> Newsgroups are a good barometer for the opinion of those "at the sharp end",
I had the same treatment in the PSION newsgroups as I am getting here. My
"nemesis" on the PSION newsgroups, I later found out, was the chief evangelist
for the new PSION EPOC-32 OS which was spun off to a consortium of mobile
phone companies (now known as Symbian-OS). I saw plenty of signs that PSION
was not going to continue with the PDA market. (lack of marketing, much
delayed product upgrades etc). Of course, I was blasted left and right for
being the "naysayer".
But when PSION made it official that it was no longer going to produce new
PDAs, and that it would continue to sell its exsiting PDAs (already a few
years old) until demand went away, nobody came out and said "JF was right all along".
In that instance, most of the participants were from europe, britain
especially (where PSION was based and well known. When I noticed that Palm was
talking over the PDA market in north america, I was told I was dreaming, or
that "Palm isn't competing against PSION because it is a different type of
PDA". I was also told "funny, here in europe, PALM is small, unknown and
PSION rules, we see no reason to fear its demise".
Then, when PALM jumped the pond to europe, it didn't take long for PSION to
pull out of the market.
Sometimes, a person with a different point of view sees things much earlier
than those who are in a "safe" area and don't see any signs of a problem until
it is way too late. It is a shame that they choose to ignore those warning of
a storm coming.
PSION was very much like VMS. Used to be the world leader in PDAs, in fact,
they invented PDAs. But as market grew, newcomers used marketing instead of
word-of-mouth and eventually pushed PSION aside to its market niches, but even
those niches eventually fell apart.
In abandonning the PDA market, PSION focused on its industrial devices, (a
market not yet dominated by Palm or Windows-CE/Pocket-PC). Ironically, PSION's
industrial devices are still mostlty based on its older EPOC-16 (SIBO)
architecture instead of the "fancy" EPCO-32 (Symbian OS). But they purchased
another industrial device firm which has units based on other OSs, including
Windows etc etc. So PSION is now in its last market niche. Away from consumer
goods and focused on a narrow market.
And interestingly, now that PSION's involvement with Symbian is limited (still
a sharerholder, but no longer develops new PDAs based on Symbian-OS), the
mobile phone companies have finally gotten Symbian to do something, and most
new phones from Nokia and Ericcson are now based on Symbian-OS, albeit, each
having its own user interface design. (keeping phones different). And as
Symbian moves closer to what the mobile phones need, it moves further from
what PSION would need should it want to produce a new PDA based on that OS.
I see so many similarities between PSION and Digital/VMS, that it isn't funny.
And even the PSION software development kit for the EPOC-16 makes mention of
VMS in a few places. The most interesting is in teh NCP protocol (think
DECNET) which warns application developpers that their apps need to be able to
handle foreign file specificatiosn when a user selects a file that resides on
a remote machine which could be different OS. (and yes, one can remotely
start a task on a PSION with their proprietary protocol which is very decnet
like in functionality).