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Was There PDA Life Before PALM?

PDA, Personal Digital Assistant.  Did it exist before PALM? 

After coming back from CES, and having done Comdex at the end of last year, I would have to say that PALM is responsible for breathing real life into the PDA marketÖ if not out and out creating it.  Without a doubt, PALM took the "World Of Organizers" into true Digital "Assistants"

Before PALM, there were PDA's.  We just called them "Organizers".  As Organizers they did a great job.  You could keep all your names and phone numbers in them.  Keep track of appointments. Even keep some random notes in them.  For a long time the only main players in the game were Sharp and Psion.  The other "Organizers" on the market were just basic electric phone books.

Then came PALM and a new name.  When PALMs came out the name Personal Digital Assistant was born.  The term "Organizer", started to die.  The first PALMs did a lot more then the old Organizers did.  But for the most part, no one used them for much more than the old 'Organizers".

Why?  That was really all you could do with them.  The ability to do more was there, but not the real software, or hardware.  The date was 1996, and a new way of dealing with information was being born.  Just like with personal computers, in the beginning the PALM and its operating system had the ability for a great future, but at first there simply was not a lot available in usability options for most use.

Maintaining a similar development to the personal computer market, the first PALMís had a hard core group of fans that put a lot of work into developing software programs to get more and more out of their new PDA's.

So, things just kept growing and growing.  And grow they did.  The personal digital assistant market has more players then ever before.  I know of just under 30 companies now making a PDA in one form or another.  In fact Toshiba has just announced plans to get into the game.

With just under 75% of the US market, and upwards of 70% of the world market, PALM is the undisputed leader in the market it created.

Getting back to the question " PDA, Personal Digital Assistant.  Did it exist before PALM?" The answer is NO.  PALM truly created the market.  In fact the abundance of add-ons and the assortment of software, added to the usability and capabilities of the units, truly make them Digital Assistants.

I realize that is a big statement.  After all, there is a big step between something that holds information, and an assistant.  That being said, let me say with the state of development that the PALM is at, they indeed are a "Personal Digital Assistant".  At Comdex I was able to use one that had the location of every vendor in it.  Along with floor plans and maps of the venues.  This saved me from using the usual file folder with all the paper information in it.  Instead of pulling out the paper, and looking through it, all I had to do was have my "assistant" show it to me.  When you add all the add-ons I saw at CES, boy, do you have a system.

With this in mind BizNet not only salutes PALM for truly creating, inventing, and domineering the Personal Digital Assistant market, we bestow upon them the Editors Choice Award.

So check out the PALM of today

BizNet OnLine Magazine is proud to bestow upon PALM the Editor's Choice Award for truly creating, inventing, and domineering the Personal Digital Assistant market.

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Last modified: November 08, 2002