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Summary:

There’s quite the buzz over a Business Week story today on Palm and their new Nova operating system. Word is that Palm will uncover Nova in a few short weeks at CES; we’ve got our invites, so we’ll see what the "new-ness" is all about. Based […]

PalmlogoThere’s quite the buzz over a Business Week story today on Palm and their new Nova operating system. Word is that Palm will uncover Nova in a few short weeks at CES; we’ve got our invites, so we’ll see what the "new-ness" is all about. Based on a couple of excerpts from the BW article, I’ve got a few insights as to where this is heading but that’s speculation on my part. It’s far to early to say if the new Palm platform will shine like a super-nova or peter-out like a like a white dwarf.

My gut tells me that Nova won’t be solely for smartphones. Like Android’s future plans, I expect we’ll see a wide range of devices planned to run on the Nova platform. While Palm is clearly in the smartphone market, competition is becoming far too strong for Palm to build their entire new business on handsets. Palm knew this a year or two ago and started branching out in other directions beginning with, and temporarily ending with, the Foleo.

While the Foleo didn’t quite pan out, a new and more open operating system might help Palm. But again, like Android, it all depends on if third party developers join in the party. After all, what good is an operating system on a mobile device if you’re limited by the applications you can run?

Assuming that Nova is a device-agnostic platform, here’s what I’m expecting to see and hear at 11am on January 8, 2009:

  • Nova will run on a wide range of devices, i.e.: digital audio players, phones of all types, netbooks, mobile Internet devices, carputers, home media streaming devices, etc…
  • Palm joins the LiMo Foundation.
  • A few announcements with hardware partners to illustrate Nova’s potential
  • Details of the Nova SDK for developers and a Palm Nova store for applications
  • Concept smartphone hardware to be shown, possibly a concept netbook or MID as well
  • No actual products available until the second quarter of 2009.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part… some from my gut and some from what I’m reading and hearing. I wouldn’t expect all of these thoughts to be correct, but for the moment, let’s go with them. Would there be enough here to help Palm regain some of the lost luster it once had in this space? Assuming I’m wrong to begin with: what are you expecting or wanting to see and hear from Palm?

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  1. I would highly, HIGHLY doubt that its a device agnostic platform. Palm knows after the Foleo disaster that what they need to do is release a phone, and I’d bet that they have a final design ready to go.

    I’m sure its not in production yet, but I’m sure they have their device finalized. They’d better, or they’ll have trouble making it that long.

  2. Palm really needs to ‘blow-off’ the doors with their announcement to make me a believer again.

    i’ve come to associate Palm with devices that need to be reset on a weekly basis. :( i used to love Palm back in their pda/early handheld days.

  3. Nate the Great Monday, December 15, 2008

    So Palm is coming out with a new OS? Big friggin’ deal.

    At this point there are 4 major handheld OSes: Windows Mobile, Blackberry, OSX, and Android. There is no way Palm could unseat the first 3, so the best it can hope for is 4th. Yippee.

    They should have released a new OS 3 years ago. Now it’s too late.

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