Comments on: PalmAddicts Interviews PalmSource Spokesperson

PalmAddicts has posted a transcript of an email interview with Maureen O’Connell, the Senior Director of Corporate Communications at PalmSource, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's ACCESS Corporation. PalmAddicts' PJ Arts serves up an array of the pressing issues plaguing the Palm user community such as the uncertain future of the Palm OS, the status of the mythical Cobalt OS, the unknown plans of PalmSource's only remaining "name" licensee other than Palm Inc. and a slew of other questions. While the responses are the usual canned corporate safe-speak, a few interesting tidbits can be gleaned by reading between the lines of the PalmSource responses and using some imaginative speculation.
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Boring and substanceless

sremick @ 7/19/2006 1:22:08 PM # Q
This isn't an interview. Many questions were dodged entirely, and those that were "answered" weren't really, and mostly read like Maureen simply cut&pasted from the standard press-release propoganda text, often not answering the question and instead used each question as an opportunity to trumpet ACCESS, MAX, ALP, etc using mind-numbing market-speak.

Waste of time.

RE: Boring and substanceless
KultiVator @ 7/19/2006 4:05:52 PM # Q


Hit on head.

Nuff said. PalmSource need to work on their PR activities - nobody's got any reason to remember them after the long period of quiet and shoddy "scoop interviews" like these.

A very disgruntled KultiVator

RE: Boring and substanceless
PenguinPowered @ 7/19/2006 9:52:23 PM # Q
Maybe she didn't say anything because there's nothing left to say?

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Boring and substanceless
AdamaDBrown @ 7/20/2006 3:26:25 AM # Q
I need a chair, some duct tape, sodium amytal, and a PalmSource executive. Then I'll give you an interview.

Also, a solid rubber mallet would be useful. Plus a duck and a hose, but I don't know where we'd find them at this time of night.

RE: Boring and substanceless
freakout @ 7/20/2006 4:28:15 AM # Q
Don't worry, I keep one of each in my bedroom. You can borrow those.

Don't ask.

I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Boring and substanceless
kaafree @ 7/20/2006 7:36:42 AM # Q

I think this thermorectal cryptonanalyzer is what they deserve ;)'

Drivel + treacle-soaked pablum. Yummy!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/20/2006 10:37:20 PM # Q
I think>thermorectal cryptonanalyzer is what they deserve ;)

Sorry Bubba, but Dianne Hackborn uses those for FUN. If that was your "A game", you're fcuked. Literally.


Interview or Press release? YOU decide!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/20/2006 11:45:49 PM # Q
"INTERVIEWER" ASKS: "The Palm Community views Cobalt as a huge mis-step for PalmSource and the Palm OS. Its lack of adoption by the mobile device manufacturers allowed PocketPC to overtake Palm...especially in the important enterprise market; and, was a major part of most tech reviewers labeling the Palm OS as: "...tired," "...antiquated," "...venerable," etc. How does PalmSource view the Cobalt initiative; and, why do you think it has such a poor reception?"

PALMSOURCE DAMAGE-CONTROL ROBOT SPEWS: "Our development efforts today are focused on the ACCESS Linux Platform. Based on Linux, ALP is being designed to provide handset manufacturers with faster time-to-market while supporting the goal of operators to offer revenue-generating services, applications and content. We believe that ALP combines best-in-class open source Linux components with proven mobile technologies developed by PalmSource and ACCESS.

In addition, ALP will feature MAX, an innovative application framework designed by ACCESS and PalmSource to deliver an intuitive, easy-to-use user experience and user interface for smartphones and mobile devices. MAX is being designed to seamlessly support the concurrent operation of multiple applications and tasks. It is also expected to provide easy access to background tasks. Designed to deliver a predictable and intuitive navigation model for both one- and two-handed user interface schemes, the MAX framework will offer the flexibility to support five-way navigation and two dedicated keys, as well as touch-screen and stylus input mechanisms.

By combining ACCESS' robust NetFront browser platform, its extensive business relationships with over 30 handset vendors with PalmSource's advanced operating system, application portfolio, renown user interface and worldwide developer community, we believe that ALP will provide the mobile market with a comprehensive, flexible and integrated commercial-grade Linux based solution."


W T F??? Why not just say something like, "Sorry, PalmSource is not at liberty to discuss specifics regarding the plans of licensees and their use of PalmSource-licensed software." DAMAGE-CONTROL ROBOT's actual answer comes across as nothing but a load of incoherent marketing-speak. No surprises here - it's business as usual for PalmSource...


RE: Boring and substanceless
kaafree @ 7/21/2006 9:18:07 AM # Q
[i]Sorry Bubba, but Dianne Hackborn uses those for FUN. If that was your "A game", you're fcuked. Literally.[/i]

In soviet time our propaganda called that 'predacious face of capitalism'. So this are regular management tools in the West ? OMG, bring Lenin back to life ! ;)

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What interview?

