The Palm Paradox

It's been a rough few weeks for the folks at Palm. First false rumors about Palm shutting down production lines, followed by less than stellar results have once again started the usual suspects putting Palm on either some death watch or have them about to be sold to (insert vendor's name here _____). Regarding the second, I don't believe Jon Rubenstein came out of retirement to build a world class product only to have it sold to (insert vendor's name here _____). But with regards to the whole death watch theme, Palm reminds me a lot of TiVo these days. It's not just the death watch meme that's plagued TiVo for years, it's the fact that Palm suffers from their own version of the TiVo paradox.

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TiVo posts Q4 loss thanks to high cancellation rate and less sign ups

TiVo is looking to choke one of the more important features from other DVRs on the market and has recently unveiled new Premiere DVRs that are interesting. However, the company is not doing well financially and posted a large loss for Q4 reports the Wall Street Journal. TiVo shares grew after it won an appeal on a patent for some of its software last week, but that wasn't enough to help its Q4 earnings.

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Echostar’s TiVo appeal rejected: new DVR crippling likely

Somewhat ironically, given we were only talking about TiVo and Echostar's lawsuit the other day (in relation to Apple's patent spat with HTC) but the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just rejected Echostar/DISH's contempt appeal.  Echostar had sought to have the modifications it made to its DVRs recognized as meeting the requirements of the original patent infringement ruling; however, TiVo disagreed, and the courts upheld their opinion finding Echostar in contempt.  Now, despite Echostar's attempt to overturn that decision, they've been rejected once again.

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Hands-on with TiVo Premiere [Video]

So we’ve just seen the launch of the TiVo Premiere series today; we’ve also spotted some first looks at the new TiVo models, and their visually-impressive UIs.  As we mentioned before, it’s based on Flash, which will undoubtedly open up all sorts of goodness and opportunities for future development.

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TiVo granted patent on Season Pass recording

I can remember when I was a kid programming the VCR was hit and miss. Sometimes you could record the shows you wanted, other times the VCR didn’t work. When the DVR came along I think we can all agree that it is hands down the most significant home entertainment device ever. Many of us simply can’t go back to the pre-DVR era.

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Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

When I first was briefed on the Media Center edition of XP by Microsoft, I thought MCE was a pretty bad idea. A lot of my skepticism had to do with the market they claimed they were going after, namely college students in dorm rooms and yuppies living in cramped apartments with no room for both TVs and PCs. Of course, college students mostly buy laptops, and no matter where you live most folks don't watch TV on a small computer monitor from across the room. The short-term market were enthusiasts who understood the value of a DVR such as a TiVo.

Over time, Microsoft tried a few approaches with MCE – from extenders to allow you to view content on other TVs in the home over your network, to creating extender technology for Xbox (which is already hooked up to a TV set) – as well as working with a host of OEMs to create "living room" form factor home theater PCs. The result of these efforts was less than a stellar success and few vendors actively build home theater PCs; these days, if a consumer uses media center they're either an enthusiast or they've tripped over it by mistake trying to do something else. That's a shame, as MCE has evolved over time to become a great technology, one that few people even know exist.

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It’s time for Microsoft to get serious about media and mobility

This is a follow up note to some folks who work in Redmond (it's OK for the rest of you to read it if you want to).

Hi guys. How are you doing these days? There's no doubt that you must be frustrated. Really frustrated. After all, you were in digital music long before Apple, had cool phones that played music long before Apple and in general had a pretty compelling story for the digital consumer that was very complete, but no one paid a whole lot of attention. There were WMA players on the market long before iPod. In fact, Microsoft might have been dominant in digital music if it weren't for that pesky iPod and iTunes combo. You've taken some hard hits, I remember when Apple introduced a flash memory music player, removed features and had customers waiting 2-4 weeks to get one. Gladly waiting I might add and ignoring all those other devices your partners brought to market. Yep, it's been a tough few years.

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