Could Handspring Redefine the Smart Phone?

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-06-25 Print this article Print

Our look at a preproduction Treo 600 reveals the smart phone that could lead the pack this fall.

Handspring made its early mark with a better Palm PDA that incorporated an innovative slot for removable add-in devices. These days, the company (which looks to become part of Palm this fall) has hitched its wagon to smart-phone and PDA combinations, focusing primarily on the Treo line. The Treo 270 and 300 have been out for a while, and competing models were seeing are lighter, less bulky, and sleeker. At the in New York last week, Handspring rolled out its much-anticipated follow-up, the Treo 600. The smart phone we saw improves on the original in almost every way, adding a camera and a brighter screen, and dispensing with the flip-up cover. It made such a splash at the show that PC Magazine and eWEEK named Handsprings entry Best of Show for Mobile and Wireless Devices.
We got to take an early prototype of the Treo 600 for a test run. The hardware was close to the final version, but much of the software still needed tweaking. Still, after about a day of using the device for Web browsing, e-mailing, making phone calls, and taking pictures, we came away impressed. Handspring seems poised to reset the standard for integrated data/voice devices yet again.
For the whole story, check out the PC Magazine article
With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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