Say goodbye to the iPaq.

Now with HP acquiring Palm, it may be that HP will kill the PDA, and it would be about time. The venerable Microsoft Windows Mobile PDA has been around for the past decade, originating as a Digital Equipment Corporation, then Compaq and finally HP-branded device. As a stalwart in support of Microsoft Windows Mobile software, despite it’s puny market share (less than 1% according to the Wall Street Journal), HP will finally be able to retire the product category with some dignity. Let’s hope they agree with me and can it in favor of new investment in Palm and WebOS.

Don’t get me wrong. A coworker of mine back in 2002 had an iPAQ. He used it like anybody uses their smartphone today – appointment keeper, contact lists, the odd games to pass the time waiting for the elevator. It was a big thing though, with a short lived battery. I think he sync’ed it up with his PC every night too. And, in 2006, when I was SVP Sales and Marketing for a mobile VoIP software company, it was clear that there were no other reasonable alternatives to build mobile VoIP software product around. But that was then and this is now.

It was even suggested some months ago that Microsoft should have bought Palm to reinvigorate the whole Microsoft mobile business. Oh well, too late.

With HTC and Motorola both going Android, and with Palm creating its own OS that is the core of HP’s acquisition, Microsoft Windows Mobile is going to be hard up for device manufacturers in no time. What will Steve B. do now?


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