Update: Palm has removed the Sprint 700p update from its website. I wrote about the problems of installing the update on my 700p in a previous post.

And now, apparently, Palm has realized that something was broken in its update – and has now decided to take it out.

It is so disheartening to see a company which at one point was the bell weather company in the handheld segment coming to this. The 700p update was delayed multiple times owing to what Palm called “Carrier testing and compatibility requirements”. And eventually, after the release, it turned out that a critical and in my mind, a fundamental requirement of the update- the ability for install correctly wasn’t tested.

I have always been a Palm fan – the ability for Palm OS to do what it was intended to do in a simple effective fashion was always a very attractive value proposition to me. But with Palm’s bungling of Palm Cobalt (OS6), an increasingly patched up Garnet (OS 5.4), with other players in the space (a.k.a Apple, Nokia, GTC) doing a much more effective job, I think Palm has come to resemble was Ford and GM are in the automotive space. A company with a great legacy but absolutely no innovation, no focus on quality, no understanding of its customer needs (look at the newly released Folio), no strategy to counter new players in the space and absolutely no long term vision.

I wouldn’t have given up on Palm yet. Only because I believed that it maintained an inhouse expertise in the handheld segment built through years of leadership. But this broken release of the Treo update is more than just a product released prematurely. It shows a fundamental break in internal processes. And that does not portend well for Palm at all.

And they just lost a very loyal customer because of it.

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