Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Foleo, we hardly knew ye

A quick note on Palm's decision to cancel the Foleo. To me, the most surprising part of the announcement was Palm's explanation that it couldn't afford to create two different software platforms (link).

To translate that from Silicon Valley speak, Palm was building two substantially different versions of Linux, one for future Treos and one for the Foleo. That was a huge surprise to me -- I had assumed the company was doing a single version of Linux for both product lines. The overhead cost associated with maintaining multiple platforms is enormous. Even huge companies struggle with it, so in my opinion there's no way in the universe that Palm was going to be able to afford it.

So it turns out the Foleo was almost doomed from the start. Unless it was a raging success from day one, it wasn't going to be sustainable economically. When the Foleo announcement failed to set the world on fire, the end was probably inevitable.

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