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Comments on: Is Palm Building their own OS?

Rumor: Speculation is in the air again that Palm Inc is working on their own operating system for future mobile devices. David Beers is reporting on his blog that a analyst "in the know" privately confirmed that Palm is experimenting with developing its own Linux based operating system.
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Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.

VampireLestat @ 3/30/2006 12:42:48 AM # Q
That would be great. Palm needed to consolidate its Palm brand by regaining control of the OS. They were outbid by Access and that was very damaging to Palm OS imo.

If Palm Inc is not soley turning into a bunch of sellout, company on the cheap, non-innovator WM/Gates kiss-asses, then that is good news.

Palm OS needs to survive. I like it, I use it, I will buy it. Access is hinting that ALP wont even look like Palm OS because they need a new interface that doesnt rely on touchscreens (for them Fn featureless phones). That is very depressing. I can't work with WM; and Ive tried numerous times. WM is not efficient for mobile use, no matter how hard I try.

I truely hope Palm Inc is making Palm OS 7 based on a Linux kernel, and that it keeps the look, feel and full Palm OS compatibility.

But can we realistically believe Palm has the engineers and programmers to actually do that? I dont know...

Then again, Palm Inc is under contract to use Palm OS 5/6 for 3 or 4 more years with Access. That would be just enough time to prepare a new in hour, fully Palm Inc owned new Palm OS 7.

That would be the healthiest route in my opinion.

But please, for the love of God, don't force us to go to WM.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
VampireLestat @ 3/30/2006 12:58:13 AM # Q
What we need to make everyone happy is a 320x480 antenna-less Treo.
And no keyb.

Because that is the problem really. The keyb, the antenna and the smaller screen.



RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 1:20:18 AM # Q
Analysts don't always get everything right; don't always understand what they are shown; and don't always have what's shown to them fully explained to them.

Marty

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
Timothy Rapson @ 3/30/2006 7:35:32 AM # Q
Yes, VS. That is what I want too. An antenaless Treo without the SSSSS (Stoopid, S#*(ty, Small, Square, Screen). AND multi-tasking, real fonts, and real graphics.

The big question is how it will run legacy apps.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 9:19:34 AM # Q
FrankenGarnet is fine with me.

I just want a 320*480 device with a TX-sized screen and wi-fi/cellular connectivity. Since BT has turned into nothing more than a neutered shell of what it was originally promised to be, that can be omitted in favor of a cellular radio.

So...take a TX, drop the BT, add in cellular, keep all antennas internal even at the expense of signal strength. Add a higher capacity battery, a charge LED & a voice recorder for good measure and I'll pay whatever price Palm asks for such a beast!

Whether or not it has voice functionality is irrelevant to me (I'd prefer it left out for size/cost/complexity issues) as long as there's something similar to what the good Vampire mentions. But the tiny SSS and the hideous antennae protruding are the MAIN reasons I still have trouble stomaching the Treo concept.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
pmjoe @ 3/30/2006 11:28:23 AM # Q
> FrankenGarnet is fine with me.
>
> I just want a 320*480 device with a TX-sized screen and wi-fi/cellular
> connectivity. Since BT has turned into nothing more than a neutered shell
> of what it was originally promised to be, that can be omitted in favor of a
> cellular radio.

Well, I haven't bought a new Palm OS device since ~2001 because Garnet is a garbage, go between OS (as a developer, I want something fun and worth developing software for), and I use Bluetooth daily for syncing, file transfer, headsets, etc. Cellular would be OK (it'd especially be nice if they could do some kind of dual CDMA/GSM radio), but I can always just use WiFi or through my cell phone via Bluetooth for connectivity.

So, "FrankenGarnet" and no Bluetooth would be a guaranteed way to continue to keep me off the Palm platform.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 3/30/2006 12:58:31 PM # Q
>FrankenGarnet is fine with me.

What you mean by this is that the "features" of FrankenGarnet are fine.

The consequences of FrankenGarnet are an unstable and underpowered system that results in mistrust of the device and causes companies to leave the Palm OS to adopt WindowsMobile devices. Mistrust isn't an overnight problem, but will cause users to slowly move away from Palm OS.

I'm sure that you have had a perfectly acceptable time with your Treo as an individual and therefore Garnet must be fine. There isn't a specific bug, but rather the fact that Garnet has been stretched out way beyond its original capacity and is held together with fraying strands of duct tape. It isn't reliable. Some more advanced features (like a full powered browser) would be either not feasible (or feasible and costly to develop). In the long run it should be obvious that an OS with a development "tariff" is not advantageous for the Palm economy.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 3/30/2006 1:10:47 PM # Q
Oh I see that you have never had a Treo. That's probably why you find FrankenGarnet acceptable. FrankenGarnet starts to crack whenever you press down on it and push it to the limit. A phone is more demanding than a basic PDA. This is why Treos are not reliable. Basically at this point in time a company needs to have a phone device in order to survive. Trying to live with Garnet just isn't an option unless you are willing to only make PDAs and keep them at the technology of three years ago.

The solution is/was Cobalt which is the operating system that Palm needs/needed. Cobalt has the solidity that make it acceptable for large corporations. Cobalt was complete and PalmOne never adopted it.

It is idiotic that the guys at Palm are essentially trying to make Cobalt again. They already made it the first time and then cashed in for money when sold PalmSource. Now they are making a new Cobalt on a lower budget and less solid.

Why was Cobalt never complete? Answer: It was completed! It was solid. Palm/One chose to convert the project into today's cash rather than using it to improve the product. This is the single most idiotic move that the company ever made. It is completely representative of the kinds of choices made by Palm executives. When in doubt always take the cash instead of improving the product.

Ever since, these idiots have been ignoring the issue of Treo dysfunction and do their best to ignore/hide these problems in the media. Treo has sold pretty well in spite of the problems. It could have been the leader in the smartphone market and should been the king.

Today, all the companies want to make a phone with a Treoish keyboard, larger screen etc. I get it that you personally don't like Treo, but this is what the market wants and this is where the money is. If Palm had had a solid offering here, they would have cleaned up and been ahead of the curve instead of lagging behind it.

Even though you don't use/want a phone, the Garnet on your TX still hurts you. The Franken/Garnet "tariff" results in higher development costs that lead to less software being created even for non-phone models.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 2:53:39 PM # Q
JarJar;

You make mostly valid and accurte points. There's a distince reason I've never had a Treo. Remember, just because I've never owned one doesn't mean I have not USED one.

It's just that the Treo in its most *current* advanced permutations (700w/650/700p?) trail the top conventional Palm PDAs (TX, T5, T3) in most areas...specifically, screen size & resolution, RAM and/or wi-fi. Those are the three most important factors along with battery life for me when choosing a mobile device.

I have also been rather underwhelmed with the Treo's voice quality & RF performance. I use a V3c on Verizon and find its voice quality leagues better than a colleague's Verizon 650.

I have zero problems with the market wanting & buying Treos. I do agree that Garnet is well past its prime but I'd still rather put up with its quirks than have to suffer through WinMob adaptation and rebuying all of my registered apps/games. Trust me, I am quite well versed with how to make FrankenGarnet crack under pressure. You must not have read my reports on using the LifeDrive last year and trying to download HTML e-mails in VersaMail while in landscape mode and connected via wi-fi.

Of course, there are many Treo 650 fans that say their carefully tweaked 650s are actually more stable than a comparable T5/TX so go figure.

For anything with just one wireless radio & 320*320 or less, Garnet *IS* a decent OS for a cheap PDA. Think Z22, Zire 31, T|E2 etc. Anything above $200 or incorporating telephone or multi wireless functionality functionality needs a more robust US. But since WinMob & Garnet are the only games in town for well into next year, I'll stick with the one whose idiosyncracies I am most familar with. It's not like I/you/we have a CHOICE in the matter! And FrankenGarnet HAS been shored up considerably since the T5 & Treo 650 launch as far as speed & stability.

P.S.
"Even though you don't use/want a phone, the Garnet on your TX still hurts you"
This brings to mind Gekko's prediction from last year when the LifeDrive came out... "My prediction? MORE PAIN!"

;-)

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
scstraus2 @ 3/31/2006 2:56:23 PM # Q
Are you on crack? Palm Inc. can't program their way out of a paper bag! My Treo is now reseting itself 2-3 times a day, almost every time I try to use email, and various other random times. I can't install anything because the memory leaks of the email client need all the memory on the damn thing. I would like to think I was alone but every person I know with a treo has this problem.

Before Palm Inc. got their hands on Garnet, it was reliable, fast, and fairly lean. Frankengarnet is a masterpiece of crapola. I wouldn't touch anything that Palm Inc. put out, and I'll buy any phone that PalmSource puts out. It's palmsource that has all the Be programmers and original PalmOS programmers. Palm Inc just takes existing working software like Versamail and PalmOS and insert bugs into them.

I'm jumping off the Palm Inc. train as soon as I get a chance. They suck.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
freakout @ 3/31/2006 4:33:16 PM # Q
"I would like to think I was alone but every person I know with a treo has this problem."

I don't! :P

"It's palmsource that has all the Be programmers and original PalmOS programmers"

Ha! That really helped them deliver on Cobalt, didn't it....

This sig is a placeholder till I come up with something good

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
cervezas @ 3/31/2006 4:43:31 PM # Q
scstrauss2 wrote:
Before Palm Inc. got their hands on Garnet, it was reliable, fast, and fairly lean.

Garnet was faster and leaner before the NVFS debacle, but was it really more reliable? I have to go back to OS 4 to find a really reliable Palm OS, which is one reason I love my little Samsung i500 phone.

The problem with your statement is this: when was the last time we really got to see what PalmSource can do? Every really substantial product that they've developed since they were spun off has died on the vine (Cobalt and Cobalt on Linux) or is still in development (ALP). Who's to say what a PalmSource platform would be like if we had one we could hold in our hand?

I realize that Cobalt may possibly have failed in part because of poor engineering, but my take (based on my limited knowledge) is that the biggest failures--even many of what could be called engineering failures--came as a result of decisions and habits of the top management.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 5:08:37 PM # Q
It's palmsource that has all the Be programmers and original PalmOS programmers.

Most of the handful of remaining Be programmers went to Google recently. (See Dianne Hackborn's interview on OSNews.)

Access has a large talent pool in Japan, the CMS folk in China, the Montpelier team, and, of course, PalmSource sunnyvale, to draw on.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 5:11:52 PM # Q
Who's to say what a PalmSource platform would be like if we had one we could hold in our hand?

FX: Knowing grin

If the history of PalmSource is ever written, there will be enough blame to go around to just about everyone. While management failures there are significant and routine, the mix of former Be, former Palm, former Apple, and so forth, did not make for good engineering.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 3/31/2006 11:37:49 PM # Q
"Ha! That really helped them deliver on Cobalt, didn't it...."

But they did deliver on Cobalt; Cobalt is an excellent solution, but PalmOne never adopted it. The problems weren't technical or programming, the problems were political and licensing.

Garnet isn't a horrible thing. The problem is that Garnet grew out of the original Pilot architecture designed in the 1990's long before phones and NVFS existed. Garnet is stretched far beyond its original intent and doesn't belong on Treo 650s.

Cobalt isn't a horrible thing. The problem is that Cobalt belongs on Treo 650s and solves many of the problems that users are experiencing today. PalmOne never used Cobalt because of all the idiotic licensing structures and political fighting.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 3/31/2006 11:55:02 PM # Q
"I realize that Cobalt may possibly have failed in part because of poor engineering"

Where is the poor engineering in Cobalt? Where is the evidence that anything is wrong with it? The problem is that Cobalt never made it to a PalmOne device and therefore many people assume that Cobalt must be buggy or faulty. This is not true!

PalmOne never adopted Cobalt because they didn't want to pay the fees. PalmSource separated from Palm with an unusustainable licensing structure. Licensing should have been based on royalties but instead licesning was weighted towards lump sums that discouraged hardware makers from moving to a new OS. The lump sums were formulated during a time when Palm was on an upward curve and competition from hardware makers would ensure adoption. Later the lump sums were just not sustainable and PalmOne was unable to pay fees for their own OS. Idiots at PalmOne didn't want to pay for the new OS and idiots at PalmSource couldn't back away from the front-loaded licensing scheme because they had already spent money expecting future windfalls.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 12:09:45 AM # Q
I am so frustrated because Palm/One has gotten away with murder. PalmOne has implicitly created a message that Cobalt was somehow faulty when in fact they backed away from Cobalt because of financial reasons. PalmOne wasn't able to come up with the financing to pay for Cobalt because they were afraid to put the fee on the budget. Skipping on Cobalt allowed their financials to appear much more rosy and hence saved the jobs of the execs for another year.

When Palm was split into two, PalmOne was able to "hide" the expense of several years software development by inserting the development costs into PalmSource. PalmSource on the other hand was counting their chickens by relying on a huge windfall owed to them by PalmOne for Cobalt. In a dysfunctional way both sides were able to benefit (in the short run) from these shenanigans. The bubble burst when PalmSource tried to get PalmOne to pay up and neither side actually had money.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 12:37:50 AM # Q
"the mix of former Be, former Palm, former Apple, and so forth, did not make for good engineering."
Disagree big time. Good engineering did occur.

PalmOne did not use Cobalt because they could not afford the fees. PalmOne skipped Cobalt and in doing so made their financials look better so that management could retain their jobs.

The idea that Cobalt is bad is an implicit rumor. Very clever. Neither PalmOne nor PalmSource has ever indicated that Cobalt was faulty. (Yes there will always be minor issues in a complex system, but please show me the fundamental flaws with Cobalt--you can't because there are none)

By the way, I am not a PalmSource engineer. I am/was a stockholder (who knows software) and am so pissed off. I refuse to let management blame engineering. The truth of Palm is pretty simple--greedy mismanagement--point the finger at engineering as cause. This is as bad as Enron blaming non-existent energy shortages in California.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 12:58:00 AM # Q
"the mix of former Be, former Palm, former Apple, and so forth, did not make for good engineering."
Disagree big time. Good engineering did occur.

If and when it did, it was mostly by accident, and despite one engineering faction or another getting into another faction or another's face over significant differences in how to develop software.

Neither PalmOne nor PalmSource has ever indicated that Cobalt was faulty. (Yes there will always be minor issues in a complex system, but please show me the fundamental flaws with Cobalt--you can't because there are none)

The binder and the driver model are both fundamental flaws in Cobalt. The process model isn't precisely the best engineering I've ever seen, either. Power management was clever but could have been significantly better. LFS was never finished, so there was no real replacement for NVFS. There was no attempt to deprecate the sram non-volatile model.

I refuse to let management blame engineering.

Blame both, there's plenty of blame to go around in this case.

I can't speak to Palm(One)'s problems at all. PalmSource, on the other hand had plenty, and engineering was among them.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 2:19:10 AM # Q
The binder and the driver model are both fundamental flaws in Cobalt. The process model isn't precisely the best engineering I've ever seen, either. Power management was clever but could have been significantly better. LFS was never finished, so there was no real replacement for NVFS. There was no attempt to deprecate the sram non-volatile model.

