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Palm To Dump Mac Support; Third Party Software Will Be Required For Syncing

Palm To Dump Mac Support; Third Party Software Will Be Required For Syncing

by , 11:00 AM EST, February 11th, 2004

Palm, a company once reportedly the object of Steve Jobs' desire, is dumping its direct support for the Mac. Brighthand.com is reporting from the PalmSource Conference that Palm has no plans to develop a Mac version of the Palm Desktop or conduits in the next version of the Palm's core software, called Palm OS Cobalt. All is not lost, however, at least if you are willing to shell out a few bucks, because Brighthand is also reporting that Mark/Space will be releasing of its Missing Sync software for Mac OS X. From Brighthand:

[Larry Slotnick of PalmSource] made it clear that PalmSource isn't developing a Mac version of the Palm Desktop. As the way the PIM apps work has changed significantly, this means Mac users won't be able to HotSync without third-party software.

Fortunately, a third party has already stepped forward. Mark/Space is going to release a version of its Missing Sync application for Cobalt. This will allow existing Mac conduits for other third-party applications to still work.

In addition to the standard functions, Missing Sync for Cobalt will allow Bluetooth and Wi-Fi HotSyncing.

Mark/Space indicated this application will probably cost about what the current one does now, about $40. However, the company is open to licensing its application to Palm OS licensees who want to add Mac OS X synchronization to their handhelds.

There's more information on what PalmSource is planning for Cobalt in the full article, which we recommend as an interesting read.

The Mac Observer Spin:

There are two issues here: The first is that Apple's market share is very low right now, and the second is that no one in their right mind would use Palm Desktop when they can use iCal and Address Book. OK, so your mileage may vary on that subjective issue, but the fact is that many Mac users have gone that route, or with DayLite or Entourage, or some other solution. With contact and calendar management being some of the biggest uses for a Palm, there just can't be that much demand for Palm Desktop on Mac OS X other than for installing software. Apparently that's no big deal to Palm.

That doesn't mean that we're sanguine about this development. It is a serious issue in terms of perception, and Apple doesn't need to start seeing perception issues about developers leaving the platform again. We went through that in the late 90s, and it wasn't pretty.

Also, we're delighted to see that Mark/Space is stepping up to the plate with Mac OS X support, but those users who will need to pay an additional US$40 to sync their Palms aren't going to be happy. Perhaps Apple can solve this by developing its own solution, but we don't see that happening, either.

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