Palm is where I started with mobile devices back in 1997 and they have had their ups and downs over the years with me serving as a fan and as a hater during different phases of the company. I read Jonathan Feldman's article on being an ex-Palm user and have to also wonder how much of the excitement around the Palm Pre is due to our desire to see a company like Palm succeed and stay competitive in today's mobile space. As I wrote up earlier, the Palm Pre is a good start with many great aspects, but it is a year or so behind the Apple iPhone and several months behind the Android platform. We all seem to remember the good things in our past and try to put the bad things behind us, but we shouldn't be too quick to forget all those rocky times we had with our old Palm devices either.
We all try to be as objective as we can, but we are all also human and have our likes and dislikes that differ from everyone else with bias integrated into our DNA.
In the good old days, Palm would release a PDA like the Palm V and then a few months later release the Vx that was really the solid device that should have been released first. This happened several times in Palm history and I actually spent many years buying Sony CLIE devices because of better innovation (although they too played the update and fix every 3 month game). Palm seemed to release "beta" devices to the public (and they were quite costly back in those days) and then follow it up a few months later with a functional device that fixed most of the previous device's problems.
Taking a look at this history causes me to pause a bit and wonder if the Pre is the "public beta" version that will be fixed with the Pre2 in three months. There are definitely several things that can be done better on the Pre, but we all seem to have come to expect first generation devices to be a bit buggy and pay for it anyways.
I am also a little hesitant to make a monetary commitment to Palm and Sprint right now with Palm short of cash and needing to hit it out of the ballpark with the Pre. It is a good start, but we need to see developer adoption and a strong commitment and focus by Palm to support the device and OS (they have been wishy-washy at times in the past) for the long term.