back to article Palm drowns Foleo at birth

"Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on," Palm founder Jeff Hawkins, May 2007 Palm Foleo Palm today killed the Foleo, a sub-notebook or "mobile companion", before shipping one unit to the public. In a blog entry on the corporate website, Palm boss Ed Colligan said the company must concentrate all efforts on …

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  1. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I remember when Palm actually knew what it was doing...

    ... back around the time of the Palm V, about October 1999 IIRC.

  2. Neil

    RIP 2007-2007

    Palm - how can their board continue to remain when they manage to fck up their execution so badly time and time again? How many operating systems have they promised over the years, and how many operating systems have they failed to deliver (answer: lots, and all of them).

    Now they seem to have two Linux platforms, and have just scrapped one in order to focus on the other - wtf??? A shame really, as I was quite looking forward to snapping up a Fooleo off eBay in a few months for about £50 so that I could install Debian ARMEL on it...

    I owned a Palm several years ago, but lost interest when it was obvious there would be no upgrades (ooh promises promises) and that the company was rapidly becoming a prime candidate for fuckedcompany.com.

    Bono and his boys from Evolution Partners really need get a grip on Palm - that, or take a baseball bat to boardmembers kneecaps.

  3. Brad Hutchings

    Buh-bye Foleo, we barely knewleo you.

    When Palm announced this gadget, I thought it was going to quickly and significantly change the way people do their computing. While Palm pitched it as an extension of the smart phone, I saw it more as an extension of the desktop.

    Currently, my MacBook Pro is the center of my work life. I can spit my contacts out to my Palm T|X or my Sanyo M1, check e-mail on the go on my T|X, but to get data back to the MacBook, I pretty much use e-mail rather than Palm syncing, etc. I could see a small subnotebook like the Foleo taking over e-mail, IM, etc.while the MacBook remains my central data repository, development and productivity machine, etc. I could see leaving the MacBook behind for meetings and just bringing the Foleo, or opening the Foleo during lunch to catch up on e-mail, or even taking just the Foleo on short trips. Who knows if they'd have ever gotten the syncing right, but the possibility was certainly there.

    I can also see getting friends and family who just need e-mail, web, and IM hooked up with Foleos instead of desktops. Might not be the right form factor for older people, but certainly for busy professionals who want to be able to get e-mail or shop on Amazon at home in the evenings.

    So I'm bummed out that the killed what could have been a category definer before they could get it market. But I'm sure it's gotten other players thinking... Perhaps an Apple subnotebook that plays nicely as a digital hub extremity (and as a main computer) would fit the bill. The need for such a device won't go away.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Palm, finally seems to have focus

    Software is hard, harder than hardware.

    As the Reg has mentioned before, we have not had a really new computing OS or even a mobile device OS for a long time. Why? Because it is very difficult.

    Hopefully Palm will finally put all its efforts into their Palm OS II, we need a good alternative to the poor UI on WM and Symbian S60/UIQ3.

  5. Ze Stuart

    Bah

    Palm really have no guts to stick at anything, or do anything new. Hopefully they can now quietly vanish into oblivion.

  6. Karl Lattimer

    The problem with palm

    Is that the only part of their business that was any good, they forked off, now Access Co have bought it up and Access Linux Platform and the Hiker platform are rocking and will be making it into a whole new generation of mobile devices. Hiker has some pretty unique features which have come from palm OS and been nicely ported to the linux platform.

    Now Palm are playing catch up with the arm of their business that they got rid of. Long live Hiker!

  7. Matt

    that's a shame

    ever since I saw that old ibm notebook (the one that was diddy and had 10 hour battery life and a cute anime maid that was only released in Japan (the laptop not the maid)) I've really really wanted a portable computer (you know, one with a battery that _lasts_ and is small, and has a proper screen and keyboard you can use) the kind of thing you can write propper documents on while trapped in economy class on the plane or writing reports at a convention on the move, also something that doesn't kill your back or shoulder dragging it about all weekend.

