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Palm cancels first-generation Foleo

Palm founder Jeff Hawkins' "best idea ever" won't see the light of day, as the company has decided to cancel the poorly received Foleo.

Faced with biting criticism of the Foleo, a Linux-based psuedo-laptop gadget, Palm has decided to cancel the first generation of the device.

Palm CEO Ed Colligan broke the news on Palm's official blog Tuesday after the close of the stock market. Just last week, a financial analyst predicted that Palm would have to delay the Foleo's launch until September or October because of serious software-related bugs, but Colligan decided to kill the entire project instead.

Palm says it's canceling the launch of the Foleo, but it will release a second version some day. Palm

"In the course of the past several months, it has become clear that the right path for Palm is to offer a single, consistent user experience around this new platform design and a single focus for our platform development efforts. To that end, and after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market," Colligan wrote on Palm's blog. Calls to Palm representatives were not immediately returned.

Palm unveiled the Foleo at the D: All Things Digital conference in May to widespread skepticism, despite the fact that Palm founder Jeff Hawkins considered it "the best idea I've ever had." The Foleo is basically an underpowered laptop that's designed to give Treo users a break from typing e-mails on a small phone keyboard. However, few could figure out why smart phone users--who ostensibly own a laptop already--would want to buy a separate $499 device that could do little more than send e-mails.

Colligan said that Palm is still working on Foleo II in conjunction with Hawkins. But Palm has to focus on updating the Treo and getting the newest version of Palm OS--now based on Linux--to market before tackling a new category like the Foleo. Palm will take a $10 million charge associated with the cancellation of the product, he wrote.