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  1.    #1  
    Palm's just-released annual report makes it pretty clear that Palm is not waiting for ALP. They're negotiating with ACCESS for the right to develop the next version of Palm OS themselves. Wow.

    Read on and see what you think.

    David Beers
    Pikesoft Mobile Computing
    www.pikesoft.com
  2. #2  
    Oh... and these agruments were not vaild at the time PalmSource was spun-off just three years ago? Now they tell us.
  3. #3  
    Why would they do it? They were horrible at writing software. That's why they got out of the software business (and rightfully so) in the first place.
  4. #4  
    I just read your qarticle David and I would think that you are spot on (having not read the report since my Treo has a measly 2mb download limit...dang it).

    However, I would think that they are further along than this report would indicate givwn the language that PalmSource has not met certain milestones. My guess is that development probably started (at least planning) around the time of the MS deal. Palm missing out on PalmSource and PACE might have pushed things and prompted the rampup in developers.

    I'd like to see what comes out of it. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were a tick more polished than ALP but broke every old Garnet app in the process.

    What does Palm's postings say towards any who would be building SDKs and dev tools for this new OS? That would be the thing to look for at this point.
    MMM | AntoineRJWright.com | BH | Jaiku

    Moved on to Symbian, but still will visit from time to time.
  5. #5  
    So David,
    What is your guess as to when they will have it ready for first release? When will the first product ship?
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by guinnessdraught
    So David,
    What is your guess as to when they will have it ready for first release? When will the first product ship?
    When I spoke a few months ago with an analyst I know who is in regular contact with Palm's executive management he said they already had a prototype Linux system running on Treo 650 hardware and that they expected to release some time on 2007 (he didn't know if that meant fiscal year or calendar year).

    He hadn't seen the prototype, and the nature of the conversation he had with one Palm executive wasn't something that gives any of this the firmness of a real announcement, but generally this guy has given me correct information in the past. Make of it what you will.

    David
    Software Anywhere blog
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever7
    Why would they do it? They were horrible at writing software. That's why they got out of the software business (and rightfully so) in the first place.
    Palm was never out of the software business. In fact they're only in the hardware business to the extent that they pay other companies (like HTC) to design and manufacture their hardware. 80% of Palm's engineers are software engineers, including many of the original developers of the Palm OS. A lot of very smart developers have moved from PalmSource to Palm in the last year and the annual report states that Palm hired 130 new staff in the last year just to do R&D.

    I disagree with your characterization of Palm's software development capabilities.

    David
  8. #8  
    cervezas,
    Help me out understanding something. If Palm is developing a new OS inhouse, why do they want us believe that they are waiting for PalmSource to finish the new ALP OS or that it all depends on how fast PalmSource comes out with the OS. Why is it so hard for Palm to just come out and say that they are developing the new Palm OS generation? I'm having a hard time trying to understand all this.

    Thanks,

    Al
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Treolo
    If Palm is developing a new OS inhouse, why do they want us believe that they are waiting for PalmSource to finish the new ALP OS or that it all depends on how fast PalmSource comes out with the OS.
    I don't think they do want us to believe that. They were entirely silent about ALP when it was announced. Eerily, pointedly silent. As for why they haven't announced their plans, I'd say it's because the plans will hinge on what they are able to negotiate with PalmSource in terms of expanding their license to develop a new platform that contains Palm OS Garnet code. (This is what the annual report indicated, anyway.)

    David
  10. #10  
    I think I got it. After doing some research I think I know exactly what is going on:

    Palm had an agreement with PalmSource to co-develop the new ALP OS and at the same time PalmSource agreed on reducing the licensee fee they get for the OS license.

    As a result Palm needed to hire more Linux developers to work on their part of the OS. Note that this may look like they are actually making their own OS, but it is just a co-development with PalmSource because the own the license.

    Now, the key part of this contract is that in order to be valid PalmSource had to accomplish mile stones before a deadline and if PalmSource is not able to accomplish this, their 3 year contract ending in 2009 would be invalid at any point at the end of the year.

    What happened was that PalmSource did not meet with an important milestone, and that for Palm puts them on risk. Therefore, Palm has decided to end their contract with PalmSource to co-develop ALP and to develop the OS on their own. However, they can't just start doing this before making an agreement with PalmSource to get the rights of creating their own OS based on the Palm OS.

    So this is why Palm can't say they are developing their own OS, because as of today they can't without getting the rights from PalmSource. Therefore, it seems that it is all on Access hands to decide if the Palm OS will die or live. If Access fails to get into an agreement with Palm, I'm 100% sure that we won't be seeing anymore Palm OS Treos and instead all Treos will be WM.

    What was that mile stone that PalmSource could not meet?
    Let's see what Palm is working on right now. They are working on releasing a UMTS WM Treo which will be out at the end of this year. Now, it seems that Palm wants to release a Palm OS version too, but UMTS is currently not supported on the Palm OS Garnet. So I AM GUESSING that this was PalmSource task and they never delivered.

    Palm is right..! They cannot depend on PalmSource because they do not have the same agenda as Palm. Palm is healthy right now, but this partnership with PalmSource is putting them on risk. The OS development has to go back to Palm and I want to be positive about this and believe that it will happen.

    Al
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Treolo
    cervezas,
    Help me out understanding something. If Palm is developing a new OS inhouse, why do they want us believe that they are waiting for PalmSource to finish the new ALP OS or that it all depends on how fast PalmSource comes out with the OS. Why is it so hard for Palm to just come out and say that they are developing the new Palm OS generation? I'm having a hard time trying to understand all this.

