While there are some journalists who do give the presenter a hand at the end of a press conference I've always eschewed the habit, as I think we're here to report objectively, not to be cheerleaders. But at the end of the Palm press conference today I clapped and surpressed a whoop.
At the end of last year I was just about ready to lay Palm to rest. The company that used to dominate handheld computing had frittered away its market position and to be frank I resented them a little for it.
I bought the PalmPilot when it still came branded with the 3Com logo, and carried on using them for years. But slowly they became less and less usable, more expensive and the final straw was when they switched to using Windows Mobile as an operating system. I put down the Palm and have never used them since, although I've still got my beloved Palm IIIx because I couldn't bear to throw it away.
But I'm blown away by the new Palm Pre - if it does what they say it will do I'm getting one the minute they become available. It looks to have all the advantages of an iPhone with very few drawbacks.
Sure, 8GB doesn't go far these days and there's no removable storage. It's also just configured for US 3G, and based on Palm's previous form it'll be six months before the rest of the world gets a device to call its own. But the software looks amazing and if I never have to use another virtual keyboard again it'll be too soon.
Now there's many a slip 'tween cup and lip but based on what we all saw in there, Palm deserve the applause. Normal cynicism will be resumed shortly.
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