Space Ramblings

Palm, the Underdog Strikes Back

It wasn’t that long ago that Palm was practically a synonym for an entire technology, the way Xerox or Blackberry or Google are. And then Palm became the also ran, the old company that was no longer relevant. Palm was bullied into adapting Windows CE. It still had its fanbase, but the company was considered a relic and a thing of the past. And then with Steve Jobs down and Apple reigning, Macworld a bust, suddenly Palm came out of nowhere with weOS. Nobody was really expecting this. Unlike Apple, Palm hadn’t been generating its own reality distortion field or quietly prepping select journalists in exchange for access. Instead Palm had the confidence to go out there and deliver. And while the Palm Pre device may never be as trendy as the stuff Apple puts out, tech journalists and early adoptees will go for it, giving Apple a real challenge for a change. Eschewing both Microsoft’s clunky imitations and Apple’s elitist arrogance, Palm has found a middle way giving users what they want without sacrificing look or functionality. And the results are solid. And Apple now has a new problem to cope with. It isn’t extraordinary that Palm did what it did, many companies in its position who could do it however wind up hamstrung and hindered by management into producing a mediocre compromise product that doesn’t suit anyway. Palm actually delivered. And that is extraordinary.

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