So long Palm OS, we knew you far too long


palm-pilotPalm (s palm) has excited the tech world with the preview of its upcoming WebOS-based Pre smartphone and many felt that the old Palm OS was soon to be a thing of the past.  Palm officially stated this week that there will be no more phones produced with the Palm OS, so that makes it definite.  The Palm OS is to be no more.

While the Palm OS is so very dated, in a way it’s sad to see it go.  I remember my first Palm PDA (remember the Pilot?) and how cool it was to have a handheld device with icons on a little screen.  Palm single-handedly created an industry with the Palm OS and it didn’t take long for that to expand into an entire ecosystem as developers churned out tens of thousands of programs for the OS.  The amazing thing is most of those programs will still run on proper Palm OS-based devices even today, even apps produced years ago.

No question we will miss the Palm OS, even if for no other reasons than nostalgic ones, but the time has come to see it retired.  The world has moved on, as it always does, and the OS needs to get out of the way for the new WebOS.  See you around, Palm OS.  It’s been good knowing you.



PalmOS has been in the business for more than 12 years, it’s not like the OS will die out overnight. People will still have Treos for years, either because it’s good enough for them, or they can’t afford a newer model.


The Company’s report of the death of its PalmOS is, as Mark noted above, long delayed.

The OS died years ago – the moment they sold it to PalmSource, who in turn sold it to ACCESS. These two companies didn’t give a crap for the once-brilliant-for-its-simplicity-yet-powerful OS that was the core of what were once *the* default business and academic users’ device, along with its brilliant Desktop.

Palm, meanwhile, became nothing more than a hardware manufacturer to wireless companies, routinely offering them a substandard smartphone for just enough cash to keep afloat.

Palm went from Market Leader to Sycophant, not by the vagaries of the consumer, but by corporate ennui.

The PalmOS was due a refresh several years ago, but as my old Palm still shows, its still largely a solid piece of work with a software (largely freeware) base that any current mobileOS user can only dream about…

Mark Messinger

It’s been *really* good, knowing the Palm OS. Dated though it may be, it’s still highly efficient and very stable. Owning an iPAQ 210 convinced me that Windows Mobile isn’t suitable for mission critical work such as telephony (what with the need to carry a standby pen and pad of paper, for when WinMo crashes or, as recently, when the Office 2007 upgrade caused Windows Mobile Device Center to stop syncing – but first, it erased all my contacts, appointments, tasks and notes). What takes a click/tap or two, on a device running Garnet will take 4 and a reboot, on a WinMo device. The Tungsten T3 was an amazing handheld. Symbian is close, as a handheld/ telephone OS, but Palm’s conduits has it beat. Of course, Palm long ago left the field of battle; ask anyone who’s tried to sync their Palm with a Vista x64 PC. Palm was king – ought to still be top of the heap – but Palm through in the towel. The demise of the Palm OS is a story worth studying. It hasn’t just been good, knowing the Palm OS, it’s been great and should have been greater.

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