The Pocket PC, Palm & PDA history
The very first pc in pocket form, the PALM, was invented in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins (born June 1, 1957 in Long Island, NY). In 1988 he patented the so called Palmprint, which is an algorithm for handwriting recognition software. The company GriD licensed the patent from him and made him Vice President of research in their company. It was there were he developed the GriDPad, the very first computer that was pen-based. In 1992 he founded Palm Computing with Bill Campbell (CEO) and Donna Dubinsky (strategic planning) as the first employees. In the early ninetees other companees were also looking into handheld and pocket PC possibilities, such as Apple who came up with the term PDA (Personal Digital Assistent). The very first Palm was called the Zoomer. It didn't do well because of it's price tag, it's speed (or rather, the lack of speed) and text recognition software that wasn't very trustworthy back then.
And the story continued...
All this wouldn't get them down, quite on the contrary! They returned to the planning board and came up with the Pilot... This tiny machine included a calender, task list, memo writing and a genuine address book (rumours say that Bill Gates was very fond of his PalmPilot). Back then the Pilot was sold for a whopping $ 300. Jeff was especially pleased with the handwriting recognition software on board, that rapidly became very succesfull and made the Pilot stand out against it's competitors. In the first 18 months of it's release in 1996, the Pilot would sell in excess of one million units. In the year 2000 Palm, Inc became an independent company again, after being a division of US Robotics and 3Com (when they bought US Robotics in 1997). In 1998 Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky founded the company Handspring who would immediatly become Palm's toughest competitor. Their first and immediate success was the Handspring Visor (launched in 1999).
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