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All they had to do was get mobile right. To do that, all they needed was one manager who kept an eye on the state of capacitive touchscreen development and moved to lock it down before his/her counterpart at Apple did the same thing.

The iPhone could have been theirs all along, with all that that implies. But first they ignored the underlying technology, then Ballmer laughed at it (on national TV no less), then they fought it, and then they lost.

Ballmer will not be missed.




> all they needed was one manager who kept an eye on the state of capacitive touchscreen development and moved to lock it down before his/her counterpart

And they did move.

I was trying to create a startup based on PDAs at the early 00's (no luck, they were too expensive - the idea was flawed from day 1). There was Palm, and the two entrants: Windows and Linux. Palm had a once nice system that nobody wanted to program for anymore (accumulated too much cruft), Windows had a giant marketing campaign that made everybody hear about them (it was getting more known than Palm), but it was so bad that everybody soon learned to run away from it, and Linux got a steady monotonic growth from nowhere into almost-nowhere.

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I loved Palm. I wondered why more people didn't buy them. I once looked up a price of Halo 2 at 9 p.m. on a library Internet access( open at the time), and bought 500 copies of Halo 2 for $2.99 each. I sole all of them on ebay for at least 30 a piece. I knew nothing about vid games, but I knew they were priced to move.

I felt like I was the only one in the world who realized how great having Internet access was in my pants pocket. Now Everyone is connected.

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