Palm webOS: all the things a browser cannot offer to mobile users
Why a new mobile platform ?
We have good mobile platforms today on the market, Symbian, Windows mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone and Android, a Linux platform pushed by Google, and which seems to be adopted by some smartphone manufacturers of smartphones (HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba...).
For stand alone applicatons installed on the handset, we have probably reached a high level of maturity.
From my point of view, Palm had already reached it with its Palm OS and its ecosystem of PDA applications' developper.
Microsoft with Windows Mobile has made a lot for integration of desktop applications like Office with the mobile.
Symbian (Nokia, Samsung...) has been the leader for integration of PDA applications with phones.
Thanks to its success with iPod, Apple is now the leader in smartphones specially for games and entertainment use.
On the Business market, BlackBerry has taken the best part of the cake, beeing the forerunner with its pushmail solution.
With introduction of Internet access at lower telecom prices, including for mobile users, each platform offers its mobile browser, to bring web application into the mobile world.
What Palm webOS can offer to mobile users ?
When writing this page, I just received the webOS book written by Mitch Allen the Software CTO of Palm, Inc.
Before that, I have been using the Software Development Kit for webOS for several weeks.
All what I was thinking about this new platform of Palm, before reading the book, is perfectly expressed by Mitch Allen, So I prefer to quote part of his introduction chapter:
Palm remains "THE" reference for mobile applications development as ost of its competitors have their core business in other areas:
- either in Desktop applications(Microsoft). MS want to extend their core business to other areas, but mobile apps is not their first priority.
- either in phone manufacturing (Nokia, Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry, HTC...)
. Their core business is the handset market. Applications are part of their marketing strategy to sell more hardware. Palm is first a mobile OS precursor, then a handset manufacturer.
- either in cloud computing (Google with its Android platform). As the world is shifting from the desktop to mobile handsets and netbook, Google needs also to adapt its strategy and integrate these new Information Access Devices. However mobile application is not its core business either.
At the end, emotions move the world
My owns arguments are more emotional ones:
I have been a Palm user for ten years. And my preferred handset remains a Tungsten C with third party applications, even if I use also a Symbian device as mobile phone: E65 form Nokia.
My other argument is that my intuition has been a good help in the past for my job as IS Manager:
- Lotus Notes was choosen as the collaborative platform by my corporation, one yaer after I select it locally.
- I selected AXAPTA as the ERP for my company when nobody was putting one euro in this Danish product. Three years after, Microsoft adquired it to build its strategy on the ERP market to face Oracle and SAP.
- I believed in the strengths of Qlikview from Qliktech, another north European start up company with a disruptive technology on the Business Intelligence market. Today their licences cost five time more that I paid five years ago.
Coming back to mobile applications platforms, my feeling is that webOS will be one of the winners, even if Palm will not survive the storm.