    This now never to be seen box looks like it may have been able to do that, shame it was a palm. O well. I'll just have to live with my 2 hours battery life and tank like design.

  8. Jocke Selin

    I used to have a Palm

    A long long time in a land far far away I had a Palm Perosonal PDA, I absolutely loved it. Ran on batteries for months (yes, months!), was instant on (or never off), absolutely fantastic. Then I swung it across the floor and bought a Psion Revo. And I absolutely loved the Revo. It wasn't as good as the Palm in certain departments, but it was very good, except for the battery (both life and quality). The keyboard rocked (when it didn't break). I could even touch-type on it. I wrote several lengthy 'articles' on it. It fitted perfectly onto that little shelf in the back of train seats. Wonderful. Then it got stolen, and I went for an IPAQ...

    ... Since then my PDA life has never been the same. Clunky, battery muching, slow pieces of hardware down to my latest P990i... Not to mention my short affair with the O2 XDA which didn't even manage a days charge. Many days I failed to ring home to say what train I was because the battery that was full in the morning now had died a horrible death.

    Palm and Psion were the only ones who knew what it was all about.

    Come on Palm; you can do it. Fix us a nice pocket gadget, and bring back the Foooleo so I don't have to waste my 2h battery life on my laptop for occasional email replies and web-browsings.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Palm lost their way

    Sadly Palm have completely lost the plot.

    They used to have the best PDAs, but got overtaken by Windows CE based handhelds for sheer functionality.

    They tried to catch up, with promises of multi-tasking multithreaded OSs, but nothing has materialised. Then they split their business up, called it Palm One, and then Palm, and then reintegrated it, the sold it off, then - ach - it's been a mess.

    Their smartphone business lacks direction, with the Treo line being split between Palm OS and Windows Mobile. What is the point?

    Palm need to refocus and buy back their OS arm, start again and release handhelds that compete, are cool, and functional.

    I predict they will simply fade away.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Jocke Selin

    As a former Psion user I was never happy with Palm's offerings which were, unfortunately, the next best thing. I have now switched to a Nokia N800 and, with a Bluetooth Keyboard it does everything my beloved Psions used to do with the addition of "occasional email replies and web-browsings", not to mention media player, internet radio, instant messaging and Doom.

  11. Mike Richards

    Never understood why this was so unpopular

    To me the Foleo looked like it might be a replacement for devices like the Psion 5 - ones you could do serious work on without worrying about the battery life.

    Devices in that market have pretty much vanished, but many's the time I want something bigger than a smartphone, but less powerful than a laptop.

    Am I alone?

    Hello?

    Hello?

  12. Mike Stephens

    Asus Drowns Foleo at Birth

    A few hours after they announced this, Asus revealed the EEE at £100 or thereabouts. That was the moment the curtains came down.

    Incidentally, is this the Worlds Slowest Site?:

    http://event.asus.com/eeepc/

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Series 5 / Netbook anyone?

    I remember taking my trusty netbook to a seminar and typing notes all day long with it. That was back in 1999. Even the Psion Teklogix Netbook Pro was a cool toy, even though it ran Win CE... battery life was about 4 hours on that one I think... what happened to innovation? Everybody's phone can now take pics and play MP3's, but where are the tools to get real work done?

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  15. Snert Lee

    Parallels?

    So would it be fair to say Palm is to hand held computing what Novell was to personal computer networking?

  16. Matt

    @Mike

    You're not alone, but I doubt anything will come to market. everything's supposed to be bigger and better, or tiny. No room for efficent useful machines that you can just sit down and use.

  17. daniel Silver badge

    @Mike Richards

    Amen Brother.

  18. John Stirling

    @Mike Stephens

    quite slow.

    Slowest in the world? Possibly, although for me it's whizzing along now, only 3 minutes to get to 33%.

    I suppose it could simply be loading an several hundred meg flash anim.

    I just hope that's the whole site, and not the splash page. You might have time to reply to me and let me know before it's finished loading.

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