Wednesday, December 8, 2004

PalmOS for Linux

PalmSource has purchased a China based mobile phone company called China MobileSoft which specialises in embedded LinuxOS mobiles. The point is to create the popular PalmOS GUI and API on top of the LinuxOS. PalmSource has stated that the new version will sit along side PalmOS 5 Garnet and PalmOS 6 Cobalt and not to replace them.

My take on this is PalmSource might be intending to create a cheaper OS that it can sell. Also, China MobileSoft has a vast network of inside knowledge in China's mobile market. I think PalmSource is doing the right thing here. What they are buying from CMS is not only the Linux optimization knowledge but also an entry into China's expanding mobile phone market (5 million a month sold). Another great thing I can think of is applications that work on mobile Linux and the thousands of existing PalmOS applications can work on this PalmOS version if they are properly coded.

You can read PalmSource's press release on the acquisition here. If you care, there is an open letter to the PalmOS community as well as an open letter to the Linux community. A FAQ is available here.

A note here, Palm, Inc. originally wanted to take PalmOS forward into Linux a few years back before the company split. However they finally settled on BeOS.

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