Palm celebrates 10th birthday

It was ten years ago today that the Filofax knew its time was up – Palm released the Pilot 1000, and mobile computing, albeit on a 16 MHz processor, w

It was ten years ago today that the Filofax knew its time was up – Palm released the Pilot 1000, and mobile computing, albeit on a 16 MHz processor, was born.

The decade anniversary is quite an achievement for the company considering its rocky road to the top.

It was formed back in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky (smiling on the screen above) and its first effort at a PDA – the Zoomer – flopped in Apple Newton fashion.

That all changed in 1996 with the introduction of the Pilot 1000, which used its PC syncing and graffiti handwriting recognition to sell 1 million units in its first 18 months and become the iPod of its time.

Since the original Pilot’s laughably quaint 128KB memory and monochrome screen, the company has split into Palm Source (for hardware) and Palm One (for hardware) and adopted the Microsoft platform, which it’s put to good use on the Treo range.

The latest Treo 700w, of course, lets you take videos, surf the web and read e-mails, but it’s still roughly the same size as the original pilot and is only slightly more expensive than the original was in its day.

So, where next for the birthday boy? We’re hoping it carries on down the hard-drive route of the Lifedrive – our favourite palmtop – with its smartphones, and, who knows, maybe it could become the next big mobile computing thing again with Microsoft’s Origami project.

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