Our master at news Matt Loney sat down with Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm, today and got the skinny on new products. Some of this was under non-disclosure agreement or NDA -- we can't say what, of course -- but pleasingly quite a lot was open. Things like price points, launch dates, general overview of the products were all ours to broadcast as we wished.
Of course, we wished. Seventy quid entry price? Revamp of PDA concept? GPRS? 7th October? M-Lo's fingers were trembling with excitement as he typed the hot news into the sleek, powerful machinery that throbs at the heart of ZDNet UK.
Barely had the story been published than the first whiff of mystery drifted across the Channel like a hint of Eau du Cologne in a long-empty attic. Palm France lost no time in telling other Web sites that our story was all rumours and not even a little bit true. Mais c'est de la bouche du cheval, we said. Some time later, our comrades in Europe modified their indignation a trifle and said that we must have broken our NDA. We're still not sure whether that means we were told false rumours under NDA. "Don't tell anyone this because it's not true, but..." sounds like something from William Goldman's stories of Hollywood duplicity.
Now, Palm US is saying that the dates we printed are wrong. I know a good journalist always checks his facts, but when the head of a company says "We're launching our £70 PDA on 7th October, and you can print that" that's strong enough to stand up by itself. We're trying to get to the bottom of it but our best bet is either that some palace coup has taken place in Bradley's absence, or he's a prime example of our very favourite animal -- the gabby CEO slipping the leash of their PR minder. Or it's just a case of the left Palm not knowing what the right Palm's doing...