Wow. Just 3 months after Palm announced their "amazing" new product, the Foleo (my thoughts on it here), they canceled it! Supposedly, it was almost ready to ship, but ultimately they decided it was too much of a distraction from their core business (smart phones). Many would argue that they aren't doing so well in their core business to begin with, and that this is a good move. I would have to agree.
Before the launch of the Foleo, many had already written Palm off as dead. I was one of those people. It had been clear for a long time that Palm was spending too much time doing internal and external corporate machinations which caused them to lose focus and get too disconnected from the market. This was hard to take, because in the good ol' days of Palm, they actually had some great products that really made my life better. Then, with the launch of the Foleo, Palm dashed all hope of ever coming back. Palm had full-blown mad cow disease.
Or did they?
The tech site Engadget apparently felt the same way, and posted an open letter to Palm, pleading with them to save themselves. The laundry list of things for Palm to do was spot on. There was a huge response in the comments for their post, but the most amazing response came from Palm itself, something which is almost unprecedented. Now, about 2 weeks later, it looks like Palm is starting to actually do some of those things. Killing the Foleo was on the list.
This development is incredibly encouraging, and I suddenly find myself with a new sense of respect and hope for Palm. Until now, I have thought of Palm as a company consumed with itself and it's internal visions that did not connect with reality. For years the Palm-related sites have offered thoughts and even begged for changes at Palm. The fact that the CEO is now not only reading enthusiast web sites, but also responding to, and, listening to them, makes me feel that Palm is trying to turn the corner. They have a long road ahead, but at least now I'm starting to root for them again.