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Chapter 1. Meet Your Treo > A Brief History of Palm Devices

A Brief History of Palm Devices

If you have any familiarity with the original Palm Pilot handheld devices, you can probably appreciate that the Palm family of devices has come a long way in a few years. The devices aren't all that have changed, however. The companies associated with Palm devices have morphed into and out of each other, making it confusing to figure out exactly who makes what. Given the rapid evolution of Palm devices and the major upheavals that have taken place in the companies that make them, it's worth a little history lesson on how today's Treo devices came to be. If you aren't too concerned with the history of Palm devices, feel free to skip ahead to the section “The Treo Device Family.”

The Ever-changing Palm Company

The Palm story begins in January 1992 with the Palm Computing company, started by Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan. Jeff Hawkins was the leading force behind Palm Computing and co-founded the company with the plan of developing a handheld device called the Zoomer. With $1.3 million of venture capital funding at its disposal, Palm Computing set out to make the Zoomer a reality and released it in October 1993 on the heels of the ill-fated Apple Newton handheld. The Zoomer fared better than Apple's Newton, but it still failed to take the world by storm. So Palm went back to the drawing board and got to work on the Zoomer II.


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