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Teetering Palm...

Wed Mar 10, 2010 - 9:10 PM EST - By Annie Latham

In a story by AP's Rachel Metz ("Palm Inc. teeters in crowded smart phone market"), Donna Dubinsky, a former Palm CEO and board member, said that Palm wasted time during many years of corporate restructuring. She pointed to the decision to spin off PalmOS a "huge strategic error."

In an email to the AP, Dubinsky wrote:

"As RIM, Apple and Palm all have demonstrated, these devices need to be highly integrated hardware and software developments in order to optimize the user experience. When Palm no longer could advance the OS, and had to create a new one, it lost several years."

The story runs down the history of Palm -- from its start in 1992, being bought by U.S. Robotic in 1995 (a modem maker that was acquired by 3Com Corp. in 1997), to Palm being spun off as its own company in 2000, to the 2003 purchase of Handspring (the rival company Dubinsky and Jeff Hawkins started upon leaving Palm). Palm software (Palm OS) was spun into an independent company, PalmSource, which was bought by Japan's Access Co. in 2005. And the handheld/smartphone market slipped through Palm's hands.

All of that fits the "would've, could've, should've" category. Can Palm truly make a go of it now? That's the focus of Metz's story that gathers opinions from Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek and Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu.


Note: Thanks Paul for the correction.

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