By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-02-12 Print this article Print

-Powered Consumer Devices?"> Now that you have a lighter, presumably lower cost OS in Garnet, do you see it being used on consumer devices like MP3 players and handheld video players? Slotnick: Apple is a company that is capable of doing their thing [speaking of the OS on the iPod]. But we give licensees the ability to hit the ground running [with Garnet].
Cook: That MP3 player would also be useful to maybe run certain Palm OS applications. I have an iPod and I love it, but there‚s no way in the world Im going to put my contacts on an MP3 player. It doesnt make any sense. So do you see everything—video, phone, audio, notebook—converging on one tiny device? Larry: No, we dont think it all goes to one device. We will have multiple devices for multiple purposes. A big screen for some things, a small thing to put into your back pocket. Are you going to want to watch movies on a tiny screen? Youll probably want to use your notebook instead. I dont think unification is what its all about. I think solving the multi-device sync problem is the real issue. I think if sync worked universally then people wouldnt worry about multiple devices. So when will you make sync work? Slotnick: Well, were not ready to make any forward looking statements, but its definitely better under Cobalt. We consider sync absolutely strategic to our long-term future. What Apple has done with iSnyc is one approach. So what about Open Source? The Open Source PDA hasnt really taken off, but do you feel the pressure? Slotnick: Open source and Linux, in particular, are an alternative platform being taken very seriously in China. However, Ill point out that Palm has been very successful in China too. We have three recent wins, including FounderTech, the number two PC manufacturer in China. I think the Chinese government would like to endorse a free-and-open system, but the corporate world there has embraced us. So whats going on in China? [PalmSource CEO]Dave Nagle went and opened your office there in the fall of 2002. Slotnick: The way our business works, we license licensees, and six to nine months later they start shipping devices. Even if GSPDA [ Group Sense PDA Ltd., the maker of a cool smart-phone from China exhibited at PalmSource] can build a device in six months, its easily a year and a half before the first devices ship [due to FCC certification, finding sales partners]. Its a long haul, and telephony doubles the time to get to market. We think we‚ve had some really important wins, and the revenue upside is coming. GSPDA is really cool though. Cook: They are doing some very interesting stuff too, like an electronic dictionary. I wanted to see the Fossil wristwatch on the market, but theyve had some problems. How do you feel about Nokia acquiring Symbian? Slotnick: We kind of like that [said with a Cheshire cat grin]. What it means is that we have a whole different story to sell to everyone else. It gives us a much more compelling story to Sony-Ericsson, for example. . Check out eWEEK.coms Wireless Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on wireless communication. Be sure to add our Wireless feed to your RSS newsreader:

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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