.1% US market share in 2001, it's estimated that it'll control nearly 19% of the market by 2004 (and already be ahead of Ninetendo).
Households Will Soon be Playing with Entertainment Power [emarketer.com]