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Fish or Cut Springboard

Mon Jun 3, 2002 - 10:44 PM EDT - By James Hromadka

With the announcement of the Treo 90, Handspring now has two different lines of expansion available for its products: the Springboard slot and Secure Digital. With headlines trumpeting the "demise" of the Springboard slot, it is important that Handspring reemphasize its support for the Springboard standard -- or lack thereof.

Back in January, Handspring CEO Donna Dubinsky created a firestorm when she said that Handspring was "transitioning out of the organizer business and into the communicator business." The company has fought ever since to put a positive on that statement.

With the Treo 90, the company has made another statement. What that statement is, I don’t know, as the Treo 90 does not have full expansion capabilities. Handspring has told me that SDIO is not a part of the Palm OS; Palm SG developed its own set of drivers for the Palm m-series, and Handspring would have to do the same if it wants SDIO in its handhelds. There are not many SDIO modules available for the Palm, so there is plenty of time.

If Handspring does indeed release a software update that gives full SDIO expansion to the Treo 90, then the Springboard slot could be on the way out, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Today I received Handspring’s developer’s newsletter. Nowhere in the email did Handspring mention Secure Digital. That could be a sign that the Springboard slot still has plenty of life in it yet.

Handspring needs to clarify its expansion strategy. The Springboard slot offers limitless possibilities, but Handspring does not have that luxury when it comes to expansion choices.


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