Dear PenguinGuy. Obviously you are an engineer and in a limited sense, I agree with you on some of these issues and I understand why you want to bring them up. However, from a business level perspective, these are minor things. These aren't the reasons PalmOne backed away. Your talk is confusing to outsiders and assists PalmOne get away by hiding mismanagement by focusing on engineering issues. Ken Lay can point at bad energy laws in California and certainly some of his points are true, but the greater reality is that Ken Lay is trying to move focus away from the real problems.

Even if power management was better or LFS finished, PalmOne would still have renegged because their cashflow looked bad. The bottom line is that management needed to hide their cash problems and pointing at engineering was the convenient way to do it.

I really wish that Cobalt had been released on some real devices (tiny foreign companies don't count) and then people could debate some of these fine points. I'd probably take your side on many of these issues in that alternate future reality. But as it is Cobalt never really existed and it makes little sense to blame minor engineering points when management is the root cause.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
ChiA @ 4/1/2006 7:25:50 AM # Q
JarJar, after the split, PalmOne became just another device manufacturer and was free to choose whatever OS it wanted for its devices, be it Garnet, Windows Mobile, Symbian or Mickey Mouse OS.

The blame lies firmly with PalmSource for producing a smartphone/handheld OS which nobody wanted to buy. Even if PalmOne couldn't afford Cobalt due to cash flow problems, how come no other company has shown interest in Cobalt? If Cobalt is so appealing then how come Dell, HP, Motorola, SonyEricsson or even one of the carriers (ie Verizon, Orange, T-Mobile) haven't shown any interest or are you telling us all these companies have cash flow problems too!

It's notable that HTC (an Original Device Manufacturer) have been selling their devices directly to the mobile carriers. What was to stop T-Mobile or Orange putting Cobalt onto these devices instead of Windows Mobile?

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 11:00:37 AM # Q
[i]Even if PalmOne couldn't afford Cobalt due to cash flow problems, how come no other company has shown interest in Cobalt?[/i]

No other company will touch Cobalt unless PalmOne picks it up first. The confidence problems feed themselves and become a self-fulfilling prophecy if PalmOne doesn't buy.

Software needs to be recompiled and rewritten to take advantage of Cobalt. No software developers will sign on if the base market isn't large enough. Even if, for example, Verizon built their own Cobalt phone, this wouldn't hit critical mass for 3rd party software to appear.

I do think that PalmSource deserves blame but for different reasons than you do. PalmSource should have never been separated from Palm in the first place because the overall size of the Palm market (even if PalmOne did sign on) wasn't really large enough or growing fast enough to financially sustain an independent OS company. Basically, it was not financially feasible from day one. Given the total size of market, the OS producing team needs to be subsidized by the hardware.

You are right that PalmSource should not have produced a smartphone/handheld OS that nobody wanted to buy. But here is the truth. No matter what they produced (no matter how good or how terrible), nobody will buy unless PalmOne buys first. I have said all along that PalmSource was stupid for assuming that PalmOne was an automatic customer.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 11:19:23 AM # Q
What was to stop T-Mobile or Orange putting Cobalt onto these devices instead of Windows Mobile?
Plus T-Mobile and Orange are not interested in creating a Palm device (with or without Cobalt) to begin with. It costs a tremendous amount of money to bring a hardware device to market. So any problems in Cobalt, real or imagined, aren't the cause of T-Mobile et. al. not wanting to be involved in Cobalt. Why in the world would T-Mobile want to spend gobs of money to develop a hardware device that has no software available for it? T-Mobile isn't self-developing their other phones--they rely on hardware specialists to do this. If T-Mobile really wanted a Cobalt phone, they would rely on PalmOne to do the design and manufacture.

Additionally, Cobalt was really optimized for Treo. It might be feasible, but costly to adapt Cobalt to run on an originally WinMob designed hardware. Why would anybody do this?

Additionally, even if other Cobalt handset manufacturers existed, they would very likely purchase portions of design and/or components from PalmOne. Nobody is going to build an entire device from scratch.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 1:24:14 PM # Q
Even if PalmOne couldn't afford Cobalt due to cash flow problems, how come no other company has shown interest in Cobalt?
Other companies were already pulling away from the Palm platform long before details of Cobalt were announced. They would have pulled out even if Cobalt never existed.

Cobalt was finally released only after everybody (except PalmOne and a few insignificant users) had already left the Palm business.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 3:48:07 PM # Q
Dear PenguinGuy. Obviously you are an engineer

Sorry, no, I'm not. Got into this business before people felt the need to inflate their job title. I'm a programmer, when I'm not a manager.

However, from a business level perspective, these are minor things.

Sorry, but "doesn't work" is not a minor thing. Oh, and the reason I brought them up? You claimed they didn't exist.

These aren't the reasons PalmOne backed away.

They are the reasons given. Your comments about cash flow make no sense, given the structure of the license deal, by the way.

Palm(One) may be mismanaged. It certainly gives that appearance. But hiding management mistakes is hardly the reason why they made this particular business decision.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 3:56:12 PM # Q
No other company will touch Cobalt unless PalmOne picks it up first.

GSPDA did. They announced, although didn't deliver, a Cobalt phone in 2005.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 5:00:12 PM # Q
Dear PenguinGuy,

I understand where you are coming from. You are an engineer since you are a perfectionist driving to improve the software. You don't want people to think that the software is perfect. I get that. But I assume as a software guy you know that all 0.9 products will have list of issues and this isn't pathological. In particular, an OS is a religious issue, and no matter what you do, any person involved will probably have a long list gripes.

If you are intent on proving me wrong by digging up every gripe, you will probably be successful. I already admitted that some of the issues you mention are real, but they are not the root cause of Cobalt's demise. I still contend that from a high level, Cobalt is a good product.

I too have been in management as well as in engineering. Believe me, it is extremely easy to get technical guys arguing about all kinds of small issues while some crook takes off with the money.

By the way, I don't think that PalmOne started out with the intent of fraud or trying to hide. They really intended to use Cobalt but because money was tight, they kept procrastinating and procrastinating the purchase. The purchase of Cobalt would expose low revenue, but it wasn't an intentional strategy to hide.

Your comments about cash flow make no sense
Can you elaborate what doesn't make sense? I'm glad to explain since I want people to understand where PalmOne screwed up. For most people Cobalt is a mysterious no-show.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 8:37:46 PM # Q
I don't know where you are coming from, though. Engineering ain't about perfection, it's about sufficiency, to think otherwise is to not understand engineering.

Besides, we're not talking about small gripes, we're talking about, in the case of the driver model, problems that were large enough that they were cited by potential licensees as a significant reason to not switch to Cobalt. Said reason, by the way, being a significant part of PSRC's argument for switching to Linux.

I've explained the problems with your assertions about financing in the other thread, let's leave that topic there.



May You Live in Interesting Times

Cut the BULL****. Here's the FACTS, Kiddies.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 4/2/2006 4:15:54 PM # Q
Wow. What HAVE we here? So Beersy went and spilled the beans? So much for his constant a$$ kissing of every Palm/PalmSource employee known to man. Yes, Palm has been working on an alternate OS for a while. Anyone who finds this surprising is either incredibly naive or an absolute idiot. Think of it as an OS for the (rapidly-approaching) Doomsday Scenario of Palm no longer having a decent version of PalmOS compatible with cellphone networks. After seeing how dumba$$ pie-in-the-sky Be codemonkeys botched Cobalt's release by trying to "Be" too clever, Palm has set their sights fairly low for the new Linux-based OS and this DoomsdayOS should be functional within a year. Palm is finally - out of necessity - going to Keep It Simple, Stupid: familiar intuitive PIM apps on top of a borrowed Linux-based framework. What a concept! Too bad the idiots at Palm/PalmSource hadn't thought of doing this in 2001 - "Cobalt" could have then shipped in STABLE condition in 2003.

PalmSource shills are - as usual - full of B.S. It's nice to see the usual a-holes attacking me when I'm not around to kick their pathetic a$$es. relyons always was such a "brave" little girl. And speaking of "brave" little girls, I see "just_little_me" continues to prostitute herself for Palm as usual. Why don't you tell everyone who pays your salary, "just_little_me"? Or should I out your fat, sorry a$$ right now?


A few random observations:


1) Jar Jar is either clueless or playing clueless at Marty's expense. (I suspect he's really just playing Marty for the fool.) The number of blatantly incorrect things Mr. Binks has uttered in this thread is incredible. We're talking Mike Cane epic proportions, here...

2) Cobalt as it was released in December 2003 was an embarassing rush job reminiscent of a child turning in a school project that was done on the bus en route to school that morning. "Cobalt 2003" destroyed confidence in the platform and licensees finally realized that PalmSource lacked the talent to produce a next-generation PalmOS that they could trust to base future models on. Most of the problems we've seen in PalmOS PDAs over the past 2 years stem from the fact that these devices are running an OS that they were never supposed to be using. The hacked-up FrankenPalmOS is still around crashing/choking/mangling data 2 YEARS after it was supposed to have been retired.

3) Cobalt has a number of dirty little secrets that drove licensees away:
- Slow as molasses in January. Even without multitasking, it needs at least a 400 MHz CPU to avoid being anything but an exercise in frustration. (Hint to PalmSource: having such gaudy hardware demands as this is probably not a good idea for a something touted as being a smartphone OS.) I'd be interested in seeing how badly Sony's 123 MHz HHE chip choked on Cobalt. Nasty.
- Missing telephony stacks (tant pis, mon ami). Sprint? Verizon? Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? Why doesn't PalmSource's David Schlesinger tell everyone exactly the DATES that Cobalt became capable of supporting GSM voice, data, high speed data; CDMA voice, data, high speed data? (And remember: PalmSource went from claiming Cobalt was for high end PDA to suddenly touting Cobalt as a smartphone OS. Remarkable how poorly-prepared for its smartphone mission Cobalt was when it was released in December, 2003. And what exactly was the August 2004 Cobalt 6.1 release capable of? Not much. The amount of B.S. and bluster we've seen from PalmSource flunkies trying to defend their mistakes is truly laughable. Cut the B.S. and come clean, Schlesinger. Your credibility is non-existent here. Think maybe Ms. Hackborn will pop up to defend your bruised-up a$$? Guess again, Bubba.
- Craptastic stability + crash protection.
- Expecting licensees to do most of the work writing arcane drivers.
- Yes, PalmSource planned to charge a little more (I heard $15/license) for Cobalt than it did for PalmOS 5. But Jar Jar (Binks MUST DIE!) doesn't know what he's talking about claiming the frontloading of licensing agreements sabotaged Cobalt's future.
- Lack of a decent professional application coding environment.
- Lack of support from developers. (They were expected to completely relearn how to code for PalmOS. Not good.)
- Nebulous timeline. Promising that a finished, STABLE version of Cobalt would be available "real soon now" didn't exactly instill a lot of confidence in licensees that were planning products that would be released two years down the road.


4) Cobalt's main problems were twofold: PalmSource tried to recycle ideas from Be into a mobile OS expected to run on a wide range of hardware; and its development was under the direction of the Holy Be Engineers (HoBeEn). Similarly, PalmLinux was failing (at the time that Access pulled the plug) because it was attempting to recycle code scavenged from Cobalt's rotting carcass. PalmSource failed to realize three things: it lacked the resources to create a mobile OS using old Be ideas; the ideal next-generation mobile OS would require a clen sheet development- something few companies not named Microsoft could manage to complete in less than 5 years; the wisest solution is to lower your sights, not try to reinvent the wheel and just create the SIMPLEST FUNCTIONAL OS possible using as many components that are already available (what a concept).

5) Most of the Be-derived codemonkeys have fled the sinking ship PalmSource, with some landing at Google. No doubt they will destroy that unsuspecting company as well, as they continue their endless quest to create the "perfect code"... Someday the HoBeEn will finally rigure out that in most cases the "best" solution is the one that is the simplest and fastest to implement, even if it's only "adequate" and not particularly elegant. Save the elegance for the college computer science courses. Of course, Palm lacks the codemonkey brain power to create an advanced next-generation version of PalmOS on its own, so we'll have to settle for "functional" and "barely-adequate" instead (just like they SHOULD hve been aiming for all along.

6) The bogus Palm "split" was driven by pure greed and then it (deservedly) blew up in Palm's face. Greed is not always good, especially when a company is run by incompetent buffoons like Benhamou, Gassee, Nagel, Yankowski, etc, etc. Of course, Palm ALMOST pulled off the scam of the decade. Had Motorola and Access not dashed Palm's best laid plans, Palm would probably once again have owned PalmOS by now and would be back in control of their destiny, laughing all the way to the bank.

7) Jeff Hawkins' "next big thing" (a wireless personal media player) is about as revolutionary as a LifeDrive with a 60 GB hard drive borrowed from an iPod. Yawn. Sorry, Jeffy but at least the original Pilot 1000 and Treo 600 you came up with were great ideas. Unfortunately, your well has apparently run dry. At least you get to keep cashing out on your stocks, though - just look at all the victims of incompetent Palm/PalmSource (mis)management that ended up unemployed...


8) Since Access obviously has no interest in the development of PalmOS, it might be a good idea for them to sell off the rights to Cobalt and its PalmLinux derivative to any interested parties (Motorola? Palm?). One problem is that StyleTap Platform effectively showed the world how little value there is in owning PalmOS. Another is that cellphone hardware has yet to catch up to the demands of Cobalt. And Cobalt Jr. (PalmLinux) was unfinished when it was shelved, and likely to have been even more demanding of the hardware.

9) When properly-implemented (e.g. CLIE TH55, VZ90), PalmOS 5 can be as good as a well-designed PalmOS 4 device (Samsung i500) in terms of stability. But at its worst (T5, Treo 650), PalmOS 5 is a bug-infested NightmareOS that has no business being placed on expensive hardware like this.

10) PalmSource manager David Schlesinger's ("stonemirror") previous assertions that PalmSource's Be-derived codemonkeys and Palm-derived codemonkeys were all one big, happy family is amusing. Really. Oh, and when is someone going to muzzle Marty Fouts, former PalmSource codemonkey ("PenguinPowered")? Posting (honest) nuggets like If and when [good engineering did occur at PalmSource], it was mostly by accident, and despite one engineering faction or another getting into another faction or another's face over significant differences in how to develop software. is doing more to destroy what's left of PalmSource's tarnished reputation than anything most critics have posted here.

11) Access buying PalmSource effectively killed all development of PalmOS: PalmOS is dead. Palm's corporate shell game that was played by splitting off PalmSource came back to bite them in the a$$ when they lost control of the one thing that differentiated Palm's products from most of the other PDAs and smartphones out there: the OS. Good luck trying to make it as Just Another Windows Licensee (JAWL), Palm.

12) The licensing of Windows Mobile was inevitable. Initially conceived as an easy way to broaden the appeal of high margin Treos to corporate customers, after watching PalmSource/PalmOS slip through their fingers, Windows Mobile may become Palm's life raft that keeps the company afloat long enough to find a (clueless) buyer for this one trick (dog and) pony (act).


TVoR
(Watching sadly as the Palm Apologists continue to destroy Palminfocenter...)

