Palm Loses Software Chief
Palm, the struggling maker of the Pre and Pixi smartphones, suffered another blow when the head of its software and services division recently tendered his resignation.
IDG reports that Michael Abbott quit last week, and his last day will be Friday, April 23. It's hard not to view this move as another crew member abandoning a sinking ship, given Palm's financial hardships, and the company's drop to last place in comScore's rating of the top five smartphone platform developers. It has been leapfrogged by Google's Android since late 2009, and the company is apparently a takeover target now, according to PCWorld.
Those sentiments were echoed in a recent story by 1105 Media, which quoted Ovum Analyst Tony Cripps as saying that "Things don't look good...for Palm." Cripps said that it will take a major investment in both product upgrades and developer interest to re-energize Palm.
The situation for Palm is even more distressing because the company's smartphones are generally well-regarded in the industry; in fact, when the Pre was originally released in June 2009, and its little brother, the Pixi, later that year, they were hailed as being potential strong competitors to the iPhone. Both phones run the Linux-based webOS, and users generally have had good things to say about them. But for various reasons -- a chief one being poor marketing -- they have yet to get significant traction among the smartphone-buying public.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.