“Palm OS II” Pushed Back to 2008

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In May of this year, Palm, Inc. announced that it is developing its own operating system that will be based on Linux, but also include important parts of the Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS Garnet).

At that time, the company said that the first devices running this operating system — usually referred to as Palm OS II — would debut late this year. Palm now says it’s not going to meet that deadline.

During a recent conference call, CEO Ed Colligan said "Products based on the new Linux-based platform that we’re working on, that won’t be until some time next year."

This will leave Palm forced to continue to make models based on the Garnet OS and Windows Mobile.

A Dual Platform Strategy

After the initial announcement of Palm OS II, some questioned Palm’s commitment to Windows Mobile. These people wondered whether Palm would put its entire focus on models running its own operating system, rather than one created by Microsoft.

According to Colligan, his company is going to continue to use Windows Mobile and Garnet OS/Palm OS II for the foreseeable future.

The company’s reasoning for this is straightforward: it’s what its customers want. At this point, nearly 50% of the Treo smartphones sold run Windows Mobile.

Palm sees its two operating systems meeting different needs. "We see Windows Mobile particularly playing more strongly in the enterprise, medium businesses, and internationally, and our Palm OS products being more consumer based," said Colligan.

Colligan also said Palm will release both Windows Mobile and Palm OS devices before the end of the year.

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