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/2/2006 7:33:56 PM # Q
Yes, Palm has been working on an alternate OS for a while.

Someone should tell Palm, I don't think they've heard.

Palm has set their sights fairly low for the new Linux-based OS and this DoomsdayOS should be functional within a year.

If Beer's source is to be believed, it's functional now.

Palm is finally - out of necessity - going to Keep It Simple, Stupid: familiar intuitive PIM apps on top of a borrowed Linux-based framework.

Won't that leave them too far behind in feature set? What about your demands for all sorts of novelty?

What a concept! Too bad the idiots at Palm/PalmSource hadn't thought of doing this in 2001 - "Cobalt" could have then shipped in STABLE condition in 2003.

Linux wasn't stable enough to use in an embedded OS in '03. It didn't really start getting that stable until '05. It still needs a lot of power management work to achieve decent battery life.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
Simony @ 4/2/2006 10:23:00 PM # Q
> 6) The bogus Palm "split" was driven by pure greed and then it (deservedly) blew up in Palm's face. Greed is not always good, especially when a company is run by incompetent buffoons like Benhamou, Gassee, Nagel, Yankowski, etc, etc. Of course, Palm ALMOST pulled off the scam of the decade. Had Motorola and Access not dashed Palm's best laid plans, Palm would probably once again have owned PalmOS by now and would be back in control of their destiny, laughing all the way to the bank.

Actually, the split was largely driven by Sony's demands - they didn't want their royalty payments/capital contributions to subsidise Palm. If Sony had pulled the plug on their failed PDA division earlier, the split would never have happened.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
twrock @ 4/3/2006 1:11:19 AM # Q
Actually, the split was largely driven by Sony's demands - they didn't want their royalty payments/capital contributions to subsidise Palm. If Sony had pulled the plug on their failed PDA division earlier, the split would never have happened.

Simony, you just don't get it. Your explanation is far to simple to even warrant a second thought. You are only looking at the readily available information and not going after the really juicy, super secretive, behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody can possibly know. What you need is an ultra-complex explanation.

Your idea doesn't even fit the facts. Well, ok, so it does fit the facts, and it does offer a quite reasonable explanation. But it isn't complex enough and doesn't require enough "imagination" to make it even slightly interesting. I mean, who in the world wants to believe that it was something as simple as that when an elaborate conspiracy theory is so much more fun!

Come back with a theory that somehow involves the Russian mafia and maybe we'll give you the time of day.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
Simony @ 4/3/2006 1:41:24 AM # Q
Sorry, I'll try to get with the program.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 10:04:05 AM # Q
I probably don't need to tell anyone here that just because he's out of rehab again doesn't mean TVoR has found a clue.

A couple of points might bear mentioning, though.

With regard to the performance problems and hardware demands of Cobalt, I don't expect mobile Linux systems to be a lot better, regardless of who makes them. Linux giveth, and Linux taketh away. My impression based on what we've seen so far it that there's much still to be done to improve the giveth/taketh ratio. Of course, the .NET Compact Framework is a dog on anything but the most powerful hardware, too, and even users of new Palm devices are having their expectations lowered on this front, thanks to the NFVS compromise. Still, while it's true that Palm OS 5 is not going to survive long in the harsh realities of a 3G world, don't kid yourself that a Linux Treo is going to be better than a Treo 650 in *every* dimension that will be important to you.

Second, with regard to Cobalt not being accepted due to changes in the APIs, I was frankly surprised that PalmSource managed to retain as much of the Garnet API as they did. I'd expect any modern multitasking system to differ substantially in its application interfaces from what Garnet offered--moreso if it hopes to attract the Linux developer community. Whether the framework we're talking about is MAX or something that Palm cooks up to run on MontaVista MobiLinux, it's sure to bear less resemblance to the ancient 68k APIs than Cobalt did. Having said that, I think most serious Palm developers will welcome a new API if it's got a clean, logical structure, a nice intuitive GUI, and gives them the ability to make fuller use of the hardware capabilities. And most important: if they believe it's going to show up on plenty of devices.

Successive rounds of Garnet have taken much of the fun out of Palm development. New devices have new proprietary APIs and code that is supposed to be forward compatible is not, so a lot of the time that could go into developing new apps or improving features gets eaten up with getting old features supported on the new devices. If someone--PalmSource, Palm, Apple, anyone--can create a worthy successor to the Palm OS and treat its API as the contract with their developers that it really is, that would go a long way to attracting an enthusiastic and talented developer community. New versions of that platform need to drive its innovation, not try to incorporate hacks that were added by licensees to keep it abreast of the times. Do that and very few developers will care if the API doesn't look like the Palm 68k SDK.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/3/2006 2:18:46 PM # Q
It seems that many people want to make sure that the engineering flaws in Cobalt are not forgotten.

OK, I was oversimplifying (intentionally so) as a response to many non-technical folk who have made statements like "Cobalt is horribly wrong because of all the bugs" without even knowing what the problems are. I wasn't addressing technically knowledgable folk at the time. I wasn't trying to bait Marty or anyone like him. My apologies to anyone to who perceived this. Yes, I am aware that failure is complex system and understand multiple contributing factors. I also can create long list of engineering failures on the part of PalmSource.

My main point to was debunk the rampant idea (here as well as in the general investment community) that engineering bugs killed Cobalt.

I am well aware of problems in the Cobalt as well as the development environment, but this isn't the primary issue. I'm well aware that I'm setting myself up for a backlash when I make broad statements "Cobalt doesn't suck". But that statement isn't addressed at technically knowledgable people.

Anybody who is well connected in technology will have friends at Apple or Microsoft who can create long lists of problems in OSX 10.5 or Vista, but you know what: from 20,000 feet up these engineering flaws aren't really important. Products can still be economically viable even if the geeks have a litany of complaints. Microsoft Office is an atrocious product bug-wise, but I would say it is well engineered from an overall point of view when speaking to non-engineers.

Poor engineering is the result of bad-management. Not the other way around. In explaining the failure of Palm, it is necessary to K.I.S.S. Any kind of talk about development environments, drivers, etc. just hides the greed problem. (which is what Benhamou and friends love)

The Palm split was a shell game driven by greed but most non-insiders see the problem as an engineering problem.

Debunking more nonsense from the Palm Apologists:
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 4/3/2006 4:25:15 PM # Q
>>>Yes, Palm has been working on an alternate OS for a while.

Someone should tell Palm, I don't think they've heard.

They've heard. The problem is they don't have anyone capable of answering the bell.

>>>Palm has set their sights fairly low for the new Linux-based OS and this DoomsdayOS should be functional within a year.

If Beer's source is to be believed, it's functional now.

Well Beers' source is wrong.

>>>Palm is finally - out of necessity - going to Keep It Simple, Stupid: familiar intuitive PIM apps on top of a borrowed Linux-based framework.

Won't that leave them too far behind in feature set? What about your demands for all sorts of novelty?

Novelty? Guess again. Palm needs a STABLE, SECURE new OS that can multitask primarily with respect to web browser/email/SMS/telephony and also handle high speed data. Period. Backwards compatibility with current PalmOS apps can easily be achieved through a StyleTap Platform-like environment and developers would then be free to continue coding old skool apps with easy old skool tools. Sometimes the easiest solution is also the best soultion. No one needs useless crap like the dumba$$ transparencies, etc. that the Holy Be Engineers obsessed over. The problem with the BeBoppers was their (fatal) inability to see the forest for the trees. "Big picture" is beyond them. Palm needs a simple OS quickly. Leave the programming of an updated version of the HAL 9000 to my biotches at Google. They have the money/codemonkey power/(and maybe) time to deliver HAL 9000.1 to the world.

>>>What a concept! Too bad the idiots at Palm/PalmSource hadn't thought of doing this in 2001 - "Cobalt" could have then shipped in STABLE condition in 2003.

Linux wasn't stable enough to use in an embedded OS in '03. It didn't really start getting that stable until '05. It still needs a lot of power management work to achieve decent battery life.

Again, depends on how high you set your sights. A simple integration of ARMLinux and PalmOS was feasible years ago. And PalmSource could have quickly become the major player in ARMLinux development had they chosen this path instead of stumbling/staggering/crawling down "Washout Lane" with Cobalt.

I probably don't need to tell anyone here that just because he's out of rehab again doesn't mean TVoR has found a clue.

Beersy, inane Palm Apologists like you are not even worth the energy it takes to keep biotchslapping (even more) senseless. Simony, twrock, just_little_me, Dr Opinion/Jeff Kirvin, (the late) RhinoSteve, relyons and the rest of you imbeciles need to get back into your circle jerk and start "accidentally" splashing each other again.

If someone--PalmSource, Palm, Apple, anyone--can create a worthy successor to the Palm OS and treat its API as the contract with their developers that it really is, that would go a long way to attracting an enthusiastic and talented developer community. New versions of that platform need to drive its innovation, not try to incorporate hacks that were added by licensees to keep it abreast of the times. Do that and very few developers will care if the API doesn't look like the Palm 68k SDK.

Palm and PalmSource were too lazy to do the heavy lifting themselves and had to give licensees a lot of freedom if they expected licensees to do Palm/PalmSource's work for them. Now that Sony, HandEra, Garmin, etc are gone there will be no further innovation seen in the PalmOS platform. And since Palm's codemonkeys couldn't code their way out of a wet paper bag, the platform is truly dead. Palm should have scooped up the Tapwave IP and as many Tapwave codemonkeys as possible, in addition to some of the HandEra people like Mike Waldron. License a few key apps like TCPMP, RescoViewer, TealLock; port the PIM + wireless-dependent apps to a customized current Linux distro; badda boom badda bing: SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!

It seems that many people want to make sure that the engineering flaws in Cobalt are not forgotten.

OK, I was oversimplifying (intentionally so) as a response to many non-technical folk who have made statements like "Cobalt is horribly wrong because of all the bugs" without even knowing what the problems are. I wasn't addressing technically knowledgable folk at the time. I wasn't trying to bait Marty or anyone like him. My apologies to anyone to who perceived this. Yes, I am aware that failure is complex system and understand multiple contributing factors. I also can create long list of engineering failures on the part of PalmSource.

Cut the B.S., Mr. Binks. What are you - like about 14 years old? Congratulations on playing Marty for a fool. He swallowed hook, line, sinker + short& curlies. Funny how I didn't hear him gag... Practice makes perfect, I suppose.


TVoR, Inc.
Copyright 2006.


RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
Simony @ 4/3/2006 5:38:06 PM # Q
^ more nonsense from a Propagandist (methinks).

It's funny how, just a short while ago, The Vat of Refuse had resolved to deny us all the benefit of her thoughts, only to return with a vengence at the first rumour of a new Palm OS.

I guess the stench will continue for so long as the rumours persist.

Conversely, I'd be willing to bet that our resident lunatic would go silent forever if Mr Colligan were to announce that Palm would henceforth offer WinCE devices only.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/3/2006 7:50:09 PM # Q
> If Beer's source is to be believed, it's functional now.

Well Beers' source is wrong.

FX: Knowing grin

If you say so.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/3/2006 7:52:46 PM # Q
Poor engineering is the result of bad-management. Not the other way around.

If you spend enough time in this business, you'll find significant examples of well managed poorly engineered projects.

In part this is because so many people with no background or training in engineering think of themselves as engineers.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
JarJar @ 4/3/2006 11:00:15 PM # Q
If you spend enough time in this business, you'll find significant examples of well managed poorly engineered projects.

I can agree with the above statement. Yes, it is possible that good management can have bad engineers. But my statement says that poor engineers do not make management go bad. Poor engineers make product go bad. The direction of influence is top down.

RE: Palm OS 7 over Linux by Palm Inc. Best solution.
PenguinPowered @ 4/4/2006 1:36:38 AM # Q
Alas, even that is not true. I've seen bad engineering turn managers into gamblers as deadlines run out.

This is not a business that is suitable to fortune-cookie aphorisms.

Anyone who thinks that either kind of problem is recent is directed to Kidder's _Soul of a New Machine_...


May You Live in Interesting Times

Reply to this comment

I predict...

legodude522 @ 3/30/2006 1:19:55 AM # Q
I predict a spin off of PalmOSLinuxSource.

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000
So long Palm OS.
RE: I predict...
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 3:36:41 AM # Q
LeftySource?


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: I predict...
stonemirror @ 3/30/2006 9:24:46 AM # Q
I predict a spin off of PalmOSLinuxSource.

What kind of odds were you offering on that...?

Reply to this comment

Let's be careful about this

Simony @ 3/30/2006 1:19:33 AM # Q
Warning: our little friend, Surur, has been trying to develop this rumour in the treocentral.com forums over the last few days. Given the history of his propaganda efforts over here at PIC and other sites, I wouldn't call him the most reliable source of information. If anyone else has heard anything, I'd be interested to hear it.

RE: Let's be careful about this
Surur @ 3/30/2006 1:50:51 AM # Q
Ouch Simony! I am not a source, just a conduit. I sure hope I'm not David's "Analyst" :)

I agree we dont know anything for certain, but the (public) clues certainly point the way to a PalmLinux.

What has really been amazing is the number of people who are in complete denial about the evidence. Its almost like trying to argue evolution to a creationist!

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Let's be careful about this
Simony @ 3/30/2006 3:02:56 AM # Q
I'm not denying anything. Just advising caution. And so what if they are cooking up something? It may never lead anywhere (eg Palm OS6.x).

RE: Let's be careful about this
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 3:30:34 AM # Q
I'm not in denial over the evidence; just amused at the way it is being interpretted.

A lot of it, I suspect, is that people don't really understand what either "Linux on a treo" or "writing an OS" means very well.

Maybe the analyst just saw a treo running the open-source linux we've read about here?



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Let's be careful about this
Surur @ 3/30/2006 4:48:14 AM # Q
I was not referring to you or even Simony. I'm talking about the flack I was getting from gharrod and even our own moderator gfunkmagic over at Treocentral e.g.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
Seriously, I don't know what you guys are smoking. You've been reading too much VOR, pikesoft, etc over at PIC probably I dunno...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gharrod
No wise man can reason away what a fool believes. So believe what you may read into things but I will promise you that wrong is wrong. It is not my job to convince you of reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gharrod
No, it is a very simple way to say you are dead wrong and are to dense to recognize that you are wrong. But I am through trying to talk sense to you with your nonsensical and argumentative replies. But we are used to that from you Surur.

http://treo.discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=97108&page=4&pp=20

Arguing from willful ignorance seems fashionable over there.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Let's be careful about this
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 8:25:00 AM # Q
The analyst isn't Surer, he's someone who has had direct conversations with Palm. It's my impression that he hasn't seen the Linux 650 himself and he may or may not understand that regardless of the impression he was given it's likely that Palm is licensing someone else's Linux OS and just adding platform components to it. That's a big enough project given the state of Linux on mobile devices right now. Notice that the senior Linux engineer position I posted early suggested as much: "You will be responsible for the design and development of components of a new software platform."

You should still be careful, of course. I'm satisfied by what I heard because it lines up with the writing I see on the wall, but you probably want to question analysts as a general rule.

