Re: Ogo & New Deal!

Max A. Wood (maxwood@mindspring.com)
Tue, 13 May 1997 10:34:11 -0500

Great idea John. I agree with your assessment of the marketability of such
a product.

- Max
maxwood@mindspring.com

----------
> From: John Justin <john@jjustin.com>
> To: ogo@lifelike.com
> Subject: Ogo & New Deal!
> Date: May 13, 1997 10:35 AM
>
> 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.
>
> Regards,
>
> 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!