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  1.    #1  
    Why does it take Palm so long to update its OS? It seems like even Microsoft is more nimble than Palm.


    I love Palm OS, but it feels clunky and dated, and has obvious interface flaws that should've and could've been addressed years ago...
  2. #2  
    I think a large part of the problem was that PalmSource ended up being almost stranded once it was spun off. With next to no companies relicensing the software, there was probably not a lot of money coming in. No $$ = No R&D. There for a while I think we saw a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    That said, I was rather impressed at the speed of the announcement with Access and Palmsource on this new OS. It may never see a Palm branded device, but at least it may give M$ some competition in the marketplace. And consumer choice is always good.
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  3. #3  
    The issue is that they had a next gen operating system they called Cobalt that for various reasons got scrapped. So there was supposed to be a new OS two years ago or so but it never surfaced.

    Pushed things way back...
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  4. #4  
    PalmSource had a new OS (Cobalt) ready (supposedly) a while ago, but for reasons not entirely clear, no licensee (included palmOne/Palm) wanted it. Did they charge too much for the license? Was it not ready for prime-time (slow, buggy, poor backward compatibility)? Did palmOne/Palm have too much Garnet (OS5) hacks in place that they didn't want to have to re-integrate into Cobalt? We may never know the real answers.

    So now Access/PalmSource has tweaked their direction yet again and is promising a more Linux-centric platform with old Palm OS apps running via an emulator of sorts. Well, there's no guarantee that Palm (or anyone) will license this new platform, either.

    We do know that Palm had some job openings for Linux developers. But whether they're looking for them to work with Access's next OS or might be working on developing an all-new developed-by-Palm OS (which I wouldn't rule out) is unknown.

    Personally, I don't know that I care anymore. I'm frustrated by the whole thing. If Access' ALP platform is going to be on the next Palm Treos, it looks like that will be more than a year away. I suspect we'll see Nokia release more thumbboard-based S60 devices during that time and possibly/hopefully we'll see one or more companies come out of nowhere with an all-new platform. By the time an ALP-based smartphone gets released (*if* one ever gets released), Microsoft may have their supposed-wonderful Windows Mobile GUI overhaul complete. Of course, seeing as Microsoft didn't improve the WM UI in the last six years (since the first PPCs were released in 2000), I'll remain skeptical that this new UI will offer a decent experience.
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by cccatl
    Why does it take Palm so long to update its OS? It seems like even Microsoft is more nimble than Palm.
    Palm waits till its ready ? All kidding aside, though I still use the time honored corporate practice of not using an MS OS until Service pack 3 is released, it must be noted that Palm no longer is an OS company. Palm uses 3rd party OS's now. It's up to these 3rd parties to develop stuff.

    WM5 comes from MS
    POS6 will come from Access (PalmSource)

    Interestingly enough Access announced the release of the new PalmOS to developers before year's end, though several major phone / PDA companie shave already signe don, Palm was not one of them.,1895,1926513,00.asp

    "Chu pointed to ALP endorsements from Freescale, Intel and NEC, but a notable absentee was PalmSource's number-one licensee, Palm."

    "PalmSource's timeline gives Microsoft more time to dominate the industry, however. PalmSource will release the ALP software development kit by the end of 2006, Chu said, with devices coming in 2007. That's five years since Palm OS 5 hit the market in 2002 with the Tungsten T handheld, and it will have been a full year since PalmSource's major licensee Palm turned to the Microsoft "dark side" with the release of the Treo 700w handheld."

    I agree that whoever owns the OS they pulled a huge ***** by waiting so long to get of their butts. However, I still at this point in time, prefer the palm OS over anything else that is available.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    WM5 comes from MS
    POS6 will come from Access (PalmSource)
    Not really. Whatever ALP is eventually called, it's not Palm OS, 6 or any other number. They can't even use the name Palm OS.

    The only Palm OS out there is Palm OS 5, aka Garnet. And while it's owned by Access, it's licensed and developed by Palm.

    Palm will continue to release devices based on ever more refined versions of Garnet for a few years yet, and I doubt they'll ever license ALP. When (not if) Palm eventually moves to Linux-based devices, it will be a Linux distro developed in-house at Palm.

    And for what it's worth, I still contend that Garnet is plenty good enough for mobile devices like smartphones. What does it really need to do that it can't? Where does WM5 or Symbian really have an advantage?
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kirvin
    Not really. Whatever ALP is eventually called, it's not Palm OS, 6 or any other number. They can't even use the name Palm OS.
    Tha's not what their press releases say:

    "PalmSource Unveils New Linux-Based Palm OS "

    "PalmSource on Tuesday announced their long-awaited Linux-based handheld operating system, the Access Linux Platform (ALP), which will bring full Palm compatibility to handhelds with a Linux core."

    It still uses the Palm API's

    "Based on the Linux 2.6.12 kernel, ALP contains an unusual number of application programming interfaces (APIs), all tied together by a new graphic interface called MAX. Old-school Palm OS apps will run in an emulation layer, and existing Palm OS developers can continue to use their familiar APIs.

    In a way, this approach is similar to Apple's transition to its current OS X operating system, which offered three APIs: Classic (an emulation layer for the older OS 9), Carbon (native code, but designed for compatibility with earlier APIs) and Cocoa (a new, high-level API), plus a Java sandbox."

    ALP will also come with the familiar Palm Desktop software for PCs, the company said.

    PalmSource also released 8 new Palm OS apps at the GSM conference which would seem to indicate a big waste of development time and effort if they are going to abandon the Palm OS in 6 months.

    "Eight new third-party applications for the Palm OS were also on hand, including two enterprise tools: a mobile data service application for transmitting information between mobile devices and desktops, and a client that allows administrators to manage systems and users from a handheld."

    While ALP will run most Palm OS applications unchanged, it will be much more than just a new version of Palm OS. Running on a Linux kernel, the new operating system incorporates a number of open source and proprietary technologies to create a new software platform for all kinds of mobile devices.

    I still think it's just semantics. Is the Apple OS that runs on Intel boxes still an Apple OS ? What constitutes the naming of the device, the underlying API's, the company that makes it ? To me, Palm is simply a "more functional and more efficient OS that makes it easier to run a handheld device" as compared to Windoze. It's also one that use the Palm Desktop and runs programs from Palm developers.

    No we will never see the originally envisioned Palm OS6 Cobalt.....what we are likely to see is a WM5 alternative running on a base Linux ALP platform that will include many of the "useability" and UI functionality from OS6. Call it a Palm OS, call it something else, it doesn't really's still an alternative to WM5, it's still using Palm Desktop and it's still supported by the Palm 3rd Party Program Community. The only question I have is when / if PalmOne buys in. If they don't, and they don't do it soon, both Palm's and PalmSource's market share will suffer.

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