I should note that if he really was given the impression that Palm is hedging its OS risk and that they want to maintain their relationships with PalmSource and Microsoft, this OS might never see the light of day. That introduction date obviously hasn't been announced--nor has any of this information--and there's no telling whether that's a fixed plan.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Let's be careful about this
just_little_me @ 3/31/2006 1:01:22 AM # Q
It's funny what people read into things... very funny. :-)


JLM.

Reply to this comment

Exactly what we need

abosco @ 3/30/2006 2:14:45 AM # Q
More fragmentation among the platform. Pretty soon, the UX50's memory allocation will look relatively organized in comparison.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a
RE: Exactly what we need
Timothy Rapson @ 3/30/2006 7:40:39 AM # Q
What a great comparision.
Wonder what ever happened to those little Gameboy Advanced cased wonders? Sony sure kept the PDA market interesting. Their products were like a box of chocolates--you never knew what you were going to get.

Reply to this comment

Not on devices till 18 months.

Surur @ 3/30/2006 2:19:42 AM # Q

I agree with David on a few things, but disagree with him on many also. One of the main areas I disagree with is the time line - this OS wont be ready for Lowrider or Hollywood.

Give it another 6 months to get finished, another 6 months for FCC clearance, and another 6 months for carrier testing.

Hollywood is WM5
Lowrider is POS.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Not on devices till 18 months.
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 3:33:32 AM # Q
Give it another 6 months to get finished, another 6 months for FCC clearance, and another 6 months for carrier testing.

FCC clearance doesn't require the OS be fully functional, only that the radio be testable. If they were to do it on an existing Treo, FCC clearance would be pro forma.

On the other hand, I would not be surprised if 18 months is optimistic.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Not on devices till 18 months.
Timothy Rapson @ 3/30/2006 7:43:05 AM # Q
Could 2006 be the year Palm fails to deliver even a single new real PDA? Even the new Treos look like nothing new. What a boring time to be in the market for a new Palm.

RE: Not on devices till 18 months.
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 8:45:23 AM # Q
Surer wrote:
I agree with David on a few things, but disagree with him on many also. One of the main areas I disagree with is the time line - this OS wont be ready for Lowrider or Hollywood.

That was just speculation on my part that it could be ready. The information I have now is that all the devices planned for this year will be either Garnet or Windows Mobile. Given that, I'd expect (as I think you do) that Lowrider will be Palm OS and Hollywood will probably be WM.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Not on devices till 18 months.
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 9:23:38 AM # Q
My predicted Palm roadmap for '06:

700p = FrankenGarnet w/ EVDO, CDMA only. Released in May/June

Lowrider=FrankenGartnet w/o EVDO etc, CDMA & GSM versions. Released in Sept/Oct.

Hollywood = WinMob GSM. Released in Sept/Oct. Eventual release stateside by Cingular and POSSIBLY T-Mobile.

700w=WinMob CDMA already out on Verizon. Appearing for Sprint later this summer. No GSM version because no one but Cingular would have interest in it.

T|E3 ("Probably called Palm E3") = FrankenGarnet 5.4.9, updated Palm branding, 64mb NVFS, minimal OS etc changes. Released in May/June or midsummer.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

Reply to this comment

Lament for a lost cause

thor @ 3/30/2006 3:24:28 AM # Q
This just depresses me....and excites me. It depresses me because I think of the time, human effort and thought and money spent on POS 6, on ALP and now on another Palm OS. Alot of duplication and going back and forth over the same ground. What a waste. But it excites me since as one commentator put it, at least it means Palm is not a lie down, WM follower of fashion....completely.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 3/30/2006 2:54:29 PM # Q
Even if Palm is not a lie down, working on an OS for several years then throwing it away produces the same result as lying down and costs more money. They could have laid down all this time and gotten to the same place.

Any talk of OS7 is so idiotic because OS7 is just another Cobalt. Cobalt was finished and ready for use, but Palm mortgaged their OS for cash and then defaulted on the mortgage.

Now they are rebuilding Cobalt again. Only this Cobalt is built with less money, with less time, with less familiar engineers, with less input from phone and corporate users, with less comprehensive features.

Arrrrrrrrg!!! why are they doing this?!!!!!

RE: Lament for a lost cause
freakout @ 3/31/2006 4:50:09 PM # Q
"Arrrrrrrrg!!! why are they doing this?!!!!!"

Since not only Palm but every single other PalmOS licensee chose to ignore Cobalt, I'm guessing that there was something horribly, horribly wrong with it.

I mean, I'm sure Palm would love to have a next-gen mobile OS that wasn't WinMob. Since they haven't picked up Cobalt, there is clearly some kind of technical reason that prevents them from doing so.

Otherwise, they would have.

This sig is a placeholder till I come up with something good

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 5:15:53 PM # Q
Since not only Palm but every single other PalmOS licensee chose to ignore Cobalt, I'm guessing that there was something horribly, horribly wrong with it.

Nah. The technology was fine. The official story is correct: it simply wasn't what the licensees wanted or needed at the time.

PSRC management is responsible for the failure to understand the market requirement, PSRC engineering is responsible for the long delay in making the product available.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Surur @ 3/31/2006 6:26:38 PM # Q
Nah. The technology was fine. The official story is correct: it simply wasn't what the licensees wanted or needed at the time.

Could you elaborate on this? What did the licensees (especially PalmOne) need, and what did PSRC deliver? I think even the official story is still not clear in anyone's mind.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 6:40:48 PM # Q
I came in at the end of the story (November '04) and so I may be confused as well, but at that point, Cobalt was a fine PDA OS but, it seemed, the licensees wanted two things it didn't have:

1) telephony -- I'm not sure which part was missing, but apparently there were missing bits that mattered

2) a device driver model they could write to -- Cobalt has an, um, unique, device driver model, and few people understood it, (basically because few people ahd seen it yet.) and they all worked for PSRC. Licensees were, I'm told, reluctant to deal with all the device-driver writing they would have to do to port Cobalt to new devices.

I was led to believe that the second was a much bigger factor than the first for most licensees. Certainly one of the 'compelling' arguments for going to a Linux kernel, but keeping the Cobalt user-land, was fixing that.

The part you can blame Be engineers for is that the object-oriented nature of the Cobalt device driver model may have been great computer science, but it was, and remains, lousy engineering. It solved a problem no one cared about very elegantly, at the cost of huge amounts of overhead in ordinary cases.

This, by the way, should be a cautionary tale to people who design object oriented OSes, but given the history of the genre, and the sort of remarks Dianne Hackborn made in her OSNews interview, I'd guess it's one that continues to go past them.

Anyway, that's the story as I understand it, having, as I said, come late to the party.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
ChiA @ 3/31/2006 6:47:52 PM # Q
Could you elaborate on this? What did the licensees (especially PalmOne) need, and what did PSRC deliver?

It's a question that's been asked several times and nobody seems willing to answer.

I also wonder whether it was Cobalt itself which was rejected or the terms and conditions of the licence for using it, i.e. was PalmSource demanding too high a fee from manufacturers for using Cobalt?

"It is commonly said, and more particularly by Lord Shaftesbury, that ridicule is the best test of truth".
Lord Chesterfield

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Surur @ 3/31/2006 7:07:12 PM # Q
2) a device driver model they could write to -- Cobalt has an, um, unique, device driver model, and few people understood it, (basically because few people ahd seen it yet.) and they all worked for PSRC. Licensees were, I'm told, reluctant to deal with all the device-driver writing they would have to do to port Cobalt to new devices.

This is actually something I dont understand. In the windows world the manufacturer writes the drivers. Surely if I say I'll buy 2 million of your $10 chips if you throw in the drivers, the component maker would comply? And when you come around next time they would have the experience to do it even faster?

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Lament for a lost cause
ChiA @ 3/31/2006 7:20:36 PM # Q
It's disappointing to learn that Cobalt lacked some features in the telephony department when you consider PalmSource was promoting Cobalt a fresh new smartphone OS.

Marty, please can you clarify on the issue of these device drivers for us lay people. Was it a case of it was too difficult to write drivers for the components within the handheld/smartphone (ie drivers telling Cobalt OS how to display something on a particular TFT screen) or for optional accessories for the handheld/smartphone (ie wi-fi SD cards, bluetooth headsets, keyboards etc)?

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Gekko @ 3/31/2006 7:58:49 PM # Q
RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 8:17:30 PM # Q
In the windows world the manufacturer writes the drivers.

This is only sort of true. The manufacture writes what is called a "reference driver". The vendor who integrates the device also integrates the driver. In the windows world, there is a lot of commonality between devices, and so the integration is pretty easy.

Surely if I say I'll buy 2 million of your $10 chips if you throw in the drivers, the component maker would comply?

Embedded devices aren't as simple to do drivers for as PCs. Each device maker installs their own busses, assigns different pins to the same function, and so forth. A vendor might end up spending 250 thousand doing a driver for a chip. It doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. (Component makers have to spend more to develop drivers than their customers would because they also have to put together the support materia that goes with the driver.)

Also, there are a lot of little embedded OSes, and it would be a nightmare to try and do part support for every one of them.

So, traditionally, no, vendors won't comply, and device makers do their own driver writing.

Finally, for many embedded OSes, the difference between the cost of doing the entire driver and doing the integration work you have to do anyway is so small, it's not worth haggling with the component maker for the savings.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 8:28:37 PM # Q
was PalmSource demanding too high a fee from manufacturers for using Cobalt?

that's certainly something I can't comment on, since I wasn't privy to any licensee negotiations.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 8:30:49 PM # Q
Was it a case of it was too difficult to write drivers for the components within the handheld/smartphone (ie drivers telling Cobalt OS how to display something on a particular TFT screen) or for optional accessories for the handheld/smartphone (ie wi-fi SD cards, bluetooth headsets, keyboards etc)?

As I understand it, both, although the concern was components within the device.

I don't know that it was actually too hard, and there are certainly people who've written device drivers for Cobalt who've argued that it was, in fact, easy.

I do know that the licensees were convinced that it was too hard, and perception matters a great deal in convincing people to adopt new technology.

My own experience with the driver model, based on writing exactly one trivial driver for exactly one device and debugging another, was that the model was baroque and required climbing a high learning curve to become familiar with.

I didn't have enough experience with it to know if it would be a good model once one had climbed the learning curve.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 8:35:57 PM # Q
gekko: too little, too late certainly explains that PSRC missed a marketing opportunity. What it doesn't explain is that why, once Cobalt was actually ready for prime time it was still being so strongly resisted by licensees for whom it should have been a good choice.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Gekko @ 3/31/2006 8:45:24 PM # Q

"When in a rare moment, all of the QA divisions would say thumbs down to shipping the buggy OS, the infamous Dave Nagel would say ship it anyways."

---

April 21, 2005
Joaquin Menchaca (San Jose, CA USA)

Now I was there before and after Amelio was there, when things were in dire straits. My manager in a team meeting would ask "Common sense, and why is there none at Apple?" When in a rare moment, all of the QA divisions would say thumbs down to shipping the buggy OS, the infamous Dave Nagel would say ship it anyways. The local community college in Cupertino (who dearly love Macs) had actually put a purchase freeze on Macs. I recall Amelio relaying a story about him trying out the new Macs at his desk, and had it crash all the time; he understood there was a serious problem and tried to do something about it, but unfortunately there was Nagel and others. Some engineers' attitudes was the workaround for the bug was to "buy a new computer". Now Nagel is off to Palm to destroy drive that into the ground.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0887309194/ref=pd_sxp_f/102-2493192-9888151?v=glance&s=books


RE: Lament for a lost cause
Simony @ 3/31/2006 8:50:04 PM # Q
> 1) telephony -- I'm not sure which part was missing, but apparently there were missing bits that mattered

Ha! So much for that Kirvan guy prattling on about how Cobalt was targetted to smartphones ...

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Surur @ 3/31/2006 9:08:58 PM # Q

I was actually talking about WIN CE. There you can get Board Support Packages, which are basically standard development boards with all the drivers ready, plus you can purchase drivers for certain chips, which you can add to your BSP using Platform Builder. If you go here ( http://www.mswep.com/ ) and type in USB Driver for example you get 12 different people trying to sell you their stuff.

Palm sells 4 million+ devices/year. I am surprised this does not translate into significant clout with their suppliers.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

'This is Rumour Control: here are the facts.'
stonemirror @ 3/31/2006 10:08:55 PM # Q
...prattling on about how Cobalt was targetted to smartphones ...

Before anyone gets too excited, allow me to point out a couple of things.

Marty never worked on Cobalt.

I did work on Cobalt, have first-hand information, and can tell you that if there was "missing telephony functionality", I don't know what it would be. I've personally used (and demo'd) Cobalt on a development board with a GSM/GPRS module to make and receive voice calls, make data calls, cruise the web, send and receive SMS messages, etc.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 10:10:00 PM # Q
I was actually talking about WIN CE. There you can get Board Support Packages, which are basically standard development boards with all the drivers ready, plus you can purchase drivers for certain chips, which you can add to your BSP using Platform Builder.

BSPs come from CPU vendors, mainly, and yes, the lead CPU vendors in the embedded space tend to provide BSPs for a few OSes. It's not unusual to find Linux support on a BSP; and vendors do provide drivers for the reference boards that the BSPs are for.

I was talking about actual drivers on the vendor's hardware. Palm customizes a lot of stuff in order to get from the reference board form factor to what fits into the actual device -- and in the process, breaks many of the assumptions that are made by BSPs.

You can see this in action. The Intel Lubbock board is the basic development platform for several Palm devices. The open source port to the Treo650 is based, more or less, on the Lubbock BSP. Notice how many drivers don't work out of the box? That's how much hardware gets customized for a typical device.

Palm sells 4 million+ devices/year. I am surprised this does not translate into significant clout with their suppliers.

It does. But said clout doesn't extend to device driver support for a new, untried OS.

Also, in this instance, since there weren't yet licensees, it is PalmSource's clout that would matter, and a vendor of a new OS has almost zero clout, even with the CPU vendors, for the usual chicken-and-egg problem. Why should the vendor risk writing device drivers and so forth for an OS no one may buy?

Had PSRC had significant buy in for Cobalt, getting hardware vendor support might have been easy. In at least one case PSRC did manage to get that sort of support, but one CPU vendor does not a viable base make.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
AdamaDBrown @ 3/31/2006 10:13:24 PM # Q
telephony -- I'm not sure which part was missing, but apparently there were missing bits that mattered

As I understand it, the problem was that the standard telephony component only supported about half of all neccessary CDMA network interactions neccessary to build a phone, and no GSM network interactions at all. (It might have been the other way around, with half of GSM and no CDMA, but I don't think so.) To build a phone device, the manufacturer would essentially have to have written their own phone component to handle these functions.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 10:18:41 PM # Q
Marty never worked on Cobalt.

I did, in fact, work on Cobalt, for a few months in late '04 and early '05. I wrote a battery driver for a reference board, debugged some of the NAND-related issues, and worked on Mike Chen's port of LFS to Cobalt.

As I said, the main problem I was aware of was vendor reluctance to accept the new driver model.