    Thanks,

    Al
    It seems that if palmsource could finish their parts, Palm will use ALP OS; if not, they will bring out their own benchwarmer. IMHO.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by UGlee
    It seems that if palmsource could finish their parts, Palm will use ALP OS; if not, they will bring out their own benchwarmer. IMHO.
    More the opposite, it looks like Palm has given up on ALP already.

    Surur
  13. #13  
    The good thing from my perspective is that in one way or another Palm executives have made a commitment to a high quality user interface. Now they are working on the technical underpinnings of that user interface.
  14. #14  
    It seems to me that Palm would be in the thick of negotiating rights to PACE. That has no value to Access without Palm in the picture. How many dimes can they really be making with all the other deadpanned Palm OS OEMs?

    Seems to me that Palm would need control of Pace / Garnet in order to legally emulate / legacy it any future OS. Garnet could then be FrankenGarnet II to add new services until "PalmLinux" could arrive.

    But this theory begs the question ... why would Access sell them the peices they need to create a competitive Linux OS with Palm OS legacy apps. Access would then have to liscense PACE to legally emulate it on ALPOs. If the Palm OS community is not in Access' plans, then did they sink $300M+ for Palmsource's code alone, and why would they be sinking more $$$ into the upcoming LinuxWorld display for Palm OS devs?

    Makes no sense for Access, IMO. I hope I'm wrong but Palm Inc looks like a the hermit crab without a shell here. Try as they may, I cannot see Access sewing seeds for a future OS competitor.
    Patrick Horne
  15. #15  
    Interesting from PalmAddict:

    Murky Waters: Palm, Inc. comments on the future of the Palm OS...
    http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmad...waters_pa.html
    Palm III > HS Visor > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 750 > Treo Pro > PrePlus GSM

    "95% of all software issues are due to USER ERROR."
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by scottymomo
    Interesting from PalmAddict:

    Murky Waters: Palm, Inc. comments on the future of the Palm OS...
    http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmad...waters_pa.html
    More editorializing on those comments here:

    http://clieuk.co.uk/index.shtml#news...kuZVAkLhqDJTRl
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by cervezas
    Palm's just-released annual report makes it pretty clear that Palm is not waiting for ALP. They're negotiating with ACCESS for the right to develop the next version of Palm OS themselves. Wow.
    Great catch. Thanks. I think you are probably right in your interpretation, but I'm not completely certain.

    From the annual report:

    Quote Originally Posted by Annual report
    Contemporaneously with the license agreement, we entered into a co-development agreement with PalmSource to develop a next- generation Palm OS for use in future Palm products. PalmSource did not timely meet certain of the milestones under the co-development
    agreement, relieving us of our obligation to make minimum royalty payments under the license agreement after calendar year 2006. We are presently in negotiations with PalmSource to expand our development and distribution rights to the current version of the Palm OS. If we are unable to successfully conclude these negotiations, it may adversely affect our ability to develop and distribute new products based on a next-generation version of the Palm OS.
    So 'negotiations with PalmSource to expand our development and distribution rights' to OS 5 'may adversely affect our ability to develop and distribute new products based on a next-generation version of the Palm OS'. I guess the 'next-generation' Palm OS referred to in the last sentence must either be ALP or Palm's own linux OS.

    Why might unsuccessful OS 5 negotiations adversely impact on Palm's ability to develop new products based on the next-gen OS? Possibilities:

    1) Palm is making its own linux-based Palm OS and needs to licence the rights to or technology for OS 5 emulation. Seems the prevalent theory here, espoused by cervezas, LiveFaith.

    2) Palm is making its own linux-based Palm OS and needs something other than emulation rights or technology from OS 5.

    3) Palm may be planning to use ALP, but if the current OS 5 negotiations fall apart Palm's relationship with Access might break down. It's not inconceivable that the relationship become so poor that it's unworkable and thus Palm wouldn't/couldn't licence ALP.

    I don't have any real way of working out which of these might be correct and would be grateful for any clarification. It might be worth noting though that on the StyleTap web site (StyleTap is a Palm emulator for Windows Mobile) it says:

    Quote Originally Posted by StyleTap
    Disclaimer: StyleTap Inc. and StyleTap® software are not affiliated with, or authorized, endorsed or licensed in any way by PalmSource Inc., Palm Inc. or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries.
    Does this imply that no licence is necessary to emulate Palm OS 5 (legally)?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    More the opposite, it looks like Palm has given up on ALP already.

    Surur
    this is what i took out of this as well. i would not be surprised if all treos are WM from now on. I just hope this does not affect development of updates (700p desperatly needs). Personally, i like Palm OS, but i would have no problem converting to WM in the future.
  19. #19  
    I, like most people, expect Palm has their own PalmLinux up their own sleeve. There are too many loyal POS users to disappoint.

    Surur
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    I, like most people, expect Palm has their own PalmLinux up their own sleeve. There are too many loyal POS users to disappoint.
    But those users are going to be pretty disappointed if the OS can't run any of the current Palm apps they're running now. The more I think about it the harder I find it to believe that Palm have embarked on the very major investment of developing a new OS without knowing whether or not they'll be able to use it to run existing Palm apps. What would their thinking be:

    1) Make the new OS anyway and even if none of the old apps work on their new OS the Palm brand identity/loyalty will carry the day? (Perhaps they could sweeten the pill by making it easy or helping developers to move their apps to the new OS).

    2) Access needs them (Palm) so much as a licensee that if they refuse to take out a licence for ALP Access will throw its hands in the air and give them whatever they want? Or to put it another way, if Palm refuse to licence ALP Access will be forced recover some of their investment by licensing emulation?
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