November 8, 2005 2:40 PM PST

Palm: We're not abandoning Palm OS

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Palm's chief executive on Tuesday reiterated the company's support for its namesake operating system, even as the company readies its first Windows-based Treo.

"I'm writing to you today because I'm concerned by the number of posts I've read that suggest that Palm's support of Palm OS is either wavering or short-lived," Palm CEO Ed Colligan said in a letter to Palm developers. A Palm representative said the letter will be posted to the company's developer Web site later on Tuesday. "It is neither."

Palm announced in September that it will soon start selling a Windows-based Treo, a break from its historical exclusive use of the Palm OS. Palm said at the time that it would continue to develop new handhelds and phones using the Palm OS, but concerns have lingered, particular as the developer of the Palm OS, PalmSource, is in the process of being acquired by Japan's Access. Palm also recently signed a deal that will allow Treo phones to connect to Research In Motion's BlackBerry servers.

Colligan said in the letter that he thought he had been clear on the point, but wanted to reiterate his earlier statements.

"This is not a zero-sum game!" he said. "This market is in its infancy, and if we can expand our opportunities by being a strong cross-platform provider of world-class smart phone products, then we should do so."

Colligan cited the strong demand for Windows-based products, particularly from businesses.

"It's a fact that a large majority of businesses around the world use a Microsoft-based infrastructure across their IT assets," Colligan said. "And many of those companies simply aren't open to products that use another OS...We can either answer that marketplace demand with a Windows-based product, or we can walk away from that business."

Palm did not talk about specific forthcoming Palm OS-based products, but Colligan said, "We have a rich product road map of Palm OS-based handheld computers, mobile managers AND Treo smart phones that we intend to deliver."

He also characterized Access' purchase of PalmSource as a good thing. "We're pleased Access has initiated the purchase of PalmSource because we believe Access has the resources to really invest in and develop Palm OS," Colligan said.

Debate over the future of the Palm OS has raged on various Palm enthusiast sites, fueled by a since-retracted trade magazine article that suggested Access would cease development of the Palm OS.

7 comments

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That's good to know ...
... I've been doing a bit of Palm development recently, & have just started learning Smalltalk in order to develop Palm software using Pocket Smalltalk.
Posted by duncan_bayne (1 comment )
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PALM OS
I'm glad to hear this, I really do not like MS, and try to avoid MS software where possible, they shoud keep PALM OS for people like me :).
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Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
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i hate windows mobile, PALM is where itz @
this statement in the above article that says " "And many of those companies simply aren't open to products that use another OS." thats called a monopoly , like MICROSOFT , i hate to see palm die, i cant stand windows mobile, it is lame, it reminds me of windows 3.1!
Posted by digitallysick (103 comments )
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Windows Mobile has great potential (v5.0)
I would recommend looking at the latest (windows mobile v5.0). I have always found that MS greatly enhances its application over time and mobile 5.0 is another example ...
Posted by kggn (2 comments )
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Palm OS is simply the best there is
I've used both the Windows platform &#38; the palm platform - in my opinion there is simply no comparison - Palm OS wins out in every way - more available software, easier to use, easier to learn, etc etc. The only people I've met who think they like the Windows platform better have never actually tried a Palm device, so they simply don't know what they're missing out on. :)
Posted by ddeppe (2 comments )
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Sure they are!
How many times have we heard that?

Simply put; Palm won't be deciding the success of their OS. :)

If all the developers shift to an OS that's available on Palm and other devices where is their incentive to stay with Palm OS that only runs on Palm devices?

I don't see the promise of continued support and development of Palm OS as saying it will make any kind of come back.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
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recently updated
I had a m105 for a few years, just upgraded to a zire 31, then palm announced the z22 and for the same price I paid for the zire 31, I could have bought a z22 that has everything the zire 31 has, plus more memory. For a week or so, I was ticked, but now that I'm using the zire 31, I'm happy again. Glad I didn't have to overinvest in a pocket-pc that does the same thing a zire does, only for more money.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
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