Chapter 9. Palm Desktop: Macintosh

You might expect the Macintosh to get special treatment by the people behind the PalmPilot. After all, over 60 percent of Palm employees once worked at Apple. Inside the PalmPilot is a Motorola processor, just as in the Macintosh; the menus, buttons, and dialog boxes are modeled after the Mac’s; the original Palm operating system was written on Macs (using the CodeWarrior professional software-writing kit); the Palm OS’s clock calculates time from the same starting date as the Mac (1/1/1904); and so on. Furthermore, with 30 million ardent Mac fans unlikely ever to use a Windows CE palmtop, you might think that cultivating Mac-friendly tools would be a high priority for Palm Computing.

Yet until the beginning of 1999, the story of the PalmPilot’s relationship to the Macintosh was an unhappy one. For years, Palm Computing upgraded and enhanced Palm Desktop for Windows—but Mac users had to slog along with the aging Pilot Desktop 1.0. Windows users happily HotSynced all information to their PCs, including email and expense-tracking data—but Mac users could HotSync only the four basic programs (address book, calendar, and so on).

Most limiting of all, for the first years of the PalmPilot’s existence, there was no standard HotSync conduit technology for the Macintosh. No outside software companies could create HotSync links to their programs; where Windows users could choose from any of dozens of calendar or Rolodex programs with which to HotSync their ...

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