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O'Reilly Network: A Palm Introduction

May 06, 2000, 23:49 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Halsall)

"Released in 1996 from an unlikely source -- US Robotics, a modem manufacturer -- Palm Organizers now enjoy the dominant position in the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) market place with approximately 80% of the market. It's not been an easy climb for the Palm, however, having to overcome Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Windows CE, and several smaller players like Psion."

"Most Palms have processors which are about twice as powerful as the first model of Macintosh computers, although some newer models are even faster. Most models are powered by a pair of AAA batteries, while the higher-end versions have built-in rechargeables. ... It's important to realize that Palms are not intended to replace a desktop or laptop, with their full environments, but instead are designed to be satellite computing devices supporting people while they're away from their desk."

"An area where I think Palm will soon have some competition is in handheld and embedded Linux devices. As it's taking time for Linux to gain desktop market-share, it will similarly take a while for it to get a strong foothold in the PDA market as well. Also, Palm Computing isn't standing still, with new devices and wireless features announced just recently."

"For end-users, right now, PalmOS-based devices are probably the best choice of PDA, especially for Linux/Unix users. The software selection simply cannot be matched by any other PDA solution, with a developer base similarly large. No Palm is complete with only the software included, though, so be sure to spend some time downloading and experimenting with some of the available extra tools."

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