Despite What You May Have Read, the Palm OS Is NOT Dead (Updated)

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An article that appears in the Computer Business Review says that Access Co, Ltd. intends to phase out the Palm OS in the near future.

The CBR article is based on an email interview with an Access spokesperson. Access recently acquired PalmSource, the company responsible for developing and licensing the Palm OS.

According to the spokesperson who was quoted in the article, virtually everything in it is completely incorrect.

The article states, “Access has revealed that it believes the Palm operating system will soon reach the end of its life.”

The Access spokesperson said that this assertion is totally wrong, and much of what is in the article is equally incorrect.

In a response to a request for clarification from Brighthand, the spokesperson said:

    I provided email information to Rik [the author] for the article, and was very surprised at what was actually written. The article is almost completely in error and does not match the information that was provided to Rik.

    There is no plan to kill off any Palm OS. All Palm OS customers, partners, and developers can expect continued support.

    ACCESS’ goal is to offer a “Total Turn-Key solution” including Linux-based OS and Palm applications. Also, by combining ACCESS’ robust NetFront browsers with PalmSource’s advanced operating system, application portfolio, user interface and developer communities, ACCESS will be able to produce a comprehensive yet flexible solution to mobile device OEMs.

The Computer Business Review has since retracted the article.

It’s not clear how the article came to be so full of mistakes. It’s possible that the reporter is simply unfamiliar with what is happening with the Palm OS.

What IS Happening

PalmSource announced last year that the next version of the Palm OS will be based on Linux. But it will still run Palm OS applications and have the Palm OS look and feel.

It’s possible, though, that it won’t be called the Palm OS. A few months ago, PalmSource sold all its rights to the “Palm” brand to Palm, Inc. Previously, the two companies has jointly shared the name.

The first devices running the new operating system, currently referred to as Palm OS for Linux, are expected around the middle of next year.

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