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Tuesday, September 27th, 2005, 3:00 pm

Palm Endow Microsoft with Unjustifiable Flattery

AS Palm form an alliance for their smart phone with their former rival Microsoft, many perceive the step as a damaging one to the Open Source community or advocates of open standards and inter-operability. Microsoft are already strutting about, showing off in their front page a Palm device while labelling it “Windows-powered” (a segment of the image is shown below). This image looks rather offensive since they go a rather long way in order to pass across the message: “the enemy is ours”. Sadly, Palm do similarly in their front page; maybe a reciprocal exchange?

This aggressive attitude is by all means nothing new. It comes after a great deal of trouble and distress at Microsoft. Windows Vista, for example, needed to be-built from scratch and there was recent loss of government support and trust, which in turn opted to move to OpenDocument. So, that “incompetent-at-best” move from Palm gives Microsoft a small victory among the many recent losses, ‘Google threat’ being the most prominent one.

Palm on Windows
How can Palm live with the shame? (from Microsoft’s front page)

In UseNet, several threads come up with misleading subject lines insinuating a complete Palm migration to Windows, which is evidently false. Then again, when will Palm complete their promised move to Linux? Is the recent Access-Palm takeover going to have an effect on strategic alliances? What if Palm carried on with Windows for their smart phones, as well as Linux in tandem, primarily for older-generation devices?

Looking at the users’ side, how would smart phone owners, whose data has been stored in line with Palm’s conventions, synchronise their data with a Mac or a Linux machine? Are they supposed to be swayed to change their desktop environments because of a PDA?

This move by Palm left me bitter and I am not alone in feeling somewhat betrayed. I came to witness a platform which I voluntarily supported (assisting many hundreds, if not thousands, of Palm users in UseNet) as it gave strength to an opponent — an opponent whose purpose is to destroy and cripple anything that is not Microsoft. I am beginning to investigate a migration to the Zaurus after many years of sticking and evangelising Palm. I truly hope that Palm prove that their commitment to Linux is true, thus keeping me ‘on board’. They will need to do that soon enough, or else rumours will grow wings and suggest that Palm(One) have become merely a hardware vendor and that PalmSource are history.

Cited by: PalmAddict

One Response to “Palm Endow Microsoft with Unjustifiable Flattery”

  1. Jacken Says:

    Is there any success story where a competing company gone into co-operation with Microsoft and actually gained something? Except for Microsoft?

    This really feels like the beginning of the end of a great company.

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