The death of Palm OS


The Palm OS has not been updated in several years, something that is usually a death knell for mobile devices as users are always clamoring for new features. The infamous Palm OS 6 (Cobalt) has never seen the light of a PDA screen, a fact that has rankled Palm enthusiasts. Access, the company that purchased PalmSource last year, announced at 3GSM this week the formation of the Access Linux Platform (ALP) that will replace the Palm OS. ALP will be built on open source components and Access says they will actively support the open source community to insure lots of capabilities will be developed for the new OS. This definitely means the end of the Palm OS which is not necessarily a bad thing. A largely open source OS should stimulate interest in developers to work on the ALP. The Palm Desktop software will come with the ALP for those who are using the program. So long Palm OS, I hardly knew ya.

(via PC Magazine)



I think you might be jumping the gun a bit. The name PalmOS is gone. ALP is not even the new name, but a code name. The OS formerly known as PalmOS was changing anyway to become PalmOS for Linux. Now that it’s in the hands of Access, there are some tweaks, but it’s still going to have the same PIMs, the same Hotsync, the same desktop software, and the old programs will even run on the new OS via a compatibility layer. Linux was going into PalmOS anyway. The look and feel and the edges may be influenced by Access, but don’t think it’s not PalmOS anymore.

But I agree with one thing… if ALP never sees any devices like Cobalt didn’t, then it may just be about the end of the road for PalmOS (but not Palm, Inc the hardware manufacturer, who surely still has some tricks up their sleeves!)

Jeff Singfiel

Don’t count Garnet out yet. Treo sales are pretty hot and Palm Inc is apparently releasing three new Treo or Treo-esque products this year (Lowrider, Hollywood and the 700p). Palm Inc has licensed Garnet through 2009 and will surely get a lot of mileage out of it yet.

Des Paroz

JK< I think you're right. The PalmOS has been dying a slow death. Thats why I grudgingly moved to a PPC device. Even though PPC is very unstable (at least up to WM2003SE), its better than PalmOS.

I say this as a LONG time Palm user, but you can only hack an OS to introduce new features for so long. Sooner or later you have to introduce a new OS.

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