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  1. jtlapp's Avatar
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    The big player shakeout is already happening, and Apple and Google/Android are coming out on top. Palm needs to be in the top to keep its investors happy; otherwise we may eventually see Palm liquidated.

    IMO, Palm has the best phone OS, but their fan base is too small. I can't convince friends to buy the Palm because they don't know anyone other than me who has the Palm. I may have to switch to a new provider, and I find myself wondering if I should be investing in a phone I know will stick around. (It is an investment -- in apps, accumulated app-specific data, familiarity and resulting efficiency.)

    I think Palm's best hope is to go *completely* open source with webOS. Although Android is open source, it caters to a smaller developer population by virtue of being in Java and for Java developers. webOS has a larger potential open source base; and being a better OS, it might stand a good chance.

    And honestly, I'm tired of proprietary operating systems. I bet ten years from now we'll be expecting general purpose OS's to be open source. Those who ride the wave early have a chance of riding the crest.

  2. #2  
    i agree. Palm is looking less and less likely to be able to pull this one out. I still have hope, cus I know its gonna be years before the other platforms come out with what we already have here.

    If Palm fails to hit a grand-slam with the next device, that'll be it for them...In that case, hopefully they go open source.

    I would hope they would do licensing before open sourcing. Atleast they can keep control of the product then. Kind of like microsoft is doing.
  3. #3  
    I don't want to get too deep into this debate, but I just wanted to add the first thought that came into my head:

    WebOS is the only ace that Palm has up its sleeve - to make it available to everyone for free would mean that Palm has no more reason to exist. Average hardware with an OS that anyone else in the world can copy for free.

    This just makes no sense to me. Palm must hold on to WebOS, it's the only reason they didn't slip into administration before.
  4. #4  
    Well as it stands this very moment there shares are............4.13, that is a drop of 26.90% in one day. They need to do something or its trouble.
  5. #5  
    jtlapp: Could you educate me because my knowledge of business and of open source is limited. How and by what methods would Palm benefit in making WebOS open source? I genuinely don't understand how they would make more money through doing this.

    (Not attacking you - serious question )
  6. #6  
    trust me when I say this..ALOT more people would be interested in webos if they knew even if palm DID fail...WebOS as a platform could live on if the complete system was able to be installed on everything from toaster oven to laptops and PDA platforms just like people do right now for android. apps can still be purchased on unofficial platforms with android which still makes google and their developers money from the sale. same would happen if palm went open source. I had to make a tough decision while designing my DIY UMPC which I had to pick which os was worth porting. I REALLY would have liked to use WebOS but since its not open like Ubuntu for ARM or Android. I could only pick 2 Systems and those are the 2 I chose to go with. Android developers are already making some cash from me as well as google's cut from a few apps I needed. Palm would make money from licensing agreements with their Platform and allow others build the phones....

    It would cost them ALOT less overhead to stay alive longer while focusing on just the OS, and leaving the phones themselves to be built by companies who actually build quality devices. I was rooting for Palm before WebOS was even a thought but ever since the Pre they have left a bad taste in our mouths(me a tech, and all our sales people). they cant compete in this game by building products that need to be swapped out almost every month(few exceptions) while companies like HTC come in for repair in practically MINT condition and user error or software related problems. I would love it if HTC was allowed to build a custom WebOS based phone! as it stands now if Palm dies, webos while die unless someone is willing to write drivers and new code to replace all the proprietary bits in the system.
  7. #7  
    So Palm's sole income would become through taking cuts from developers' app sales and licensing the Operating System.

    But why would a third party choose to buy a license to use WebOS from Palm when they can use Android for free? Especially since Android is such an established product now.

    I honestly can't see Palm surviving under this business model.

    EDIT: But I don't disagree; I'd love to see WebOS on an HTC-built device.
  8. #8  
    I don't think it's a great idea for Palm to just throw the code to the wind, but if Palm did go under I would expect them to release it.

    The benefit of making their OS Open Source would be additional hands helping Palm develop their OS, the problem this is other manufacturers could just take it and use it without any income stream for Palm.

