By Nerino Petro at 5 September, 2007, 11:29 am
According to PC Magazine.com, Palm has canceled the Foleo. You can read the article here. All I can think of at this moment is thank goodness: Palm has managed to avoid launching a product that was literally a day late and a dollar short.
When Palm announced its Foleo mini notebook earlier this year to a great deal of fanfare publicity, many of us really wondered who was going to use this device. Touted as a replacement for many users notebook computers, the Foleo was intended to be a lightweight replacement for those that needed basic word processing and e-mail access on the go. Ever since the product was announced, it seemed like a never ending line of pundits were questioning who would be using this device and how effective it would actually be?
At LinuxWorld 2007 in San Francisco last month, Palm had a large booth showcasing the Foleo in all its glory. I have to admit that the form factor and weight were very nice; however, when you started asking questions and looking at its feature set, to me, the Foleo fell far short of the mark.
Equipped with 802.11b Wi-Fi access, limited memory and programs, quite honestly, the Foleo represented old technology as far as I could tell. When I questioned one of the Palm staffers in the booth about why the unit did not have at least 802.11g ., I was told "802.11b is the most widely deployed standard today." Excuse me? Technology that has been out of date for more than two years is what you're going to bank the success of this new product on?
Even with the hundred dollar discount that was to be provided at the time of the product launch, the Foleo would still cost $499, which is a significant amount of the purchase price of a low end notebook computer with a full feature set. Apparently, the folks at Palm must've finally gotten the message that the Foleo was potentially a disaster. You can read CEO Ed Colligan's letter explaining this decision here.
I've been a Palm partisan for many years touting the benefits of using its products and remember when Palm was the cutting edge in handheld technology. Unfortunately, those days seem to be passed. While other manufacturers bring out new smart phones and convergence devices using the Windows mobile operating platform that are sleeker and continue to add features and usability, it seems that Palm continues to trudge along lacking both vision and innovation. I'm afraid that we may be seeing the end of an era and that without serious efforts by Palm, the company and its products will become nothing more than a footnote in computer history.