Look A Phone That Makes My Pants Fall Down

august 30, 2003

A few months ago I would not have said that combo PDA cell phones are the way to go. But, looking at the release of the Handspring Treo 600, I must admit that these "smart phones" are the way to go. But, like in the PDA world, I think that PalmOS based phones are the wave of the future, not Microsoft Windows CE (or as they like to call it PocketPC) based phones. Why? Here is why. Bloat, in software and in hardware. On the PDA side of the world Palm (and Palm licensees) machines have been small, fast, and very usable. Why? Because the OS and the hardware were built specifically for being a PDA. When Microsoft came into the game, they tried to shoehorn an OS into a platform where the OS is not supposed to be. The Windows CE (and later PocketPC) machines were large, clunky, and slow. Palm had good battery life, Microsoft based machines had terrible battery life. Palm could do things in one or two clicks, Microsoft could do it in three or four. Sure, later on in life Microsoft and their partners were able to shrink the hardware (like with the HP/Compaq h1910), but is it too late? Most likely. Now we come to the smart phones. Take a look at the typical Microsoft Windows CE based phone, a Hitachi G1000. Fancy in specs with its camera and everything. Look at the Toshiba 2032. Then fiest your eyes on the Handspring Treo 600 and the Samsung SPH-i500. Notice a difference? Yes, bloat. Again, the Microsoft products will make your pants fall down if you try to put them in your pocket (they are all over 5" long and past 3" wide)! Where as the Palm based phones are small and can fit nicely in anyone's pocket. Then if you compare the G1000 with the Handspring Treo 600 you'll notice that the Treo 600 gives you twice the talk time (5 hours) as compared with the G1000. Why would anyone settle for less by buying a Microsoft PocketPC phone? You cannot keep it on you because it is so heavy and clunky. You cannot talk for long since the battery life stinks. The OS itself is still a bloated mess that has a stupid Start Button. Unless one is smoking crack (or think that Bill Gates is your lover or step brother), I do not see a compelling reason to pick up a Microsoft Windows CE based phone when there clearly a better smart phone out there based on the Palm OS. Lets not forget that Symbian also has an OS that phones run on and there are also Linux based phones coming out soon. But, for me it has always been Palm OS. And I hate how Microsoft is trying to shoehorn their OS into everything (think XBox!) when it really does not belong there, nor is it the best fit.