Re: The Omnigo and WinCE - My experiences over the past 4 years

Marc DeVinney (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 10:16:37 -0500


Do I taste sour grapes? I think your frustration in a lack of a
marketplace for PDA apps is due in part to the (lack of) marketing by HP
and other PDA vendors. It's easy for a technically-savvy user to see the
benefit of having a handheld computer that's easy to use. Unfortunately
these same users can't agree on what they want from a "PDA." The
definition spans the range of simple "little black book" replacement to
a notebook computer replacement.

Part of me hopes the Pilot is successful if for no other reason than to
legitimize the market for small utility computers. HP didn't have the
wherewithal to define the marketplace. In fact, they were so fearful
that the Ogo would die a PDA death, they avoided the term and called it
only an "electronic organizer."

BTW, I'm one of those that thinks my desktop is the "real" computer. For
me, the biggest shortcoming of the Ogo is the extent to which it has
failed to extend that desktop. I am willing to share and work with
others on this list to improve that.


John Justin wrote:
> To all:
> What I've learned from my efforts in the handheld software development
> market is that connectivity to the desktop is an important perception to
> everyone, whether they need it or not, whether it has any value to them
> or not. What's even more disconcerting is that users want to be able to
> run the same app on their desktop as is running on their handheld, again
> whether they need it or not, or whether it has any value to them or not!
> Even though I've designed my program to be completely self contained
> with the totally computer illiterate user in mind, including formatted
> printing to an 8 1/2 X 11 page (which none of the Omnigos internal apps
> can do!), most users consider their desktop to be their *real* computer.
> In my marketing efforts, I've found that those that don't own desktops
> are so afraid of technology that they won't even consider purchasing a
> handheld computer for a vertical market app, no matter how easy it is to
> use, no matter how much value that the app can offer them, and no matter
> how inexpensive the unit is! The extent and intensity of this computer
> illiteracy and distrust of technology, in general, is a lot more
> pervasive in this country than I ever had imagined! Hopefully, this will
> change sooner or later.
> As such and unfortunately, I would expect Microsoft's WinCE based
> machines to dominate the market for years to come. Developing apps for
> other handheld OS platforms is risky business and a squandering of one's
> resources at best.
> Regards,
> John
> --
> JJA Microsystems, N.Y. 1-800-765-7770
> Fitness Tracker: the world's first exercise training
> software for HANDHELD Computers!