Cobalt was targeted at smartphones.

It missed.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 10:27:11 PM # Q
>> 1) telephony -- I'm not sure which part was missing, but apparently there were missing bits that mattered

Ha! So much for that Kirvan guy prattling on about how Cobalt was targetted to smartphones ...

Cobalt was targetted to smartphones.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 1:42:01 AM # Q
What it doesn't explain is that why, once Cobalt was actually ready for prime time it was still being so strongly resisted by licensees for whom it should have been a good choice.

Answer: Cobalt was ready for primetime and was perfect for Treo. (The minor complaints were true, but they were mostly camoflage bargaining for the real objection i.e. $) The licensing structure used by Palm was ridiculous and invented during the heydey of Palm's upward rise. The primary flaw of the licensing structure is that it encourages hardware makers to stay at their current OS. A proper licensing scheme would be based on royalties. Palm's scheme relied heavily on upfront fees when the OS increased in version.

At the time Cobalt was completed, PalmOne was unable to afford the licensing fees. Or rather they didn't want to the pay huge fees that would push the quarterly earnings deep into the red and make them look bad. Basically management wanted to keep their jobs and paying for Cobalt would have exposed their mismanagement. Solution--don't use Cobalt.

PalmSource on the other hand separated from Palm basing their value on a huge future windfall expected from the Cobalt release. It would have been impossible for them to wean themselves away from the lump-sum licensing model. PalmSource was not in a position to criticize its only customer. (Other hardware licensees at this point were so small as to not be of consequence and these other hardware licensees would never use Cobalt first unless PalmOne led) It would be impossible for anybody at PalmSource to criticize the structure of licensing because this would require an admission of wrongdoing and the fact that they were essentially spending out of a future windfall that did not really exist.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 1:58:39 AM # Q
Had PSRC had significant buy in for Cobalt, getting hardware vendor support might have been easy.
PalmSource did have buy in for Cobalt and then PalmOne backstabbed out. Basically all the other device makers and vendors are too small and will only follow the lead of PalmOne. If PalmOne backs out nobody else is in.

Personally, I believe that PalmOne initially intended to follow through with Cobalt. After all, the Treo 650 was designed for Cobalt not for Garnet. Money wasn't embezzled or stolen, it was just unrealistically estimated and then PalmOne found themselves unable to pay for the Cobalt because the money they were dreaming about didn't actually exist.

telephony, drivers, etc.
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 2:51:45 AM # Q
All the talk of telephony issues, drivers etc. Many of these concerns are valid from an engineer's point of view, but they are technical issues that many of the PalmOne decisions makers are oblivious to. I don't mean any disrespect to any of you engineers out there, but none of these issues mean a rat's whisker to the decision makers.

Basically PalmOne didn't want Cobalt because paying for Cobalt would have exposed their poor cashflow.


RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 3:07:22 AM # Q
PalmOne made its decisions for reasons I'm not familiar with, but:

1) Cobalt wasn't ready for primetime when Treo went to market. It didn't become ready until late in '04.

2) PalmOne was PalmSource's cash cow. They set the terms of license deals, not PSRC.

3) Maybe PalmOne's management pays no attention to technical issues when they make such decisions. If they do, they're the only company in the valley that operates that way.

4) As someone who has made similar decisions for Fortune 500 companies, and for startups; I can assure you that companies that don't pay attention to what they're buying or not buying don't stay in business very long.

May You Live in Interesting Times

Lamentable lost cause that was Cobalt
ChiA @ 4/1/2006 5:31:29 AM # Q
What I find remarkable about the whole Cobalt debacle is how the PalmSource shareholders didn't grumble about how Cobalt hasn't sold to any licensee: it wasn't earning PalmSource any money despite the considerable resources spent on creating it and it's been like this for the past eighteen months.

Now that Access have bought all their shares at a higher than market value and PalmSource is merely a subsidiary of Access, those former PalmSource shareholders have even less incentive to spill the beans.

I also find it odd that there was no public criticism of Palm (formerly PalmOne) of PalmSources's Cobalt, maybe they were scared of jeopardising their contract with respect to Garnet but such criticism may have pushed PalmSource towards making Cobalt more suitable for Palm's needs.

Let's face it, Cobalt was so unattractive that Palm felt making their own OS and adopting Windows Mobile as the more viable solutions.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
ChiA @ 4/1/2006 5:58:36 AM # Q
sorry, that should have read no public criticism by Palm of PalmSource's Cobalt.
RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 11:44:49 AM # Q
What I find remarkable about the whole Cobalt debacle is how the PalmSource shareholders didn't grumble about how Cobalt hasn't sold to any licensee: it wasn't earning PalmSource any money despite the considerable resources spent on creating it and it's been like this for the past eighteen months.

It is likely some shareholders have complained, but the reality is that there are no other customers for Cobalt. If PalmOne doesn't buy in, then there is no developer buy-in and there is no software available. You could end up with an Atari Jaguar. (Great game machine with no software)

Maybe PalmOne's management pays no attention to technical issues when they make such decisions.
I never said that PalmOne never looks at technical issues, but in this case PalmOne already had good reasons to stay away from Cobalt (regardless of what their technicals guys said) and technical issues provided convenient cover.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 11:58:03 AM # Q
I also find it odd that there was no public criticism of Palm (formerly PalmOne) of PalmSources's Cobalt, maybe they were scared of jeopardising their contract with respect to Garnet but such criticism may have pushed PalmSource towards making Cobalt more suitable for Palm's needs.

It is in fact a disturbing conspicuous omission. If there were major problems with Cobalt, PalmOne should have said something about this internally and/or to their investors.

PalmOne skipped on Cobalt because they needed to appear more profitable than they really were.

Because of this, they quietly stopped talking about Cobalt and moved on. WinMob licensing isn't as oious and isn't as front-loaded. Moving to WinMob was a perfect solution. Neither PalmOne nor PalmSource wants to heavily talk about Cobalt today because to do exposes mismanagement and exposes the fallacy of splitting Palm in the first place.

If Cobalt truly was a horrible horrible piece of engineering you would have seen very different messages coming from both companies. They would have been name-calling and very publicly blaming each other. Instead, because the real problems in this case were financial mismanagement, both sides have an incentive to quietly steer away from Cobalt discussion.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 12:28:33 PM # Q
To answer all your questions:

Cobalt wasn't ready for primetime when Treo went to market. It didn't become ready until late in '04.

True: Cobalt wasn't quite ready when the first Treo went to market. Instead Palm/One had the brilliant idea of using Garnet and using duct tape to make it work. FrankenGarnet was a temporary fix to get Treo out the door. At that time they still intended to move to Cobalt.

PalmOne was PalmSource's cash cow. They set the terms of license deals, not PSRC.

True: PalmOne was the only substantial customer. Though I wouldn't call it a cash "cow", I would call it a cash "chicken" and a rather scrawney chicken by that time;) The front-loaded style of licensing was created long before PalmSource existed and both P1 and PS had an incentive not to change the style. I actually pointed to some Palm execs long ago that Handspring was using OS 3.1 in their Prisms long after OS 4.0 was released. I complained about the structure of licensing that gave incentives to avoid upgrading.

Maybe PalmOne's management pays no attention to technical issues when they make such decisions. If they do, they're the only company in the valley that operates that way.

Please see my earlier response. I think PalmOne does pay attention to technical details. But they do not do so for the benefit of the product but to exploit technical details to support other decisions outside of engineering.

As someone who has made similar decisions for Fortune 500 companies, and for startups; I can assure you that companies that don't pay attention to what they're buying or not buying don't stay in business very long.

Like I said, I think PalmOne management is paying attention, and I think that ditching Cobalt was advantageous. (for them to hide their incompetence and boost profit in the short run) PalmSource is not staying in business very long--they are essentially already dead. PalmOne can probably run for several years on WinMob and milking Garnet devices. Palm was once financially and brand-name a behemoth. Today they are roaches living off the carcass of a wooly mammoth. I expect them to live for a while not because of their exceptional prowess but because they have so much stored fat.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Simony @ 4/1/2006 2:18:18 PM # Q
> Palm was once financially and brand-name a behemoth. Today they are roaches living off the carcass of a wooly mammoth. I expect them to live for a while not because of their exceptional prowess but because they have so much stored fat.

If that's right, then it would be in the best interests of Palm's stockholders to simply stop any further work on a new OS (if there is any), sell the existing business to some credulous corporate and distribute the sale proceeds to stockholders by winding-up the Palm company.

Rule of life: If it comes down to a choice between being at the bleeding edge of innovation (to win the plaudits of geeks) or taking the money and running, then the average stockholder could use the exercise.

And that's how it should be, because all that nice shiny tech you geeks love to fondle was only ever created to make money.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 4:03:48 PM # Q
Like I said, I think PalmOne management is paying attention, and I think that ditching Cobalt was advantageous. (for them to hide their incompetence and boost profit in the short run)

You say that, but the structure of the license deal at the time doesn't support the claim.

PalmOne didn't hide anything as a result of not buying into Cobalt. If anything, the controversy surrounding a decision like that caused more focus on their business practice, not less.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 4:50:28 PM # Q
PalmOne didn't hide anything as a result of not buying into Cobalt. If anything, the controversy surrounding a decision like that caused more focus on their business practice, not less.

Had they bought into Cobalt, the result would have been some negatives on their quarterly earning which would have been very visible. The financial community would have shreiked and heads would have rolled.

Skipping Cobalt only brings about focus on the part of a few knowledgable technical folk like yourself, but is by far the lesser scrutiny. The average Joe doesn't know one OS from another.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/1/2006 4:56:40 PM # Q

This is possibly true on the part of stockholders, but not on the part of management.

Even on the part of stockholders, Palm is still overvalued due to the (still shrinking halo) and there is some financial gain to be made by milking the halo and not letting people know the emperor is really naked.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/1/2006 8:32:45 PM # Q
Had they bought into Cobalt, the result would have been some negatives on their quarterly earning which would have been very visible. The financial community would have shreiked and heads would have rolled.

You keep saying things like this, but the financials of the licensing deal don't back them up.

The problem is that you assume that PalmSource would continue to demand front-loaded licenses. Palm was in a position to demand a change to the license loading, that they did eventually demand and get, and such a change would not have had any noticable impact on their quarterly numbers.

Whatever Palm's reasons for not picking Cobalt, the financial impact of the license deal wasn't one of them.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Simony @ 4/1/2006 8:59:11 PM # Q
> This is possibly true on the part of stockholders, but not on the part of management.

> Even on the part of stockholders, Palm is still overvalued due to the (still shrinking halo) and there is some financial gain to be made by milking the halo and not letting people know the emperor is really naked.

I don't agree. Management are merely agents of the stockholders. They are hired and paid (sometimes too much) to act in the best interests of stockholders.

Part of running a business is the perennial question of how you allocate capital. Capital doesn't grow on trees (unless you know a nice friendly VC, with more money than brains). This means that every business decision needs to weigh-up BOTH the costs and the benefits. If the benefits are not sufficient to justify the costs, then it's an easy decision to make.

Without knowing what drove P1 to decide not to license Cobalt, the implication is that they thought the benefits were outweighed by the costs.

This appears to have upset some people who were denied the opportunity of nice new toy to play with. Fine. It's a free country, so those people are at liberty to start their own company and license Cobalt to run on the units they produce.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
ChiA @ 4/1/2006 10:54:52 PM # Q
Simony said
Rule of life: If it comes down to a choice between being at the bleeding edge of innovation (to win the plaudits of geeks) or taking the money and running, then the average stockholder could use the exercise.

Yes, the average stockholder can run but it's the wise stockholder who has the potential to get the greatest return from sticking with a good stock for the long run.

The reality of life is that it comes down to either:
- being at the bleeding edge of innovation to win the banknotes of customers from your rivals selling their outdated technology at the same price.
or
- selling the same stuff as your rivals but a few dollars cheaper.

However unless you're selling disposable razors that innovation is essential to maintain revenue levels (i.e. preventing the market from becoming stagnant) otherwise we'd all still be usimg 1982 IBM PCs.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
stonemirror @ 4/2/2006 11:49:25 AM # Q
As I understand it, the problem was that the standard telephony component only supported about half of all neccessary CDMA network interactions neccessary to build a phone, and no GSM network interactions at all.

Your understanding is at complete odds with reality. Cobalt never supported CDMA, which requires a licensing agreement with Qualcomm. If you can try to be more specific about "unsupported network interactions", I can possibly address that likely misapprehension as well, but I don't know off-hand to what you could be referring.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
stonemirror @ 4/2/2006 12:39:05 PM # Q
PalmSource is not staying in business very long--they are essentially already dead.

News to me.

As my friend C.K. Haun likes to say, "A funny thing happened to me last week: I got paid."

Let me mention again at this point that we're a platinum sponsor of LinuxWorld Boston, we'll be having a significant presence there (and if you're interested in getting a look at an early version of ALP/MAX, here's your chance; I'll be personally demoing stuff 2-3 hours a day for all three days), and our participation was key in LinuxWorld's first-ever conference track on "Mobile and Embedded Linux"...

Look for the big "Mobile Linux Pavilion" right in front of the escalators, first thing you'll see as you get onto the tradeshow floor...

And if you see a guy wearing screamin' yellow Puma sneakers, whizzing around on a Segway, that's me.

I have one of the best jobs in the entire world. You guys thought I was kidding about the "Minister of Fun" stuff.

PalmOS is DEAD. Killed by Access
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 4/2/2006 4:21:03 PM # Q
Let me mention again at this point that we're a platinum sponsor of LinuxWorld Boston, we'll be having a significant presence there (and if you're interested in getting a look at an early version of ALP/MAX, here's your chance; I'll be personally demoing stuff 2-3 hours a day for all three days), and our participation was key in LinuxWorld's first-ever conference track on "Mobile and Embedded Linux"...

It appears that you don't seem to realize that no one here gives a rat's a$$ about Access' MAX OS. This is PALMinfocenter, and readers here care about PalmOS. Within months of purchasing PalmSource, Access effectively pulled the plug on PalmOS development. Your Japanese masters have reduced PalmOS to a meaningless gimmick in their new product - do you actually expect anyone here to be happy about that, Mr. Schlesinger? PalmOS is DEAD. Unless Access were to announce renewed development of PalmOS, they can take "ALP/MAX" and shove it where the sun don't shine. Take THAT message back to your Japanese masters, Bubba.

And if you see a guy wearing screamin' yellow Puma sneakers, whizzing around on a Segway, that's me.

I have one of the best jobs in the entire world. You guys thought I was kidding about the "Minister of Fun" stuff.

It's sad that you say that you'll be "wearing screamin' yellow Puma sneakers, whizzing around on a Segway" as if you're actually proud of it. Geeks like you make normal people cringe and further reinforce the stereotype that computer programmers are pathetic nerds.

Take care, David.


TVoR

RE: Lament for a lost cause
stonemirror @ 4/2/2006 5:53:31 PM # Q
Well, one can almost imagine that someone found him-or-herself in physical distress trying to keep his-or-her word.

