One of the more controversial features of Palm’s new webOS is something it doesn’t offer: a way to run Palm OS applications. However, StyleTap may change this, if it finds that making a Palm OS emulator for webOS to be doable.
StyleTap Inc. makes an application that allows users to run Palm OS programs on a Windows Mobile device. It is also working on version to bring Palm OS applications to the iPhone/iPod touch.
When Brighthand asked Bob Chew, one of StyleTap’s founders, if his company is considering a webOS version, he said:
From our initial assessment, the situation would be similar to Android or LiMo. Because these platforms are Linux based, it would be theoretically possible to port StyleTap to run on them. However, in order to integrate StyleTap so that it operated seamlessly with the webOS applications, it would require that webOS/Android/LiMo have at least a limited set C/C++ APIs available that are not currently available in the announced version of the webOS SDK.
A Broken Promise
Spring of 2007, Palm laid out for all to see its strategy for adding a new operating system to its lineup. It is summarized by the image at left, which Palm publicly released at that time.
What has actually happening is Palm OS is being replaced by the Linux-based operating system webOS. There is no merging, as the new operating system will have little or nothing in common with its predecessor.
It’s not surprising that the people who held out until now, waiting for the promised new platform that can run their legacy Palm OS software, are feeling deceived.
It is this group that is hoping for a Palm OS emulator.
StyleTap’s Bob Chew has two recommendations for those who would like a Palm OS emulator for webOS.
First, they should let Palm know. As it stands now, it seems unlikely StyleTap would be able to create this emulator without some assistance from Palm accessing the C/C++ APIs it needs.
In addition, those who are interested should send comments to email@example.com. The company would like know how many would be interested in buying such an emulator.