Originally Posted by Bob Russell
So why aren't docks becoming the "talk of the town" yet? They are still almost completely unknown, other than the Foleo which died a quick death. Businesses should love this concept because it makes enterprise management a lot easier than a phone and a separate laptop. And, personally, I'd love to be able to use my smart phone as a computer. With a better browser capability and strong remote desktop software, I could do anything that I could do on my home computer anyway. Now that's a dream come true!
You need two things: the hardware to let you plug your device into the dock, and software to let your device make effective use of it.
For instance, I'd love a dock with an 8" or better screen and a QWERTY keyboard I could plug my Palm OS PDA into. But without drivers that could make my installed applications display in higher resolution, there's not much point. 320x480 on an 8" screen isn't really a huge win over 320x480 on a 4" screen, and I already have an external QWERTY keyboard.
Nor does it necessarily eliminate the need for a laptop. Do equivalents of all of the applications on your laptop exist for your smartphone? Are they good enough to use instead
of the ones on your laptop? Will your device have the required horsepower to run them effectively? (For example, I have a package called Documents to Go on my PDA than can display/edit Word and Excel files. Yes, it works. But the files must be converted on the fly on the device to the internal format the app uses when they are opened, and converted back when save to the card if you make changes. This is slow
. And the functionality supported is a subset of full Word and Excel. They can supplement
MS Office on my laptop, but cannot replace
I think Palm was correct in killing the Foleo, and shouldn't have spent the time and effort on developing it in the first place. The problem was that they were wearing Treo blinders, and seeing it as an accessory to a Treo. It needed to be useful stand-alone if you didn't
have a Treo. ASUS can't seem to make the eee fast enough to meet demand. If Palm had made the Foleo something like the eee, which, oh, by the way, seamlessly integrated with a Treo if you had one, I might well be using one now.
I'd love to see a redesigned Foleo running Palm OS II, usable as a stand alone product, which could also integrate with a Treo or other Palm device. I don't expect to, however: Palm seems focused completely on smartphones, and seems to think they can compete with the likes of Nokia and Samsung as a pure play smartphone manufacturer. Good luck...