Palm-To-Palm Combat

The industry smirked at the idea of Palm's scaled-down computer. Now Microsoft, Philips and other giants are piling into the market

It seems so obvious now that it's amazing no one thought of it sooner: a computer that keeps track of thousands of phone numbers, addresses and calendar appointments, a to-do list and memos, yet is small enough to fit in your shirt pocket. When Palm Computing first introduced its tiny Pilot two years ago, the gizmo did all that and more--and hit the jackpot. Sales zoomed to a million, and everyone from Al Gore to Robin Williams was packing one. At $299, the device was cheap (for a computer), hip and elegant. But the real secret to its success? Simplicity. The...

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