A Big Never-Mind From Palm

Remember Palm? You know, the guys who made “Palm Pilot” synonymous with “handheld.” They haven’t been trendsetters for a while, but some of us who are still fans were very hopeful with the ballyhooed preview of the Palm Foleo ultra-mobile more-than-a-phone-less-than-a-PC device.

It turns out they should have called it the Folie.

Today Palm aborted the Foleo without ever shipping one. Which may prove that the Internet appliance and Tablet computing segments remain elusive.

According Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s blog, “it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts. To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all our energies on delivering our next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market. We will, of course, continue to deliver products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.”

The company’s long term objective is to focus on “one Palm experience.” But there’s no clue as to what that might be. In the process, Palm is taking a $10 million hit to earnings.

Some are saying that this will leave a perfect space for Apple’s rumored ultra-light laptop to slide into.

So what does that mean for someone like me whose Treo is closing in on its fifth birthday? At this point, I think it means I’m probably going to be looking elsewhere for my next generation handheld.

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