Foo Fighter @ 7/19/2006 3:06:08 PM # Q
This isn't an's a dialog with a PR bot. The entire content of O’Connell's responses was culled from press releases, and it reads as such. There is absolutely no substance to any of this so called "interview", other than solidifying what we already knew...PalmOS is dead and buried; confirmed by PalmSource officially.

I don't fully grasp why PalmAddict thinks it has a scoop. This interview was a comical evasion to direct questions followed by bits of cut and paste from press releases. Video at eleven!

Elitist Snob,

RE: What interview?
Surur @ 7/19/2006 6:11:31 PM # Q
Actually they confirmed one thing - ALP will be very different G
UI wise from POS Garnet, especially regarding one handed/ two handed usage. It also appears that there will be two flavors of devices supported, similar to WM PPC Phone and Smartphone.


They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!

RE: What interview?
cervezas @ 7/20/2006 6:42:21 PM # Q
Surer wrote:
ALP will be very different GUI wise from POS Garnet, especially regarding one handed/ two handed usage.

We knew ALP was going to be a pretty significant departure from Palm OS as soon as we were told that PalmSource was basing the GUI on the Rome Project UI described at last year's DevCon rather than Palm OS Cobalt (which is more like the familiar Palm OS). It's not actually clear that there will be a big difference between the GUI for touchscreen vs non-touchscreen devices. But this is what we do have a good idea about:

1. Unlike Palm OS, ALP is going to support using two "soft buttons" for navigation (like most mobile phones). We can guess that instead of (or perhaps in addition to) the menu bar at the top of the screen with its multiple menus, there will now be two menus that are accessed from the soft buttons.

2. The interface is a fundamental rethink about the user interface. At the DevCon Larry Slotnick said that a lot of the thinking in the Rome Project was centered around how to give users access to "tasks" as the user conceives of them rather than just application functions. David Schlesinger once described MAX to me in a similar way: "The MAX framework is task-oriented--'answer a call', 'create a contact', 'send an email', 'accept an appointment' are all tasks--and it supports multiple simultaneous tasks and applications seamlessly, with easy access to things running in the background. We've designed MAX to 'scale up' to provide that same kind of access and ease of use to the advanced features we'll be seeing on next-generation mobile devices."

3. So obviously a big difference from Garnet is going to be how the device lets you visualize all the tasks running on the device and switch between them. Where you once had to return to the launcher (or use dedicated hard buttons) to switch applications in Palm OS and the previous application was always closed before the next would launch, now the launcher is probably going to be somewhat less important as a navigational tool in favor of a new task switcher that's available from any application you're in.

I agree with Marty that if you're not interested in seeing some pretty big changes from the old Palm OS GUI you're probably going to be in for a disappointment. Personally, I'll be disappointed if there *aren't* major changes. I'm sure shareware developers are hoping that users will feel that the MAX interface is so obviously better than the old Garnet GUI that they'll want to upgrade to new software written against the MAX API as soon as possible.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog

RE: What interview?
freakout @ 7/20/2006 8:18:26 PM # Q
So long as ALP retains the key ingredient of PalmOS - simplicity - it'll be a winner. Hopefully they still have tap counters on the payroll. :)

I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
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VampireLestat @ 7/20/2006 5:22:31 AM # Q
This ALP thing better be VERY Palm OSish or I am going to be very pissed.

Glad to see that Palm Desktop and Hotsync and the core Palm OS PIM are remaining in ALP.

OS 5 programs not being able to run is a concern.

RE: ALP...
PenguinPowered @ 7/20/2006 3:37:25 PM # Q
it won't. you will.

May You Live in Interesting Times
RE: ALP...
hkklife @ 7/20/2006 4:24:15 PM # Q

Care to elaborate further?

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: ALP...
PenguinPowered @ 7/20/2006 10:39:05 PM # Q
Recall that I left PalmSource before ALP, so I don't know any of this first hand.

That said, ALP fits into ACCESS' plan from their annual report. They're only doing ghost as an afterthought, and they don't need it for any of their customers.

My guess is that there will be two-ish versions of ALP. The first will be derived from CMS' already-shipping linux product and aimed at feature phones, the second will be derived from new work done by ALP/Palmsource and aimed at smartphones. Ghost will be thrown in because of a few diehards at PalmSource, but won't get sufficient resources. The new stuff will be more compatible with ACCESS' long range java/netfront goals.

This was all pretty apparent from the original ALP announcement, as far as I know, and nothing has really changed since.

May You Live in Interesting Times

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Repeated the same answers twice!

mhornyak @ 7/20/2006 11:22:23 AM # Q
Notice how she re-used the sentence about one- and two-handed navigation twice -- both early in the interview, and for the last question.

It looks like she just cut-and-paste sentences from their website where appropriate.

Or, our esteemed PR person is actually a robot.

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