Palm just announced yet another product line: the "Mobile Companions" and the first to come out of the woodwork is the recently announced Palm Foleo. So what are the so-called Mobile Companion? Based on what I see so far, this device is midway between a handheld PDA and a full-featured laptop. Based on Palm's website, this wifi-enabled device is designed to do keep its users connected while on the road, allowing them to do full-screen web browsing, Email and other internet-based activities using wi-fi or using a BlueTooth phone's GSM/EDGE/3G/HSDPA data connection.
Palm is rather sketchy on the hardware specifications of the Foleo and they did not even hint on what operating system this cool-looking device will be running on. I bet that it will run on the newest (but long overdue) Linux-based PalmOS.
Palm seems to be positioning this to go against the UMPC initiative of Intel (otherwise known as Microsoft's Project Origami). I've always wanted something really handy to be my everyday computer. Although my MacBook is fairly new, I see myself getting a Foleo *if* it:
- has a decent amount of 3rd party application support for my frequently used internet services (IM, Twitter, even BitTorrent).
- it has enough storage capacity to support the software/services mentioned.
- it is as robust as the other Palm devices.
- it can connect to the Windows-centric network at my office.
Will I run to the stores and get the Foleo once it's available? Probably not... what I'll probably do is wait for it to "mature" a bit -- allow early adopters to discover its quirks and kinks, allow Palm to fix those quirks and kinks. That that would be my time to get one. But if it does all that it promises, I think its $600 price will be a bargain.
This is cross posted at http://pwit.org/