Palm's CEO says that the company will roll out its own Linux-based operating system for its mobile devices by the end of the year, signalling yet another step away from Access, the current owner of the Palm OS. Access has been working on its own similar project, called the Access Linux Platform, since buying PalmSource in 2005, and it featured backwards compatibility with Palm OS version 5, also known as Garnet. It's not clear why (apart from not wanting to pay licensing fees to Access) the company would choose not to use ALP and develop its own similar platform, but following the repeated delays of ALP's release, it doesn't create much confidence that it's a viable platform. A successor to the five-year-old Garnet is something that Palm has badly needed for a long time. But given the glacial pace at which the company has moved over the past few years, there's going to be plenty of skepticism that Palm will actually be able to deliver the platform on time, or whether it will actually help in the long haul. Still, the bigger question: what was the point of splitting off PalmSource all those years back? It doesn't seem to have done anybody much good, least of all Palm.
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