16 May Two DEMO alumni make big product splashes
Perhaps it’s a post-Mother’s Day birthing of new products, or simply the last rush to get products to market before summer arrives, but today was a busy day for product news. In fact, two DEMO alumni – the now-venerable Palm and the relative newcomer Streamload – are delivering significant new functionality to their faithful customers.
In the case of Palm, it is the Treo 700p smart phone. The newest member of the Treo family is based on a lovely new implementation of the Palm OS (version 5.4.9, to be precise), and is certain to please the part of the market that just can’t bring themselves to buy a Microsoft-based mobile phone.
Like its sibling, the 700w, this Treo offers EV-DO for broadband data connectivity. But on this version of the device, the Palm OS becomes a stable platform for innovative applications to take advantage of the broadband speeds, with an approachable user interface that will certainly drive greater consumption of mobile content. Not surprisingly, Palm has lined up Sprint and Verizon Wireless as its go-to-market carriers; both are expected to announce their pricing and availability in the near future.
Palm contends it has shipped 3 million Treo smart phones worldwide. The 700p should be an easy and exciting upgrade for many of those companies. But it seems that Palm may be winning the hearts of many consumers generally. Palm’s market share of smart phone buyers stands at 33%, up from 26% with overall growth at 111% year over year. Not bad for a company and an OS that some were ready to write off to the onslaught of Microsoft smart phones. My suspicion: Windows-based smart phones and other devices may do well as the choice of the enterprise volume buyer, but when individuals make a side-by-side choice, they tend toward Palm.
Palm has loaded this device with the features and functions that make it a great multimedia mobile device. You’ll find the details at the Palm Web site.
Speaking of multimedia and rapid adoption by individual decision makers, DEMO 2006 demonstrator Streamload has picked up tremendous momentum going into today’s announcement of its free desktop backup and file synchronization service. The new backup service ties into the company’s full-featured MediaMax 1.5 multimedia application suite, and consists of a small persistent desktop application that monitors changes in file activity to ensure a complete and current backup.
The desktop application also enables synchronization of files among multiple Windows or Mac-based computers. This synch feature – designed initially to provide photo and file sharing among family and friends – is an elegant and simple way for workgroups and small businesses to gain persistent and consistent workgroup file sharing functionality without the hassle of elaborate network administration.
The standard backup and sync services with 25GB of storage is free, the premium account provides 250GB for $9.95/month, and the elite subscription is 1,000GB (1TB!) for $29.95/month when the subscription is paid annually.
While Streamload made a splash at DEMOfall 2005, this company is anything but a newbie. The company has been offering media storage, management, and sharing functionality to consumers for some eight years now, and has built itself to a profitable company on only $1.2M in investment. The company has 3 million registered users (adding 100,000 per month) with 25,000 of them paying for the service. Building a software service that supports this many customers uploading, manipulating, and downloading rich media takes expertise in building stable, scalable systems. The expertise is beginning to pay dividends, not just in the new customers, but in some soon-to-be-announced deals. Watch this space for updates over the next couple of months. In the meantime, I recommend you give the free service a try; the download is available here.
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