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Old 10-23-2005, 01:44 PM   #3
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Brian has learned how to buy an e-book online
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Posts: 447
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Device: Treo 700p, Zodiac2

Great article Bob, and I like all of your suggestions and think they would be welcome additions. I see a combination of three things, and like you said, they shouldn't necessarily be mutually exclusive:

1. Mobility
2. Productivity
3. Usability

Personal computing is definitely going mobile, yet usability isn't always the main consideration when applications go from the desktop or laptop to a handheld even when the processing power is there. Screen size limitations and the lack of standardized input methods (stylus vs thumbboards vs folding keyboards) are the main factors holding back handhelds from being true desktop or laptop replacements.

With the recent news of advances in foldable display technologies and concepts like Frog Design's Ubik, a larger foldable terminal like Bob's concept might not be too far off. This discussion also reminded me of Palm's patent for a "compact palmtop computer system and wireless telephone with foldable dual-sided display". Frivilous patent, or a hint of something in the product pipeline?

Could this also have something to do with Palm's "third business"? David Beers over at Software Everywhere mentions a credible rumor about an upcoming Palm clamshell, possibly running Linux:

Now, there *is* a rumor from someone I believe is a credible source that Palm is preparing to release a Linux-powered clamshell device. It's not a phone, but it could be one of the Linux devices that Wind River said will be coming out "before Christmas." Interesting, no?
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