Don't suppose I'm wearing yellow sneakers specifically for the occasion, by the way. I usually do. I just like 'em.

And if you've never ridden a Segway, I strongly recommend it, if you can manage it without buying your own. They're a ton of fun, just ask Woz. He owns five.

Live in the Future; it's starting now.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
stonemirror @ 4/2/2006 6:14:23 PM # Q
...no one here gives a rat's a$$ about Access' MAX OS.

Well, I certainly do. And Ryan must: he's just informed me that he's going to be at the booth ten ayem, Tuesday morning. No doubt there are one or two others as well...

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Simony @ 4/2/2006 8:11:14 PM # Q
> Yes, the average stockholder can run but it's the wise stockholder who has the potential to get the greatest return from sticking with a good stock for the long run.

Fine, whatever you say.

I just wish that I had taken the money and run during the dot.com bubble (rather than holding out for the promised superior returns from innovation). If I had done that, I may have ended up with a nice little profit*, instead of the enormous losses I suffered.

Anyways, I did learn a valuable lesson from all this - I hope you don't have to learn that same lesson the hard way.

* Footnote: The most beautiful word in the English language.

Whoa! Cobalt left out Garnet;'s CDMA!!??
ChiA @ 4/3/2006 2:42:04 AM # Q
stonemirror said
Cobalt never supported CDMA which requires a licensing agreement with Qualcomm

So from the customer's perspective Cobalt is actually a step backward from Garnet: after all the Garnet Treo 650 is available in a CDMA version.

This suggests that either:
- Palm had to add CDMA functionality to Garnet by itself to create the CDMA Treo 650; any device manufacturer wishing to create a Palm OS CDMA device would have to licence the OS and go through extra work obtaining the CDMA licence and adding the functionality.

- PalmSource had an agreement with Qualcomm which lapsed after Garnet.

either of these plausible reasons only adds to why Cobalt was so unattractive to the then PalmOne and other Palm OS licensees.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
freakout @ 4/3/2006 5:09:10 AM # Q
"And if you've never ridden a Segway, I strongly recommend it, if you can manage it without buying your own. They're a ton of fun"

Don't know if you're an 'Arrested Development' fan, stonemirror, but Gob's Segway is used for some of the most hilarious sight gags ever. I'm glad they exist for that reason alone :)

This sig is a placeholder till I come up with something good

RE: Lament for a lost cause
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 8:57:10 AM # Q
TVoR wrote:
This is PALMinfocenter, and readers here care about PalmOS

A funny thing happened when TVoR's new prescription ran out. He found out he'd been turned into a "PALM Apologist."

What an amusing spectacle.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Lamentable Cause
ChiA @ 4/3/2006 10:21:35 AM # Q
AdamaBrown said
the problem was that the standard telephony component [in Cobalt] only supported about half of all neccessary CDMA network interactions neccessary to build a phone, and no GSM network interactions at all.

stonemirror responded

If you can try to be more specific about "unsupported network interactions", I can possibly address that likely misapprehension as well, but I don't know off-hand to what you could be referring.

Let's take a walk down (NFVS) memory lane:
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=7166
( New features in Palm OS Cobalt 6.1:

* Integrated Telephony Components -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 now includes a standard GSM, MUX and a new GPRS API designed to make it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to create a Palm Powered smartphone )

This implies that telephony was added to the original Cobalt as an afterthought; Palmsource hadn't set out to make the original Cobalt into an OS specifically catering for smartphones.

Maybe that was the deal breaker for PalmOne, they looked at Cobalt 6.0, saw all the extra work they had to do to write drivers. They saw all the extra work in writing the telephony apps and felt that with all this extra work and higher licence fees they may as well make their own home brew Palm OS.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 1:09:32 PM # Q
ChiA wrote:
So from the customer's perspective Cobalt is actually a step backward from Garnet: after all the Garnet Treo 650 is available in a CDMA version.

This suggests that either:
- Palm had to add CDMA functionality to Garnet by itself to create the CDMA Treo 650; any device manufacturer wishing to create a Palm OS CDMA device would have to licence the OS and go through extra work obtaining the CDMA licence and adding the functionality.

- PalmSource had an agreement with Qualcomm which lapsed after Garnet.

Not sure about this. I wonder if Qualcomm issues blanket CDMA licenses to companies that build phone platforms which can cover any licensee of those platforms. If so, it seems to me that's not necessarily the brightest business plan. My guess is that Palm has always had to do the CDMA licensing and telephony themselves, so this was nothing new with Cobalt.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Cobalt: A Comedy (Tragedy) of Errors
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 4/3/2006 2:36:23 PM # Q
AdamaBrown said
the problem was that the standard telephony component [in Cobalt] only supported about half of all neccessary CDMA network interactions neccessary to build a phone, and no GSM network interactions at all.

stonemirror responded

If you can try to be more specific about "unsupported network interactions", I can possibly address that likely misapprehension as well, but I don't know off-hand to what you could be referring.


Let's take a walk down (NFVS) memory lane:
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=7166
( New features in Palm OS Cobalt 6.1:

* Integrated Telephony Components -- Palm OS Cobalt 6.1 now includes a standard GSM, MUX and a new GPRS API designed to make it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to create a Palm Powered smartphone )

This implies that telephony was added to the original Cobalt as an afterthought; Palmsource hadn't set out to make the original Cobalt into an OS specifically catering for smartphones.

Maybe that was the deal breaker for PalmOne, they looked at Cobalt 6.0, saw all the extra work they had to do to write drivers. They saw all the extra work in writing the telephony apps and felt that with all this extra work and higher licence fees they may as well make their own home brew Palm OS.


ChiA, if you've followed the Cobalt Catastrophe since its beginning you'd know there have been so many plot twists it would make your head spin.

PalmOS 5 was originally touted as a temporary OS, designed to make PalmOS 4 apps compatible with ARM processors. It first showed up in 2002 and was supposed to reach EOL (end of life) status in 2003-04. PalmSource was making less than $10 per license of PalmOS and hoped PalmOS 6 would allow them to increase licensing fees. Instead, we have only a hacked-up PalmOS 5 to look forward to as of 2006. PalmOS 6 has been dumped and its successor (PalmLinux) has also been cancelled. In their place we see (empty) promises of the equivalent of a PalmOS 5 emulator being added to a smartphone OS that MIGHT get released by Access in 2007-08. Amazing.

When it became apparent that several licensees were going to keep milking familiar old PalmOS 5 as long as they could (understandable given how much effort these licensees had made hacking PalmOS into a functional OS), PalmSource renamed the OSes and presented a new strategy: PalmOS 5 (now christened "Garnet") would be for cheaper devices and PalmOS 6 (now christened "Cobalt") would be for high end devices. Peachy. [Please notice the conspicuous absence of smartphone-specifif features in this positioning.]

http://www.palminfocenter.com//comment_view.asp?ID=7874#108500

By Fall 2003, a couple months before PalmSource released a crude beta of Cobalt - claiming to have met their self-imposed deadline to release a finished product - the market had changed. It was becoming obvious that standalone PDAs were an endangered species (dinosaurs) and smartphones were the branch on the evolutionary tree that were most likely to survive the impending Ice Age. Time for a change in strategy, oui? Bien sur, mon ami. So in September 2003, PalmSource announced they were developing a PalmOS 5 smartphone OS! http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/6008/palmsource-to-develop-os-5-phone-edition/ Incredible.

Fast forward to 2004: Introducing... Cobalt For Smartphones and Garnet for PDAs™! Quick - tell Henri in Montpelier to get his a$$ in gear and shove the telephony stuff they weren't able to come up with in 2003 into Cobalt!

http://www.palminfocenter.com//comment_view.asp?ID=7874#108430

- Perhaps Ryan can post a link to the original thread where PalmSource Apologist, Michael Mace claimed the original explanation of the positioning of Cobalt was all a "misunderstanding"?

Then PalmSource dumped Cobalt once they finally admited that no on would EVER licence the OS because PalmSource was too arrogant/stupid to realize that licensees wouldn't jump through hoops just because PalmSource told them to. After eating several tons of humble pie, PalmSource hitched their sorry a$$ to the trendy Linux bandwagon, hoping some of Linux's cachet would rub off on them. Too bad the hardware requirements of Linux meant it was poorly suited to making a hybrid Palm-based OS using the recycled components of Cobalt. Too bad PalmSource lacked the codemonkeys (and time) capable of pulling off YET ANOTHER CHANGE IN STRATEGY. Too bad Windows Mobile was gaining momentum. Too bad the only major remaining PalmOS licensee was producing crappy devices. Too bad it was not yet time to attempt the long-awaiter merger with Palm.

Insane thread on PalmLinux: http://65.196.29.16/comment_view.asp?ID=7375


Yes, PalmSource was run (into the ground) by incompetent management, but had Palm been able to bring them back into the fold, it would have all worked out in the end. Instead we witnessed the death (suicide) of PalmOS in 2005. What a waste of a great platform...


TVoR

RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/3/2006 4:39:30 PM # Q
Let me mention again at this point that we're a platinum sponsor of LinuxWorld Boston
I said *essentially* dead, not actually dead. Yes a company still exists and may even exist for a while. It has employees and some of them even came from the original Palm.

But the Zen of Palm no longer exists. The Palm OS is out of buzz, out of favor, out of steam.

The new Access company may be alive and well and even doing good work, but this is not Palm. I hope the Access guys do well in bringing a stable mobile platform to market that can have a buzz, but so far this hasn't happened.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 4:50:19 PM # Q
The new Access company may be alive and well and even doing good work, but this is not Palm. I hope the Access guys do well in bringing a stable mobile platform to market that can have a buzz, but so far this hasn't happened.

Without venturing any bold predictions for the success of ALP, I'd submit that the odds of success have little if anything to do with buzz about any mobile OS. There is no such thing as buzz about the OS outside of fan sites like this one. ALP's success will have to do with how well ACCESS can do in pleasing the wireless operators (especially DoCoMo and China Mobile) with the handsets that run it. The operators want something that's generally pleasing to their customers, but most of all want something that will generate revenue through wireless data contracts. The Palm OS user base may be too small to show up on their radar. Whereas ACCESS's plan to deliver phones that stream TV programs and music to them could be a comparatively major factor.

ACCESS has very good "access" to all the handset vendors it needs to succeed, so if the platform is good I think they're well placed to be successful--in the long run maybe even better than Palm, taking the global market as a whole. Outside of this tiny forum it makes no difference at all that "they are not Palm."

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Lament for a lost cause
AdamaDBrown @ 4/3/2006 5:36:48 PM # Q
Your understanding is at complete odds with reality. Cobalt never supported CDMA, which requires a licensing agreement with Qualcomm. If you can try to be more specific about "unsupported network interactions", I can possibly address that likely misapprehension as well, but I don't know off-hand to what you could be referring.

(Shrug) As I said, maybe I had it backwards. But that's the gist of the information I was given.

As for the exact problem, the guy's description was that Cobalt didn't support the neccessary commands and responses for interacting with a cellular network. Thus, the licensee would have essentially had to build a large chunk of the telephony stack from scratch. This meshes with a lot of other information on the adoption issues with Cobalt.

And if I'm so wrong, care to explain why PSRC advertised the addition of GSM, MUX, and GPRS APIs in 6.1?

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/3/2006 7:34:41 PM # Q
Then PalmSource dumped Cobalt once they finally admited that no on would EVER licence the OS because PalmSource was too arrogant/stupid to realize that licensees wouldn't jump through hoops just because PalmSource told them to.

They never did dump Cobalt. They jacked it up, pulled the kernel out and replaced it with Linux...

Oh, and they did have a licensee: GSPDA announced a Cobalt phone that is now a quarter late. ;)


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 7:42:37 PM # Q
Even ACCESS made an odd show about being interested in Cobalt when they first announced the intention to acquire PalmSource. I've sometimes wondered if that said more about a lack of due diligence on their part, uncertainty about what they themselves wanted to do with PalmSource's IP at the time of the announcement, or perhaps their willingness to say any BS they think would sound good to Palm users and developers.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: Lament for a lost cause
JarJar @ 4/3/2006 7:44:23 PM # Q
Outside of this tiny forum it makes no difference at all that "they are not Palm."
It is agreed that the average Joe has no idea what an OS actually is. (I have been making this point all along) But they do know look and feel and once had warm fuzzies for the Palm name. Some still do--a friend of mine just upgraded from a Treo 650 to a Treo 700 and still has no idea that these are two different OSes. He just thought that a 700 must be better than a 650 so he bought it because he believes in the "Palm" name.

I agree with you that it is possible that an Access based smartphone could do well if the stars align. But "buzz" is not based on the OS, it is based upon a feeling toward a product with recognizable branding. Buzz is what "iPod" has. Buzz is what "Palm" had. Even if Access phones someday do well, they will never have a "buzz" for exactly the reasons you have just stated.

A successful product image and feeling coming from the Palm brand would have a huge head start compared to the the exact same quality product coming from an unknown OS company licensing to unknown (at least to phone consumers) hardware companies. The majority of phone customers think of their phones as Verizon, Sprint, etc.; there are only a few exceptions.

Stop lamenting
cervezas @ 4/3/2006 8:00:34 PM # Q
As much as I enjoy the Palm OS in preference to Windows Mobile or the various Symbian OSes, I believe that no platform vendor in existence today has figured out the formula for a really good mobile wireless device or smartphone platform. Adoption of these devices is growing, but not by the leaps and bounds that most people expected. Smartphones don't address any pain that most mobile phone users have today. From the Joe Six-pack perspective, they're too complex and fidgety for the small perceived value they deliver over a feature phone.

I can't say if there even can be a platform that can live up to the promise of taking existing technology and doing for wireless devices what Palm did for PDAs ten years ago. But if there is it's going to be different from what we've got now. That's why I welcome any innovation that Palm or ACCESS can muster on this front and am not too worried if they decide to head in a pretty different direction from the old Garnet look and feel or APIs. Go forth and innovate, guys!

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/3/2006 10:02:39 PM # Q
I think the law of requisite complexity applies. The interface has to be at least as complex as the system it is interfaced to, and smartphone are fairly complex systems. They really are nothing less than mobile PCs, albeit PCs with 80s hardware specs in a handheld form factor.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/3/2006 10:05:15 PM # Q
Even ACCESS made an odd show about being interested in Cobalt when they first announced the intention to acquire PalmSource. I've sometimes wondered if that said more about a lack of due diligence on their part, uncertainty about what they themselves wanted to do with PalmSource's IP at the time of the announcement, or perhaps their willingness to say any BS they think would sound good to Palm users and developers.

You forgot PalmSource employees... ;)

I don't think ACCESS's position WRT PalmOS on what is now called ALP has ever changed. I do think that a lot of people read a lot more support for PalmOS into what ACCESS was saying than ACCESS put there.

I told Mike Kelley at a one-on-one that had been coincidentally scheduled for the day of the ACCESS announcement what I've said here consistently since the announcement. ACCESS wanted CMS and bought PSRC to get it. ALP merely makes that point a little more obvious.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
stonemirror @ 4/4/2006 6:31:13 PM # Q
...the guy's description was that Cobalt didn't support the neccessary commands and responses for interacting with a cellular network.

