Corporate Suicide Alert

Fast on the heels of my endorsment of PEPID over Epocrates comes this stunner, from Epocrates (in my email):

We think it’s important to let you know that many Palm® OS and Windows Mobile® (Pocket PC) OS software applications, including all Epocrates products, cannot at this time be installed or synced via computers with the new Windows Vista operating system. 

We strongly recommend that if at all possible, you postpone installing Vista or upgrading to a new PC with Vista installed. 

Since resolution of this problem depends upon software changes by both Palm and Microsoft, we regret that we cannot give you a firm date for a fix.

If you are already using Windows Vista, please review our FAQ for the latest recommendations from our customer support and engineering teams. Read FAQ »

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


The Epocrates Team

Huh?  Did they not know the biggest maker and most aggressive distributor of operating systems was coming out with Vista?

I’m not using Vista (I’ll wait for SP1 before I even look at it), but this seems particularly clueless for a medical software company.


  1. I totally agree with you.
    It seems that many software programs won’t work in Windows Vista!

  2. I think it’s within reason. Most corporate environments won’t be switching for quite a while. Most software shops wait for adoption to begin before they’ll spend money on development.

  3. That may be true for the corporate environment customers, but there’s a lot of personal subscribers that won’t be amused.

  4. It’s actually a problem with the palm platform and not with epocrates. You’re upset with the wrong company. If you goto the palm homepage you can find out more about it.

  5. Umm, Palm indicates they have it all figured out, but that other apps may not be Vista compatible.

    So, I’m not ready to let the 3rd party vendors off the hook yet.

  6. Hey GD:

    Without beating a dead horse– I have found from experience that medical software companies are some of the most clueless group of fools in the software business. Epocrates being so widely used should have known better–

    No doubt if we were to hunt through the list of Rx Class as well as the Diagnosis Class of applications I would bet you a good steak dinner, and a beer/wine/beverage or two of your choice, that there isn’t more than one medical handheld application that is Vista ready today.

    Mary Lu

  7. Grunt doc

    At epocrates FAQ, epocrates states that it is not an epocrates problem. At palm you’ll note that:

    “Palm Desktop software will install on Windows Vista and will synchronize PIM (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Memos).

    Third-party desktop applications, including those found on your Palm® Software Installation CD (such as carrier-branded Dial-up Networking (DUN) desktop software and other applications), may not be compatible with Windows Vista. Please check back for updates from Palm and/or visit the third-party application website for updates.

    Palm Quick Install (the desktop application that allows you to move files like .prc and .pdb to your Palm device) and Palm® LifeDrive™ mobile manager software are not currently Vista compatible. Please check back for updates.

    Help files (.hlp files) found in some versions of Palm Desktop software may not be supported in Windows Vista. Please reference your user guide or visit and select your device for additional information.”

    This tells me that nearly all of my palm programs won’t sync with Vista. I think that you are still blaming the wrong company.

    I do like Pepid though, Thanks for that info.

    Pepid is not without issues either, From their website:

    ‘Some versions of HotSync/ActiveSync when used with Windows (95, 98, ME, 2000, Vista) may fail to install/sync your PEPID suite. If you are encountering issues under these OS versions, PEPID offers the OnCard Program.”