    But Palm might've made too many mistakes, unless they have a project they've been secretly working on for a long while, I don't see anything changing for a while, though I think there will be a comeback of some-kind, just slow.
  9. jtlapp's Avatar
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    Q: How would Palm make money if webOS were open source?

    A: By having such a huge head start on devices for it, and by owning the mind share that comes from having birthed it. Head start and mind share are everything.

    * Besides, it doesn't really matter whether it makes good business sense to open source webOS. The OS trend is that if it isn't open source, it's days are numbered (unless it caters to a niche market).
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jtlapp View Post
    The OS trend is that if it isn't open source, it's days are numbered (unless it caters to a niche market).
    Oh yeah, I can see how OS X, Windows Phone 7 Series, and BBOS' days are all numbered.
  11. #11  
    that's wrong. PALM open sourcing webOS will be like Yahoo selling their search business to Microsoft. ITs their main strength. Its really theirs or they die.
  12. jtlapp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Oh yeah, I can see how OS X, Windows Phone 7 Series, and BBOS' days are all numbered.
    They'll all have Linux underneath before too long. As the need to get them working on more and more devices grows -- we are gradually moving away from the keyboard/monitor paradigm -- OS vendors will need more and more help catering their GUIs to the specific devices, until the most effective means finally wins, where the code is publicly maintained.

    Here's an analogy. No OS out there can compete with Linux's ability to interface many different hardware devices. This is only possible because Linux is open source. As user input and displays evolve, and as OS vendors want to take advantage of them, OS venders will need to open up at least the GUI abstraction layer to hardware makers. But to get that layer to work with the huge variety of devices, we'll need a feedback loop between the abstraction layer and the hardware makers; and so we have open source.

    The only other alternative is for OS vendors to also be hardware vendors, or to at least to severely restrict the hardware available to the OS. This isn't sustainable. As the hardware explosion continues, OS vendors will start folding to more open approaches.

    Palm already has a read-only "open" webOS policy, which helps to reduce this issue, but it isn't enough to buy them the developer mind share that they need. Going full open source might do it.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by jtlapp View Post
    They'll all have Linux underneath before too long.
    Seriously? You think Microsoft is going to have Linux underneath anything they do? And while OS X does use Unix as its base, only the kernel is open-source. The majority of it is not.
  14. jtlapp's Avatar
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    Here's another way to look at it. For some reason applications have always been tied to a proprietary GUI, until Web 2.0 and cloud services. Applications based on UI standards are more portable, available to more devices. They are the future.

    webOS has taken an important step towards that future. It leverages XHTML and Javascript for it applications, but then in throws in a proprietary UI framework and device API. Palm is balking at that inevitable future.

    Standards will eventually rule the day. If webOS survives, its apps will eventually be written to standard APIs; the overlap with new W3C standards will force it. Palm can either let others lead and fall in behind, or lead the way themselves. They do not have the clout to turn their APIs into standards -- even Microsoft and Apple hardly have that clout these days. The only other option is to have so many apps based on the API that the industry calls for compatibility with the API, backfitting it into the standards.

    Palm is not likely on track to establish a developer base with such clout. But if they opened the OS, allowing it to explode across platforms and inviting the enterprising open source community on board, that day could come. Palm would then be a leader in both market and mind share, and webOS would be here to stay.
  15. #15  
    license the os to a manufacturers like htc lg and samsung they could release palm based phones. If the brand still carries any weight but as far as open source the Google train has left the station. I know web os is a better multi app os but I think It might be to little to late.
  16. jtlapp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yaggermr View Post
    [...] far as open source the Google train has left the station. I know web os is a better multi app os but I think It might be to little to late.
    I think a W3C-standards based app platform would easily trump Android, if it were open source.
  17. #17  
    if people are so worried about Palms future, there is a very simple solution. Buy a few apps. Palm gets a cut of those sales, and if developers see potential in sales, they will come too. Great apps will get more users. I have committed myself to purchading 1 app each payday. 24 apps a year. Most apps cost me less than a pack of cigs. I don't seem to have any issues throwing my money away on them multiple times a week.


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