Well, that's at odds with reality. Interacting with a cellular network was actually mentioned in our test plan for 6.0. If it couldn't do that, someone would have noticed.

And if I'm so wrong, care to explain why PSRC advertised the addition of GSM, MUX, and GPRS APIs in 6.1?

Sure. There's a comma in there which shouldn't be, first of all. Cobalt 6.1 contained a "standard GSM MUX" as opposed to a one-off in 6.0 which was overly one-particular-hardware-implementation-centric. Secondly, "a new GPRS API", ditto, intended "to make it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to create a Palm Powered smartphone."

RE: Lament for a lost cause
AdamaDBrown @ 4/4/2006 7:26:48 PM # Q
If it couldn't do that, someone would have noticed.

The original plans for Cobalt also included a real file system, full multitasking, and a new UI. All those things got pulled or stripped down along the way to try and bring the project in on time. No reason the telephony APIs wouldn't be similarly half finished.

Secondly, "a new GPRS API", ditto, intended "to make it easier and faster for hardware manufacturers to create a Palm Powered smartphone."

So in other words, the existing APIs weren't sufficient for licensees to build a smartphone without significant amounts of development on their end.

RE: Lament for a lost cause
PenguinPowered @ 4/4/2006 8:06:50 PM # Q
i have this visual of Lefty cruising the exhibit halls on a Segway furiously typing his entry onto a wi-fi attached palm pilot.

Someone get a picture!!!



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Lament for a lost cause
Simony @ 4/4/2006 9:19:26 PM # Q
No offence intended, but reading some of these posts reminds me of a Civil War song - to paraphrase:

'Palm OS Cobalt lies a moldin' in the grave,
Palm OS Cobalt lies a moldin' in the grave,
Palm OS Cobalt lies a moldin' in the grave,
but the excuses go marching on ...'

Reply to this comment

Secret third business

Ryan @ 3/30/2006 3:42:52 AM # Q
Could this be part of the mysterious secret third business?

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/7999/hawkins-palm-has-secret-third-business/

RE: Secret third business
Surur @ 3/30/2006 4:57:11 AM # Q
That hardly seems likely, unless PalmLinux is going to be a whole lot more ambitious than we thought. With actual Origami devices showing up very soon that would not appear to me to present a viable business model.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Secret third business
WareW01f @ 3/30/2006 9:45:38 AM # Q
It was called the LifeDrive. I think the *concept* was killer. The *delivery* however, was a bit flat. A shame really as people are going to look at it and say that HD + PDA didn't fly.


The whole Origami idea has a date with disaster. People are currently backing away slowly from the PDA. (A mistake, but what ever.) Enter a device bigger than a PDA, more expensive than some laptops, and less useful than a tablet. Um, nice try, but I think people are going to stick to their iPods. There are rumors that Apple is releasing a (real) video iPod. The 'leaked' images look a lot like a black LifeDrive sans buttons. (and therefore most likely fake) The key bit is price though. Look at the market. For $400, I can get either a LifeDrive (4 gigs) with jerky video/audio playback (needing TCPMP and a degree to load) *or* a video iPod (60 gigs folks) *and* the ability to hook it up to a TV! Is there *really* something to decide here? (And I'm talking Joe user) It's sad, but Apple is on track to create what Palm should have. I'm currently debating on if I should just drop Linux on my LifeDrive and be done with it.


The PDA is the direction we will go. Most people already prefer to use BT ear pieces with the 650 and Palm is shaving off the antenna. It's just a matter of time. Now if Palm would just get a clue and include things like the default BT keyboard drivers and the BT audio by default, they have a chance. But if Apple ever does go for a phone, or realize that business people are already carrying iPods and add things like mail, Palm is SOL.

Reply to this comment

Apologists' Wet Dream

Gekko @ 3/30/2006 6:16:50 AM # Q

Why reinvent the wheel and all that goes with it from scratch? Goliath has too much traction now and he sleeps in your bed.

Sorry, tricks are for kids.



RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
relyons @ 3/30/2006 9:08:39 AM # Q
The eggplant toward an anomaly If the tornado defined by the customer assimilates a chain saw, then the frozen crane hibernates.

Mystify the office with the new Illusion series items.

Eric

(one "word salad" posting deserves another)

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 9:19:44 AM # Q
Is that from a word salad generator. I would love the URL ;)

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
relyons @ 3/30/2006 10:34:42 AM # Q
Surur,

I shamelessly ripped these phrases from spamusement.com.

However, the same effect can be achieved by cuttin' and pastin' any post from Gekko, TVoR, hklife or Mike Cane.

Eric

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 11:00:20 AM # Q
I'm so glad to be held in such high regard by the teeming masses.

In case you hadn't noticed, three of those four "old timers" hardly even post at PIC any more. So I guess once I bow out this site will become the kindler, gentler place full of compelling discussion that everyone's desired all along.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 11:25:47 AM # Q
I think I remember one post Gekko made some time last year that could actually be considered a contribution to a discussion. Can anyone name it (or think of another)?

But what I really wanted to respond to was the idea that this is some kind of "wet dream" for fans of the Palm OS. While there are scenarios where it could end up being good news, the main take-away (assuming Palm pulls the trigger and actually deploys this platform on a device) is that the folks who have long said the Palm/Palmsource split would never work were right. The platform (and all its developers and users) is now split into two most likely incompatible platforms.

I'm really curious what kind of relationship Palm is planning on keeping with Palmsource and ACCESS now. If this guy is right that Palm's Linux OS is a hedge rather than something they know in advance they will use then there are going to be some mighty interesting negotiations between Palm and ACCESS over things like the licensing of Garnet (for use in an emulator that Palm creates) versus the licensing of ALP. Remember, in addition to Garnet Palmsource still owns the IP for stuff like Palm Desktop and HotSync, which Palm will likely want to integrate into its own platform if it goes that direction.

Things have certainly got interesting. Not sure if it's good, but it will make for good discussion.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 11:42:08 AM # Q
FWIW, hkklife is certainly one of the most valuable and interesting contributors here, and hardly one to group together with TVoR and Gekko.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 11:57:33 AM # Q
Rylyons:

You always wanted to use your p£n!s as a billiards cue.

Bad Bunny. Bad, Bad, Bad Bunny

;)

David

Remember, in addition to Garnet Palmsource still owns the IP for stuff like Palm Desktop and HotSync, which Palm will likely want to integrate into its own platform if it goes that direction.

Windows Desktop Engineer, Mobile Devices Job code: 953
Job Category: Engineering

Job Description:
Overview:

This software position will play a key role in the development of groupware products and maintenance of existing Windows desktop conduits for Palm, Inc. handheld devices. Work primarily as an engineer developing and maintaining synchronization engines. Be actively involved in all aspects of the software development lifecycle.

Duties/Responsibilities:

Develop and improve Windows based synchronization architecture and components.

Develop and improve existing features in existing Windows based application conduits by taking existing designs and creating elegant and robust implementations.

The successful candidate will be able to take feature requirements and do entire life cycle of design through implementation and debug.


Qualifications:

- 5-7 years of software product development experience on the Windows platform.
- Experience with Palm OS a plus.
- Experience with Linux a plus.


Skills/Experience:

- 5-7 years industry experience with C++.
- Excellent knowledge of Windows, Developer Studio and Windows application development.
- Excellent C++ and object-oriented design skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Industry experience with COM/ATL.
- Industry experience with network applications.
- Experience with multi-threaded applications a plus.
- Experience with SyncML or other network based synchronization models a plus.
- Proven problem solving skills.
- Demonstrated commitment to quality

Palm's not waiting to buy Hotsync from Access. I must say these job listings are very informative. I wonder when Palm will clamp down on them.

Surur


They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 12:25:26 PM # Q
Interesting. I must say, Surer, by PIC standards you're becoming quite the Palm Apologist yourself these days (Palm Inc, anyway). ;-)

It's interesting to reflect on HotSync and consider its long-term prospects. It's been such a stable and reliable part of the Palm OS--it's one of the areas where Palm OS still beats both Symbian and Windows Mobile hands down--that it's hard to accept the idea of it being replaced by a new sync technology. But HotSync's Achilles heel is that it's dependent on serial or USB transport so it can't really be used as a wireless protocol over the Internet.

As more and more people replace their PDAs with smartphones and sync their PIM and email on a server somewhere, they sync less and less with the desktop. Palm has a great ecosystem of over-the-air sync products, including push email solutions that have been around since before WM5 was a dream in Microsoft's head, but like ACCESS and Microsoft Palm may be considering building over-the-air sync into its platform now.

If Palm includes a Palm OS emulator in their new platform to provide backward compatibility (the only option, I think) I'm pretty sure they will need to keep licensing HotSync to sync existing Palm applications. But as they migrate their developers and users over to the multitasking native Linux side of their platform they will almost certainly need new sync technology with better wireless support. A day will come when HotSync will go away or at least be relegated along with Garnet itself to some rarely used part of the device.

Or so it looks to me. From what I can tell looking at the diagram PalmSource released, ALP looks like it already is favoring an implementation of OMA Data Sync and Data Management (formerly known as SyncML) as the primary software to sync the device. Since that's becoming a popular standard perhaps Palm will go the same way. It becomes another topic of possible discussion for Palm and ACCESS: will they try to team up for interoperability or will they each go their separate ways?

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 1:05:24 PM # Q

Develop and improve existing features in existing Windows based application conduits by taking existing designs and creating elegant and robust implementations.

The way I read this part of the job description, its all about re-implementing (reverse engineering) Hotsync ("existing designs"). They are planning to go their won way, but still maintaining compatibility.

Interesting. I must say, Surer, by PIC standards you're becoming quite the Palm Apologist yourself these days (Palm Inc, anyway). ;-)

Palm's a MS partner, how could I not ;) But seriously, I have nothing against moving POS to a robust foundation, like Symbian and Linux. Running software on Garnet is just an elaborate balancing act, and for that it deserves derision. Time to move on from 1990 to a proper OS.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 2:22:56 PM # Q
David;

Thanks for the show of support. I am not a coder/programmer/industry insider but I am trying my best to help Ryan keep PIC infused with fresh content whenever possible (game reviews). As a daily user of the Palm platform since day 1 a decade ago, I think the time & dollars I've given in support of Palm should carry some kind of significance. I might be the first to nitpick and bemoan Palm's products & marketing strategies but I'm also going to be one of the diehard that refuses to jump ship anytime soon.


While on the topic: I predict Palm & Access will go drastically different ways, especially after the PalmSource name disappears for good and all existing Garnet/Cobalt/etc IP has been transferred from Access to Palm.

P.S. Gekko coined "FrankenGarnet" and I shall be ETERNALLY grateful for that stroke of brilliance. He also dug up the exact passage in "Piloting Palm" about the golden-threaded suit...also priceless and a source of endless amusement!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Simony @ 3/30/2006 4:01:51 PM # Q
... or an Propagandist's Nightmare.

Picture this from Redmond's perspective: If HP really does decide to pull out of the market, this means that the loss of the biggest WinCE licensee. Mr Knook must be sweating bullets over this. Of course there was upside with the new relationship with Palm. But, if Palm manages to 'roll their own' (doubtful given the Cobalt fiasco), then were does this leave the mighty M$?

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 4:51:27 PM # Q

Losing Toshiba did not kill WM. Losing Sony did not kill POS. HTC seems to have bypassed the OEM's in any case, selling direct to O2, T-mobile, Cingular, Sprint and Verizon. Not to mention all the smaller OEM's that would love to step into their shoes.

Surur

PS: HP did not say they had enough of WM, they just said the market has moved to phone devices. You know, the same thing Palm said. Their Treo competitor with WM5 should be on the market in US soon.

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Simony @ 3/30/2006 5:05:15 PM # Q
Toshiba was never anywhere near being the largest WinCE licesee. And, don't forget, it was the success of HP's (nee Compaq) iPaq line which allowed WinCE to survive this long.

HP's public statements as to their future intentions have been as clear as Delfic utterances. However, reading between the lines, they don't seem to see any future in handheld computers; they seem to be turning their attention instead to smartphones.

Their track record with smartphones is not good. Their early smartphones were terrible (eg, Sprint had to cancel orders); their most recent efforts are nothing to write home about.

Due to HP's internal cost-cutting program, they don't seem to be willing to spend the money needed to develop a decent product. Instead, their latest initiative is to rebadge another OEM's device - which, from a company with a proud engineering tradition like HP, is a sign of desperation.

Offering a rebadged device is a cheap way of trying to stay in a market. But it's a recipe for disaster because, ultimately, you can't differentiate your product from some other guy's. In the shorter term, the rebadging strategy means that the HP engineers can be redeployed to other divisions.

Of course, I'm speculating - but you don't need to be a genuis to see the direction this is heading.

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 5:30:31 PM # Q
HP is no longer the 500 pound gorilla that they once were. Their sales have been sagging ever since they killed all their good models, and they aren't even close to being a majority of Windows devices shipped anymore. Their pronunciation about the future of handhelds is little more than an excuse for the fact that they took their brand and destroyed it. Now they're claiming to focus on smartphones, thinking that will save them, while forgetting the fact that 1) their current contenders for phone devices are a joke, and 2) that whenever they try to develop a new phone device, it tends to explode on the runway.

They could turn it around if they'd just start buying from HTC again, but no...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 5:44:48 PM # Q

The whole world is moving to smartphones. And did HP not hire an ex-palm executive recently to head their handheld devision?

PDA's are dying. Long live the PDA-phones.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Simony @ 3/30/2006 5:53:36 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown is right (as usual). Also, it didn't help that HP faced aggressive pricing pressure from Dell. Little old Palm eventually copied this same tactic with the TE, TE2 and now the TX, to steal sales for mid-range devices.

It's a shame to see what is happening to a great company like HP, who are (in every sense) an icon of the computer industry.

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Surur @ 3/30/2006 6:17:59 PM # Q

My last HP PDA was 4 years ago. Ive had 3 PDA's since. I dont expect my next device (which will probably be a phone edition) will be HP either.

If I hear HTC is quiting WM devices then I would really get worried (really worried!) Luckily I think I can sleep easy ( http://www.htc.com.tw/news/press060330.html )

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 6:58:42 PM # Q
To translate from Taiwanese dollars, HTC's total revenue for 2005 was about US$2.2 billion. For a sense of perspective, that's about the entire market valuation of Palm Inc. Palm's total revenue for 2005 was about $1.2 billion. I guess it pays to make pretty much every high end handheld and phone worth speaking of.

Speaking of perpetual disasters in the smartphone market, has anyone else heard that Motorola may be delaying the Q again? Second verse, same as the first, second, third, and fourth...

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Simony @ 3/30/2006 9:01:02 PM # Q
> My last HP PDA was 4 years ago. Ive had 3 PDA's since. I dont expect my next device (which will probably be a phone edition) will be HP either.

You might try a Palm device some day (just to add some credibility to your complaints about Palm's products).

