Ogo & New Deal!

John Justin (john@jjustin.com)
Tue, 13 May 1997 08:35:18 -0700

Has anyone considered taking a position in the Omnigo 100/120 handhelds?
That is, buy the technology from HP, make some small modifications
(possibly increased screen size, backlight, AC adapter/battery charger,
auto backup to desktop, etc.) to the unit that would enhance its appeal,
and go into manufacturing using HP's existing Omnigo tooling (and even
leasing their facilities for a while, if possible).

The ability to have applications that can run both on a handheld &
desktop would be unique to both WinCE and Geos. The Pilot can't do it -
and that's why I believe their penetration will saturate, and their
success will be short lived. The Pilot will never be able to attack the
vertical markets. The WinCE machines suffer from the unresolvable
problem of battery usage due to their risc based processors (they can't
even use a PC card effectively without an AC adapter, and all the apps
that will come on line will definitely need to run on a PC card.)

The Omnigo is a lot smaller and lighter than the WinCE machines. In
addition, I believe that Omnigo can be made to be a lot less power
hungry than it is. It's something that needs to be looked at. Geos was
designed from its inception to run on less powerful machines (like the
80186). It seems that Geos, having taken the back seat to Windows for
years, finally came of age and found its niche in the handheld arena.
Unfortunately, the ball was fumbled by Geoworks. They panicked and ran
off to re-write their OS to apparently run on any platform (Did HP drop
the Omnigo because they learned that Geoworks was abandoning it for a
rewrite? Who knows?). I'd be willing to bet that it will not be as lean
and mean as Geos 2.0 presently is. What's more, a developer would have
to have his head examined to run the risk of spending time, money, and
resources developing for their new platform when they have the past
track record of leaving their ISVs flat! There's much less risk in
developing for WinCE with all the machines out there and with Microsoft
behind it, even though it has certain shortcomings.

On the other hand, there are a lot of developers out there (albeit
dormant) that already have invested resources in Geos 2.0 that could
pick up and write apps for Geos 2.0 at the drop of a hat.

As I pointed out in another message, I have found that in selling my app
that customers want to have the app run on a desktop as well, whether
they need it or not, and whether it has any value to them or not! You
cannot convince them, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how self
contained your app is that they don't need to run it on their desktop!
The point is that they paid $2500 for the God damned thing and they want
to use it!

New Deal and the Omnigo would be a marriage made in heaven with the
proper marketing talent and resources behind it. It wouldn't take much!

Also, for those die hard Win 95 and Win 3.1 users who want to run an
Omnigo app on their desktop but resist the cluge of another OS (read New
Deal), Geos could be run in engine mode in a DOS window! The user would
be able to run his app without even realizing that he was running over
Geos. Something that some of my customers do right now!

I'd be willing to spearhead an effort in this direction.


John Justin, MSEE, MBA

JJA Microsystems, N.Y.     1-800-765-7770   
john@jjustin.com           http://www.jjustin.com                    
Fitness Tracker: the world's first exercise training
software for HANDHELD Computers!