Hi all, I have been snooping around, as always, for info about upcoming Palm news. There are a few little bits and pieces here, that are new. Take care, Jay

Palm exec promises 'future devices,' 'new version' of WebOS.

Palm exec promises 'future devices,' 'new version' of WebOS - Yahoo! News

Will the wireless world ever see a Palm Pre 2, or a revamped version of Palm's touchscreen WebOS? The outlook seemed a bit cloudy in light of Hewlett-Packard's recent (and ongoing) acquisition of Palm and particularly after some dismissive remarks by HP's chief executive. But according to one Palm exec, at least, the company is still hard at work on new WebOS-based handsets.

Speaking Thursday during an AT&T webinar for mobile-app developers, Palm Developer Advocate Josh Marinacci assured his online audience that "future devices" are indeed on the way, according to PreCentral. (The blog doesn't name the "Palm rep" who made the comments Thursday, but All Things Digital's John Paczkowski confirmed Friday that it was Marinacci, who's listed on AT&T's agenda.)

"I'm not allowed to talk about future road maps, especially because we're in the process of being acquired by HP," Marinacci said (in a transcript from a PreCentral forum poster). "But yes, we have a road map. We are working on future devices. And ... [a] new version of the OS. So I think you're going to find the next year very exciting."

Marinacci didn't go into much more detail than that, but at least his words were more encouraging than those of HP chief exec Mark Hurd, who caused quite the stir earlier this month when he told an audience at a tech conference that "we didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business ... we bought it for the IP" (intellectual property).

An HP PRPRPR $rep$ $later$ &$quot$;$clarified$&$quot$; $Hurd$'$s$ $comments$, $noting$ $that$ $HP$ $simply$ $hopes$ $to$ &$quot$;$expand$ $WebOS$'$s$ $footprint$ $beyond$ $the$ $smartphone$ $market$&$quot$; $into$ $tablets$, $printers$, $and$ $other$ &$quot$;$interconnected$ $devices$.&$quot$;

Still, it's easy to see how Hurd's words could be unsettling for Palm Pre and Pixi users (and yes, they're still out there), especially given that the phones are practically being given away by carriers and resellers alike.

OK, but do we really need more WebOS phones, given that iPhones and Android handsets are getting all the attention? Well, yes, I'd argue. The Pre and the Pixi may not have sold like hotcakes, but that doesn't mean that the phones didn't boast some pretty cutting-edge features consider, for example, the Palm Mobile Hotspot app (which was around months before the HTC Evo 4G began sharing its data connection over Wi-Fi), as well as WebOS's innovative, easy-to-use notification system.

And from a sentimental standpoint, I'd hate to see the Palm brand fade into oblivion. Palm practically invented the smartphone market, and its line of Treo phones is legendary. (I was particularly proud of my Treo 700p, a cutting-edge handset for its day.)

When it comes to competition, more is always better, and more of Palm's WebOS handsets with a revamped OS and hardware, hopefully will help keep the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Nokia on their toes. Bring it on, I say.

PreCentral: Palm: "You're going to find the next year very exciting," new devices on tap
All Things Digital: Palm: New Devices, webOS Upgrade in the Works

Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.