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
Wollombi @ 3/31/2006 3:14:22 AM # Q
>>"It's a shame to see what is happening to a great company like HP, who are (in every sense) an icon of the computer industry."<<

The results of poor choices rarely show up overnight. What is happening to HP today is the legacy of Fiorina. HP should have sacked her long before they finally did.

_________________
Sean

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

RE: Apologists' Wet Dream
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 3:44:31 AM # Q
As someone who was at HP Labs in the 90s, I can say that the problems predate Fiorina. A lot of it has to do with institutional investors and ROI. A lot of it to do with the quarter-by-quarter mentality of the stock market. A lot of it to do with the sheer size that HP had grown to, the rate we had been growing at, and the ridiculousness of the demand that we continue to grow at that rate.

Among other things not to blame Fiorina for, put Agilent and the ill advised move into consumer electronics.

Still, she holds a lot of responsibility for the Compaq mistake.


May You Live in Interesting Times

Reply to this comment

Lawsuits?

Chromosome @ 3/30/2006 9:12:26 AM # Q
Would it be legal to build a Palm OS that runs legacy apps? Even if it is based on Linux? Would Palm be required to pay royalties to Access? Any lawyers reading PIC?
RE: Lawsuits?
hkklife @ 3/30/2006 9:28:59 AM # Q
Expect Access to have a fire sale of the Garnet & Cobalt IP in the coming months. Expect Palm to buy those, whatever the cost.
Case closed!

Palm's not *that* stupid...they can get away pulling the rug out from under their users who had adapted to Graffiti 1 in order not to pay royalties to Xerox. But they cannot change horses so suddenly and kill ten years of POS software development. Right now Garnet is of no use to Access other than as a bargaining chip and a sellable commodity (with only one party interested in buying it).

That would nicely pave the way for Palm's own home-brewed OS running on a Linux kernel and fully, 100% legal, backwards-compatible as well. That would also enable Palm to have the (admittedly a thin one!) safety net of FrankenGarnet in-house in case they needed to stave off extinction for another six months by releasing a final few OS5.x models.

An added bonus would be not having to pay royaltiies to Access so that could be rolled up into the purchase price to make it easier for Palm to stomach Access' asking price.

Basically, by some very twisted circumnavigation, "Palm OS" will end up back with Palm Inc. Eventually.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Lawsuits?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 2:05:06 PM # Q
It's legal if they do it right. You can build a product that basically copies another if you do it via what's called "clean room" reverse engineering. What this is is the process of copying a device by mimicing the result, not by opening it up and examining it. This, for instance, is how the StyleTap people did what they did: they only implemented information that was publicly available and therefore not protected.

Eh?
stonemirror @ 4/2/2006 6:08:17 PM # Q
How can there be a "fire sale" on something if someone's willing to buy it (hypothetically speaking) "whatever the cost"...?

Reply to this comment

so, no new & improved GSM Treo?

vks3 @ 3/30/2006 10:32:19 AM # Q
I've been following the stories and comments concerning the new Treos as I have a Tungsten E2 and would like to upgrade to a Treo so I don't have to lug both a cell phone and my PDA around.

I need to get a GSM Treo, because I do a lot of international travel in Asia and GSM is the standard.

I don't want Windows Mobile, because I have a Mac, and although I could get various 3rd party applications to work around that, I just like the Palm OS better. Also, I love some of the Palm applications I've bought (DateBk5, Shadow, etc.) and don't think I could live without them.

But reading this thread and previous threads, it appears that "Hollywood" may never have a GSM version even though I would be willing to pay the extra bucks for a high end smartphone. It seems that "Lowrider," which is supposed to be the low-end one, may be the only new Palm smartphone to come in GSM.

In this case, am I better off getting a Treo 650 right now? Will Lowrider have any improvements over the Treo 650? I was holding off because I thought a new GSM smartphone might come out soon, but now I'm so not sure. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!



RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
Surur @ 3/30/2006 11:50:14 AM # Q

Hollywood will be GSM, but WM5. You pay your money, you take your choices.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
vks3 @ 3/30/2006 12:47:54 PM # Q
Surur -

Thanks for your reply. I definitely don't want WM5. In that case, is it worth it for me to wait for the Lowrider, or to just get a Treo 650 now? The Treo 650 just seems like it's growing quickly obsolete....

Thanks for your input.



RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
Surur @ 3/30/2006 12:55:06 PM # Q

Thats difficult to answer. There is a suspicion that Lowrider will have a 160x160 screen, and it almost certainly wont be better than the Treo 650. On the other hand it will probably have updated software (blazer, versamail etc) and may have a better form factor/ updated shape)

The Hollywood will feature UMTS (up to 300 kb/s downstream) and possibly HSDPA (up to 2 Mb/sec downstream).

Buying blind seems like a bad idea, and Ed has said he will continue selling the Treo 650 for some time still.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 2:09:52 PM # Q
If I were you, I'd go with a 650 now. It's likely to be some months before a GSM Palm OS Treo is released. Unless you're willing to wait until August or thereabouts, the 650 is the only game in town.

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
Simony @ 3/30/2006 4:27:33 PM # Q
Going from a TE2 to a Treo 650 was a real disappointment for me. I miss the bigger screen, the size and shape of the TE2 and I despise the keyboard on the Treo. If someone must have a converged device, the Treo 650 seems to be the way to go. (NB. there are rumours that a Treo 700p might be released say 2 months from now.)

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 5:36:24 PM # Q
there are rumours that a Treo 700p might be released say 2 months from now

Yes, but CDMA is pretty much useless outside the United States and parts of Canada.

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
Simony @ 3/30/2006 9:07:00 PM # Q
Thanks. I appreciate that the main rumours focus on Sprint, but I assume that an unlocked GSM version is in the wings too. Release date? Your guess is as good as anybody's.

RE: so, no new & improved GSM Treo?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 9:30:42 PM # Q
Yes, but if it follows the usual Treo release cycle, the unlocked GSM version would follow quite a bit later. I am guessing, of course, but I'd think it to be an educated guess.

Reply to this comment

Apple

benway88 @ 3/30/2006 11:54:42 AM # Q
I wonder when Apple will jump into the mobile OS arena -- then the Linux / Windows / Apple mobile OS marketplace will really heat up.

Apple would bring it's mobile darwin platform to phones -- true multitasking, multithreaded with the intel core duo low voltage processor, spotlight searching for immediate search-as-you-type results, and come with all required applications: mail, calendar, address book, web browser, itunes, word processor, iChat...

They could leverage the Newton handwriting recognition for text entry -- processors are far greater than they were with the Newton, and it's been many years that Apple has worked on a better solution.

RE: Apple
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 2:32:24 PM # Q
I would guess that Apple will never get into mobile telephony.

Well, at least not as long as Teh Steve still in charge.

The carriers set the rules in telephony, and Apple only plays in fields where it conrols its entire business.


May You Live in Interesting Times

Reply to this comment

If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.

AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 3:37:08 AM # Q
Right now, Palm's still in a decent position, but in the tech business you need to be planning four steps ahead. Remember, they were planning a Windows Treo for YEARS before it hit the market.

ALP is obviously no longer the OS that it was before the Access/PSRC buyout. That being the case, Palm is pretty much down to three main options. Keep milking Garnet until no one is willing to buy it, then lose almost all of your market; try to go Windows for most or all of their product line, and lose at least half of your market; or roll the dice and put together their own OS.

Even if it's a backup plan, it only makes sense to be working on an in-house OS. It's no major skin off them if it doesn't turn out well, and if it works it provides a safety net that they currently don't have. It would give them back control over the platform, and stop the bleeding that's been gradually increasing over the last few years. Remember that Apple nearly went out of business when they licensed Mac clones for the same reason Palm is losing ground in some markets: they no longer had anything that distinguished their hardware from that of the competition. That's where Palm is. If they had a new OS that combined all the shiny feature support that Windows has, plus the classic interface and styling, then they would have something big on their hands.

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 2:34:31 PM # Q
The fourth option is to take a commercial embedded Linux, such as MontaVista's MobiLinux or ALP, strip the bits you don't want and put in the compatibility bits that you do want.

Palm likes to live 'above the kernel'. IMO that's where they'll play in Linux land if they play there at all.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
Surur @ 3/30/2006 2:55:50 PM # Q

Marty, a question. How much can be done for free in the mobile Linux world (free from licensing costs that is). Could you make a commercial OS by just scrounging open source software?

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
palmato @ 3/30/2006 3:18:36 PM # Q
Still there's the issue of the Garnet API, and not just the standard one provided by PS but the private developed by Palm itself. It has become so complex that a independent linux port seems very unlikely to me.
Moreover it would be quite futile, if it doesn't end up providing more functionality to the end user. For instance better multitasking support, virtualization of applications, and so forth.

It seems to me that the issue has a lot to do with what will happen with the palm os api. Alp has basically dropped any evolution.
If palm goes its way it may will they drop the garnet Api, and go with a new one?


--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
Surur @ 3/30/2006 3:41:01 PM # Q
It has become so complex that a independent linux port seems very unlikely to me.

Styletap proves you wrong.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
AdamaDBrown @ 3/30/2006 5:39:30 PM # Q
The fourth option is to take a commercial embedded Linux, such as MontaVista's MobiLinux or ALP, strip the bits you don't want and put in the compatibility bits that you do want.

That was half of what I meant--you could either build from available materials or customize someone else's product.

If the project succeeded, though, I would expect Palm to buy out the company that supplied the base OS. The whole point of building your own OS would be to have control, and guaranteed no-strings-attached access to it. For that, they'd want to own it.

I doubt that Palm would go for a radical alteration to the UI style. That wouldn't make much sense, because it that were okay, then there would be little reason not to license ALP. I'd expect something more like Cobalt: more modern and visually appealing than Garnet, but based on the same sort of basic principles.

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 6:20:16 PM # Q
Marty, a question. How much can be done for free in the mobile Linux world (free from licensing costs that is). Could you make a commercial OS by just scrounging open source software?

Yes. With a bunch of additional work on your part. You could start with handhelds.org's distro and add the missing bits, for instance.

What you currently don't get is a kernel port specific to your device -- put you have to do that on your own (or pay someone to do it for you) anyway -- and telephony. But if you're working with a radio vendor, telephony can be a fairly easy problem to solve.



May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
cervezas @ 3/30/2006 6:59:47 PM # Q
Anybody notice that MontaVista seemed to give PalmSource the silent treatment during the ALP announcement--after being all chummy and partnery back in August? I wonder if they found a new girl to take to the Linux phone ball.

Frankly, I was a little confused about what the basis of that relationship was, since it seemed to me the two companies were more likely to be regarded as competitors by their customers than partners. I mean, they both sell Linux phone operating systems and it wasn't like they were going to team up and combine them into one. A pair-up between MontaVista and Palm makes a lot more sense.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
PenguinPowered @ 3/30/2006 7:40:04 PM # Q
Frankly, I was a little confused about what the basis of that relationship was, since it seemed to me the two companies were more likely to be regarded as competitors by their customers than partners. I mean, they both sell Linux phone operating systems and it wasn't like they were going to team up and combine them into one. A pair-up between MontaVista and Palm makes a lot more sense.

The MontaVista announcement never made any sense to me either, except as a way of PalmSource gaining legitimacy as a Linux player (guilt by association) and showing that it was willing to work with anyone.

From MV's point of view it made sense, and their story matched their viewpoint: hardware vendors would get Linux from MV and a PalmOS-like application layer from PalmSource. Kept PSRC in the middleware business and MV where their skill set was thought to be.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
palmato @ 3/31/2006 5:11:17 AM # Q
Frankly I'm starting to believe that Palm is porting their PIM (plus any other application they believe might be useful) to a linux distro, MV or else doesn't really matter. But the garnet api will not make it, at least not in an emulated environment.

In a way that's the same thing they did with WM5: take whatever useful stuff the new environment has and add their own customization. The only difference is the lack of pim applications, with btw is really an opportunity for palm itself as they would have a lot more freedom to port the "palm experience" to the new platform. Not to mention the fact that they can reuse the work done in the last 2 years.
At the same time developers may have to face a "dramatic" divergence in the platform api: not just between access garnet and alp, but also between palm garnet and palm Linux.

to Surur:
there's a small difference between an half baked emulator and rewriting the layer between the API and a new kernel making sure everything works fine - well as good as in garnet...
Of course Palm can build an emulator, but that's not the point.

--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
Surur @ 3/31/2006 5:46:32 AM # Q
there's a small difference between an half baked emulator and rewriting the layer between the API and a new kernel making sure everything works fine - well as good as in garnet...
Of course Palm can build an emulator, but that's not the point.

As you rightly point out, the transition to ARM chips lost some software, as did the transition to NVFS. I actually suspect Palm users are used to losing software. 100% perfection is not necessary.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: If I we're them, I'd certainly be doing this.
PenguinPowered @ 3/31/2006 5:06:33 PM # Q
Frankly I'm starting to believe that Palm is porting their PIM (plus any other application they believe might be useful) to a linux distro

That is the explanation most consistent with the job descriptions they've been hiring for.

May You Live in Interesting Times

Reply to this comment

Doesn't anyone else see this as another Cobalt

JarJar @ 3/30/2006 3:14:57 PM # Q
Palm already made Cobalt the first time. Now they are building another Cobalt.

I think it is possible that the new OS is merely a hedge or a bargaining chip, and I think that at this point Palm has no choice but to start building their own OS. But they should have never gotten to this place to begin with.

Once upon a time there was a farmer who built a new barn because the old barn was too small and the wood was rotting. The new barn was capacious and full of stalls for new animals and could house a bigger tractor than the farmer currently used. The farmer worked on the barn for several years and it was beautiful. As the farmer started to run out of cash he mortgaged the barn. Finally the barn was finished, but the farmer didn't move in. Later because he was still having cash problems he defaulted on the mortgage and the beautiful new barn was sold. He went back to the old barn and told all his friends that the old barn wasn't so bad. Then he starting building a new barn again... The end!

RE: Doesn't anyone else see this as another Cobalt
Surur @ 3/30/2006 3:34:43 PM # Q

I think it depends on how ambitious they are. Better is the enemy of good enough. If their main focus is getting out a device which doesn't bring down the OS when downloading malformed HTML causes the mail program to die, then that might be a lot quicker to do than creating a new plug-in architecture for soft input panels.

Looking at the Palm job listings however it appears they are basically rewriting the whole OS (including the built-in applications). I predict major slippage based on this.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

Reply to this comment

AVERAGES to Zero significance, Zero effort

Tamog @ 3/31/2006 3:46:14 AM # Q
Hi,
anyone of you still remembers the Mike Cane editorial we, the suckers? In case not, visit this for a reminder:
http://tamspalm.blogspot.com/2005/03/treo-670-tam-sucker-revisited.html

Anyways, if Palm wants a Linux OS for their smartphones, they can do it in no time flat. The kernel already runs on ARM boxen(you saw how much time it took one man shows to get it running WITHOUT access to the hardware data sheets). So, how long will it take Palm insiders to get the kernel running?

So, Palm can entirely afford to build an OS for kicks or backup against ALP-and who knows that this isnt their motivation?

Best regards
Tam Hanna

Find out more about the Palm OS in my blog:
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com

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