PalmSource Goes Linux

While Symbian and Microsoft fight it out for smartphone dominance, PalmSource is still trying to figure out ways to remain relevant outside of their niche (Treo) market. Their latest move is to try to tie themselves up with the Linux community by buying China MobileSoft and working on a Linux-based version of the PalmOS. With interest in the PalmOS mostly dwindling (even to the point of rumors that PalmOne would offer a non-PalmOS Treo at some point), PalmSource obviously needed to do something — and combining their own developer community with the Linux developer community could certainly generate plenty of interest from the developer side. However, actually getting the OS onto devices is still a huge marketing challenge, and vendors are going to want to see what really comes out of this merger before they agree to do much. This is also interesting, considering that PalmSource bought Be for their BeOS operating system a while back, and the latest versions of PalmOS are apparently based on BeOS. As great as BeOS was, from a technology standpoint, going in such an obscure direction didn’t necessarily help grow their developer community. Moving towards Linux will hopefully reverse that trend.

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