A touching tribute to HP's WebOS and the legacy of Palm


  1. I’m still using an (unlocked) Treo. The ONLY two palmtop systems which I’ve ever seen get the personal organizer functions right are Palm and Blackberry — and for me that’s the “killer app” which makes carrying a computing device in this formfactor worthwhile.

    Otherwise, give me a good $30 phone and a laptop.

  2. I used Palm devices for a solid decade–three times as long as I’ve had an iPhone–and if WebOS had been available a year earlier than it was, I’d probably have a Pre now. The PDA/smartphone market was Palm’s to lose, and they lost it good and hard.

  3. Am I the only one who shed a tear as I watched this? It DID move me.
    (although it didn’t move me enough to dig my m500 out of the garage….)

    1. m500 is in the garage?!  I still use my m515 on a daily basis as part of my EDC (Every Day Carry).  Palm + Non-Intellectualized phone = Talk and look stuff up.  I LOVE my Palm and have used one since the 512K US Robotics device.  Shed only a tear?  I’ve gone thru a box of Kleenex and I’m just getting started.

  4. Might flesh this out a bit more with the information that it was announced today that HP has decided to drop support for WebOS, WebOS based tablets and pre phones. In fact the plan is to spin the computer business off into an independent company. Palm is officially in need of an obit.

    1. Every dev I’ve talked to today says they’re ditching the platform as a whole :/. I’m having a hard time imagining webOS taking off as a licensed product when it’s hamstrung by a tiny app catalog, a nuked-from-orbit developer pool, and with a free open option available that has neither of these problems (android).

      It’s led me to believe HP bought Palm more as an investment in their patent pool. The slightly over 1-billion-dollars they spent on the company is likely a steal compared to the value of their intellectual property – case in point being the recent MASSIVE patent purchases in the mobile space by Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

  5. I loved my Pre, it was a great little phone, very pretty and intutive most of the time.. but with absolutely no app support it seemed silly to keep it. I’ve had palm products since they first bought handspring many many years ago. It is sad to see the end of this era. I hope they open it up to other developers now and let them play with this elegant system. 

  6. There’s a company in Australia that offer budget packaged funerals, called “White Lady Funerals”. My Grandmother was bid farewell with their help.

    This reminded me of that service. Actually this was a little more personal and charming. With better music.

    1. I’ve been using a Tungsten E for years now and still like it for its simplicity. Sure, it’s a pain to export calendar data to anything usable but that’s why I wrote this utility to export Palm calendar data and have been amazed at the thousands of people out there who still use Palms and are even now using that site to convert their data for Google Calendar, iCal, etc.

    2.  I’ve been using a Tungsten E for years and like its simplicity. I had to rewire a new battery into it a couple of years ago but it has been going strong ever since. It’s a pain to convert Palm calendar data to another format but that’s why I wrote this utility to export your Palm datebook. I’m amazed at all the hits it gets, and how many people are still using it to converting from Palm to Google Calendar or iCal.

  7. I fell in love with “Palm” when it was Handspring. The Handspring Treo’s were the pinnacle of the company. After Handspring went away, so did build quality and Q&C. Finally gave up the Palm Ghost after Treo 755p, was tired of crashes and NOT using my phone or browser. Tired of waiting for a GPS chip in the highest palm version of the phone when the gimmicky sub model Pixi had it. Went and got an Iphone and never looked back. 2 years of productivity and bliss.

  8. I had the old US Robotics Pilot way back. I was just thinking about it last night after a long day at work when I filled several pages in my fake moleskin notebook. Back when I used the Pilot, Palm, Clie, Graffiti let me enter text swiftly enough that all that sort of information went straight into the PDA and then into my computer at the next sync. I never had to consider what to do when the little notepad filled up (Copy stuff over? Carry it too? Just hope I don’t need the hold notes?). I’ve never found a phone that can allow me to enter data like that. And I don’t understand why Apple and others can’t emulate the simple and very useful PIM functions of the old Palm devices. I really miss them and was hoping that the Pre would make it. But Palm has been stupid, stupid, stupid when it comes to anything but that initial innovation.

  9. My parents are still using a pair of Palm IIIs.

    A friend gave me one in 2002 that he had gotten at work, I in turn passed it to my mother after a few months. My dad got an identical model so they could both synch to the same contacts and calendars. They’ve held off getting smartphones because they can’t find one that matches their current workflow.

    (workflow is perhaps a generous and/or inappropriate term)

  10. I refuse to pay a monthly data package fee to use my own device.  I’ll keep my data on my own computer, thank you very much, and I don’t have to pay rent on my own Palm TX.

  11. Palm products I have owned and loved:

    Palm Pilot (USRobotics model)Palm IIIc
    Palm V
    Qualcomm pdq800 (the brick!)
    Kyocera 6135
    Kyocera 7035 
    Treo 700
    Lifedrive 4Gb

    The much anticipated Touchpad was more than I could afford and then, suddenly, it sold out while I looked away for a couple of days. All this time I’ve been picking [pointless] fights with iSheep and evangelizing a platform that’s slipped through my fingers. So sad. So very sad.

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