Palm Returns to Its Roots as the Master of Personal Information Management
The big Palm event at CES brought out all the journalists, analysts, and venture community to see what the rumors of a new mobile platform were all about. Ed Culligan, President of Palm came on stage and presented the problem; everyone has difficulty managing all the information in their lives. The solution is their new Palm pre and web OS. My first reaction is it look s like possible contender but unless the developer community jumps on the bandwagon it may have a challenge taking away market share from the rest of the smartphone gang. The phone itself has all the standard smartphone features including a curved, QWERTY keyboard that slides out vertically which gives it the feel of a phone handset. It has a big touchscreen with some cool gesture-based UI features. Their synching solution is called "Synergy," and looks like an interesting method for pulling in data from sources like facebook and incorporating and consolidating that information in one device. It uses a card metaphor where you open, close and flip through cards. It looks like they built their own browser which has some cool zoom features and displays pages in an attractive way. My overall first impression is it has some cool innovative features and looks promising but how disruptive it will be is an open question. If the development environment is as easy to use as they say it is we could see a lot of iPhone apps get ported to web OS and that could help make this device a contender.