Critical Section

Palm buys Handspring

Wednesday,  06/04/03  06:58 AM

VisorTreoThis headline this morning really caught my eye: Palm to acquire rival Handspring.  Wow.

I love my Treo, and I've been a big fan of Handspring ever since the first Visor.  Overall maybe this is a "good thing"; it will strengthen both companies in the market war against Microsoft's Pocket PC.

Handspring was founded by Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, the same people who founded Palm.  The release says they'll stay with the combined company, but one would guess they'll do that only through a transition period, and then leave.  (Probably to start yet another company!)

TungstenZireI can remember when Handspring was founded it seemed like they took all the initiative from Palm with them; Handspring was releasing cool new products while Palm stagnated.  But the Visor's Springboard slot for add-on devices never really took off - not enough companies made modules - and more recently Handspring has focused on the Treo, which was the first truly decent combination of a phone and a PDA, but despite its technical success it has not been a commercial one.

Palm has been busy lately - they spun off the Palm OS business into a separate company called PalmSource, and released some cool new products like the Tungsten and the Zire.  This combination should strengthen both companies.  It will be fun to watch!

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