In The Egregious Incompetence of Palm, Daniel Eran makes a point about Palm that I had long felt, albeit incoherently: that Palm made a series of missteps and do-overs that essentially shot itself in the foot; and that what it did was essentially what the pundits said Apple should have done — viz., license and spin off the OS:
Remember when pundits all insisted they knew exactly how to fix Apple? Apple mostly ignored their advice, which ended up being fortunate for today’s Mac users.
Palm’s history of following all that advice — and paying the severe consequences — provides an interesting view into an alternate universe of possibility: what might have happened to Apple had it been run by John Dvorak, Paul Thurrott, Rob Enderle, and a gaggle of other columnists with conflicting opinions on how to save it.
They incessantly insisted that Apple desperately needed to:
While Apple ignored all their free advice, Palm jumped in and followed it to the letter. The result: Palm is on extended life support and peddling a device that will be completely obsolete in six months.
- License its OS to other hardware makers
- Copy Microsoft’s Windows strategies
- Compete directly against Microsoft in IT markets
- Split into hardware and software companies
- Buy Be, Inc. for its BeOS
- Adopt the Linux kernel
- License Windows from Microsoft
Now, of course, there aren’t any more licencees, and Palm doesn’t even own its own OS any more — they spun it off and failed when they tried to buy it back. And they haven’t released a new, non-Treo PDA since October 2005. Via Palm Infocenter.