This blog is hosted in Austria, a country with intact press freedom for tech journalists. Fenwick&West LLP employees are advised not to contact me as I may have to turn to the Federal Press Agency due to intimidation concerns…
Dmitry Grinberg, the developer of a variety of system extensions for Palm OS, has just received a cease-and-desist letter from Palm’s legal department regarding his use of the Palm trademark on his web site and in conjunction with PalmSDHC.
IMHO, it was only a question of time until Palm would use a bogus claim to turn against Dmitry for a simple reason: his programs allow users to use their aging Palm OS hardware in a seasonable fashion. A person who uses PalmSDHC will be able to continue using his TX or T3 for the upcoming future; seeing that the screen whine/digitizer drift issues are also software-fixable.
Palm makes a huge loss here: usually, people with a drifting digitizer will upgrade their handheld swiftly, seeing that a repair costs almost as much as a new device nowadays. So, for Palm, the existence of Dmitry Grinberg’s products is a huge pain in the butt…which they have now tried to put an end to.
However, the implications of this issue should not be ignored – it IMHO will also affect an unnamed but hotly-anticipated web browser for Palm OS. Its developer has been a Palm employee for quite some time; and I am pretty sure that palm will be able to persuade him to discontinue the product stating a bogus technical or personal reason (be advised that sulking in response to this article is a possible reason).
Cutting a long story short: developers should be extremely wary of their relationship to the boys in Orange. The Palm OS has been declared dead inside Palm’s; Palm OS customers are seen as fossils with whom no further revenue can be generated until they buy a new device. Thus, killing them off ASAP is a high-priority thing. I would not be surprised to find a variety of recommended-breakage points inside the Centro as to limit its useful life span.
Palm’s next problem is its upcoming Nova OS. Seeing that the company IMHO is not able to survive on Windows Mobile devices alone, the operating system is needed to differentiate its products from others. However, nobody except existing Palm nuts will feel like switching to Nova…but Palm nuts will not switch until their hardware breaks down (or the OS offers ground-breaking new features, which I dare to question seeing that it hasn’t even booted so far as to my sources).
Cutting a long story short: Palm must make its existing users lives as miserable as possible in order to stay alive on a long-term perspective. Developers who create applications that prolong the life span of existing devices should expect resistance from Palm in all ways possible…as should customers who expect customer care after the warranty period…
What do you think?