Some of you may have been around the mobile device scene long enough to remember this. I was browsing the OS History list at PDAdb.net today when I came across the predecessor to Pocket PC 2000 (I didn’t think there was one). It’s called “Palm PC,” and it was essentially a port of the Handheld PC OS (remember the Jornada 720?) to a smaller device. It was released around the time when the 3Com Palm Pilot was starting to become popular. The Microsoft Palm PC interface was eventually phased out as Microsoft realized that emulating the desktop experience on a handheld device doesn’t make sense.
To throw in some nostalgia, below, from top to bottom, is the HP Jornada 430 and the Compaq Aero 21xx Palm PCs, both circa 1999. Sure they didn’t have 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, or any connectivity options beyond serial, but they were an important experiment that helped paved the way for the more mobile-friendly devices that we use today.