Windows Mobile + Palm: 2005-2009

During yesterday's quarterly earnings call, Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein confirmed that webOS is going to be the sole operating system coming from Palm as the company goes ahead.

"Due to importance of webOS to our overall strategy, we've made the decision to dedicate all future development resources to the evolution of webOS. Which means that going forward, our roadmap will include only Palm webOS-based devices," Rubenstein said.

Windows Mobile Treos, we hardly knew you.


The four year partnership between Palm and Microsoft yielded only four devices: the burly but beloved Palm Treo 700w, then the streamlined, antennaless Treo 750w, followed by the Windows Mobile 6.1-equipped Treo 800w, and most recently, the ill-timed Treo Pro.

Now that Palm has retired all of its previous Treo operating systems, we are left wondering what the future holds for the company's productivity lines.

Despite the popularity of touch-based smartphones, the dominant form factor for workplace deployments continues to be the BlackBerry-style "e-mail phone," tightly integrated with enterprise software and equipped with more complex PIM features and productivity applications such as document, spreadsheet, and presentation editors.

While webOS is certainly a beautiful and capable operating system, it is simply not designed for the business user. If you're a pessimist, it could mean Palm is vacating the businessphone space. But if you're an optimist, this could mean Palm is working on a business-oriented version webOS.

As one commenter on Pre Central put it, "Maybe they should stop fooling around with iTunes sync, and concentrate on adding real functionality. Listening (or maybe re-hiring) some of the people who worked on the PIM apps for P-OS would be a good start."

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