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 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?