RumorMill™: No Palm OS Cobalt Devices Expected Until Summer

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There have been rumors circulating for quite some time of New Handhelds running the current version of the Palm OS, but there have been none about models using the next version, Palm OS Cobalt. According to a report from a CeBIT attendee, this is because no Cobalt devices are going to be released for months.

PalmSource finished work on Cobalt at the end of last year and officially unveiled it at its developer conference in February. Many had been expecting the first handhelds running Cobalt to be introduced this spring.

This week, however, a poster at ClieSource attending the giant CeBIT tradeshow in Germany was told by a palmOne rep that this company won’t be introducing handhelds with Cobalt until the third quarter of this year, according to a post on ClieSource. This means that, if this report is correct, they won’t be available until July at the earliest, and possibly not until September.

This person also says he was told by a Sony rep that the first Clies with Cobalt won’t debut until the end of this year, or even the beginning of 2005. However, Sony will be introducing new models with the current version of the operating system, Palm OS Garnet, this summer.

More about Palm OS Cobalt

Palm OS Cobalt, previously known as Palm OS 6.0, will finally bring to this operating system many features users have been hoping for, like much more robust support for threading and background processes. It will also be able to run applications written in native ARM code, leading to much better performance.

In addition, Cobalt will have powerful multimedia capabilities and allow handhelds to have up to 256 MB of RAM.

However, there are some things that won’t change. The user interface will be essentially the same as it is now (see picture at left). Also Cobalt doesn’t offer built-in support for VGA screens or switching between portrait and landscape modes, though licensees could add this with relative ease.

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