News today is that Palm has secured a perpetual license to Palm OS Garnet (via Engadget) from Access, the Japanese company which bought PalmSource in the fall of 2005. The history of the Palm OS has plenty of twists and turns since the original Palm split off PalmSource, a company to focus on the OS, in 2003. But one thing has remained constant -- Palm OS 5, or Garnet. It's by now about five years old, and despite the tinkering that's been done with it along the way, it's been surpassed by other smartphone OS like Symbian and Windows Mobile. Outside of Palm itself, the Palm OS hasn't been attractive for quite some time, and nearly three years ago, PalmSource talked of the need to make it better suited to smartphones. The supposed successor to Garnet, designed for smartphones, never went anywhere, and has fallen by the wayside, leaving Symbian and Windows Mobile to dominate the market. So, congratulations, Palm, you've now basically got full control of an outdated operating system that even you yourself have turned away from. Wall Street's been trying to figure out where the company is headed, and moves like this don't seem to elicit much confidence.
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