Palm’s Nova OS and the First Products Running It will Debut Next Month

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A new report apparently confirms earlier speculation: Palm is not only going to unveil its new operating system next month, but also at least one device running it.

Last week, this company invited journalists to a Jan. 8 event at the Consumer Electronics Show where it promised to show off “Palm Newness”.

Today, BusinessWeek is reporting that Palm will use this event to launch the next generation of the Palm OS, code-named Nova. It also apparently plans to take the wraps off the first model(s) running this OS.

Aimed at the Middle

Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein did not give BusinessWeek any details on its upcoming models, but he did reveal his company’s design goal for its new family of products. While Palm believes RIM’s BlackBerry line is focused on work and Apple’s iPhone is focused on fun, Palm’s new devices will offer a mixture of both.

Not surprisingly, Palm is optimistic about its new platform. Mike Bell, Senior Vice President of Product Development, said “I’m fundamentally convinced we’re onto something huge. Some of the stuff we’re working on here is mind-blowing — better than anything I’ve seen before.”

Company executives have promised that the upcoming operating system will be as easy to use as the current one, and it will be able to run legacy Palm OS software.

Challenges Ahead

Palm was once a leader in the smartphone market, but in recent years has lost significant ground its rivals, BlackBerry, Symbian S60, and Windows Mobile. At the same time, new mobile platforms have come on the scene: iPhone and Android. This leaves Palm trying to make up ground in a very crowded field.

And it has to do so in a time of world economic crisis when many investors have lost faith in the company.

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