Saturday, October 1, 2005

Palm OS developers speak out on the Palm OS


By David Gewirtz

This week, Palm returns to its roots with the announcement of the low-cost, color Palm Z22 and the WiFi-enabled T|X devices. We've had these devices in the labs for some time and we'll give you our comprehensive review in just a few weeks.

This week, instead, we've been hard at work at the bigger story: all the changes with Palm and the Palm OS. Last week, in "The continuing mystery that is Palm, Inc.," we looked at some of the core issues with Palm's changes. One of the biggest issues, of course, is how the Palm developer community will fare after all the dust settles.

We asked five Palm OS developers five main questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about the Windows Treo and PalmSource's sale to ACCESS?
  2. Do you intend to continue to develop Palm OS software? If so, for how long? Do you have any concerns?
  3. Do you currently develop Windows Mobile software? Do you intend to start developing for the Windows Mobile platform?
  4. Do you still consider the Palm OS software market a viable business opportunity?
  5. Do you have any other comments or opinions on this news?

We got some very interesting answers. The developers we spoke to were:

  • Kevin Benedict, CEO of MobileDataforce, whose chief products are Intercue Mobility Suite and PointSync
  • David Haupert, CEO of DDH Software, who produces the well-known HanDBase product
  • Iain Barclay, co-founder and chief products officer of Electric Pocket, whose products are BugMe!and Ringo
  • Jim Brady, CEO of Earthcomber, who makes the Earthcomber travel guide, and
  • Todd Sherman, president of Smart Box Design. Todd makes Farkle and WordPop!

This is a very interesting view into the world of those companies that make the Palm OS. After all, without the after-market and the programs that deliver unique features to the handhelds, the Palm would be just another organizer.

And now, our interviews...