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Palm Turns Ten

Techstination feature for Monday, March 27, 2006

Palm turns ten. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. These days…Palm devices have color screens, memory card slots and often wireless connectivity and cell phones built in. Back in the old days…1996….the first Palm was plain….but pretty popular. VP Page Murray…

"The first device was the Pilot, the Palm Pilot digital organizer. It really only had four functions and those were the four buttons across the bottom. But the exciting thing about it is it came in the wake of the collapse of the entire category. A bunch of behemoths, Apple, Motorola, IBM, AT&T, Sharp… had all tried to make PDAs. And they'd all failed. And the analysts said there's no future there. And then lo and behold in 1996, out came the Palm Pilot and it went on to be a huge success."

Palm was passed around abit….was acquired by U.S. Robotics, which was then purchased by 3Com. The original people behind it…went off and formed their own company, Handspring. Eventually….they call came back together with Palm gaining independence again. Now it's the operating system…software side of the company that's been sold off….and the first Palm phone is on the market that uses Microsoft software. As for the future…

"Entertainment is going to be huge. Right now we're able to support things like streaming television stations and MP3s. But as consumers begin relying more and more on these devices, they're going to want more in the product."

The challenge for Palm…is to add capabilities while maintaining the simplicity that has made the devices popular. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.