PDAs: keyboards coming back!

Palm Tungsten|WAll the first PDAs on the market had keyboards... Remember the Sharp organizers? The Psion Series 5?

Then some day, the Apple Newton and a little later the PalmPilot introduced a new form of input device: the stylus! Since then, virtually all PDAs adopted that form and the ones who didn't (like Psion)... eventually died! :(

The funny thing is that lately, the keyboard equiped devices seem to have started a massive come-back! Sony and Handspring were the first. Today PalmOne has a keyboard on half of their new models. And the Pocket PC powered (well the Windows Mobile 2003 powered) devices will probably follow shortly.

The reason for this trend is a shift in the PDAs main usage. A few years ago, PDAs were used nearly exclusively as a date book + an address book on steroids. But today, they are also used to edit complete Word or Excel files and more importantly: to communicate!

PDAs have become an efficient way to check and reply to email on the move, as advocated by RIM with the Blackberry. There is no way you can bear repeatedly writing emails without a keyboard!

As I said before, the survival of the PDA species is bound to developing real competitive advantages over the smartphones. The keyboard may be one of them... but again... Nokia has already thought about this issue twice!

Citation du jour - Mondialisation

"Le problème de notre temps, c'est que l'économie est mondialisée mais pas le politique."

-Troy Davis.

Rapporté par Frédéric BEIGBEDER dans Windows on the World

Quote of the day

Joel on Software in The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing:

"I've discovered that understanding pointers in C is not a skill, it's an aptitude."

Actually, the whole article contains lots of very interesting thoughts. A few examples:

"Our goal is to hire people with aptitude, not a particular skill set. Any skill set that people can bring to the job will be technologically obsolete in a couple of years, anyway, so it's better to hire people that are going to be able to learn any new technology rather than people who happen to know SQL programming right this minute."

"An important thing to remember about interviewing is this: it is much better to reject a good candidate than to accept a bad candidate."

Citation du jour - Utopie capitaliste

"Il y a une utopie communiste et cette utopie s'est arrêtée en 1989. Il y a une utopie capitaliste et cette utopie s'est arrêtée en 2001."

-Frédéric BEIGBEDER,
Windows on the World

Citation du jour (Jean-Claude)

"Une seule langue, une seule monnaie et pas de religion, et on s'en portera tous mieux. Mais on n'est pas là pour parler de politique!"

-Jean-Claude Van Damme