MotionApps Discontinues Classic, Donates it to Palm
Since its launch, one of the more welcome components of WebOS 1.x has been the Palm OS emulation layer provided by Motion Apps' Classic app. Launched shortly before the retail availability of the Pre and WebOS last year, Classic was one of the pricier apps in the WebOS catalog but an invaluable aid for many longtime Palm OS users as they gradually transitioned to WebOS.
Unfortunately, this app will soon be headed for extinction, at least as far as its involvement with Motion Apps. In a short, rather terse announcement on their website, Motion Apps explaines the sudden discontinuation of the Classic emulator due to the removal by HP/Palm of the Palm OS Garnet libraries in WebOS 2.0:
With the release of Palm webOS™ 2.0 MotionApps will no longer sell or support future versions of Classic. We have decided to hand the entire source code and all accompanying IP over to Palm so Palm can assume full control of Classic's future life and shape. We had great time building Classic and supporting its vibrant community. Palm's way of supporting MotionApps has become too disruptive for us and we no longer believe that we are in a position to provide our customers with the best product and service. Our work is who we are so we respectfully choose to exit.
While Palm's reasons for this are unknown, this action is apparently in direct violation of their agreement with Motion Apps. Palm's motivations for this are unknown, though many have speculated that it's simply due to a desire to move as far away as possible from any legacy ties to the classic Palm OS or its related components. Additionally, packaging, compatibility, or support issues within WebOS itself could have made it necessary to jettison unnecessary components such as a Palm OS ROM.
In all likelihood, this decision probably was not made for financial reasons, given that Palm has a perpetual license to the Garnet OS under the terms of its agreement with Access in 2006. Presumably, since Motion Apps has handed over all IP and source code to Palm, the app could be resurrected as a free download or, less likely, as an integrated component of future versions of WebOS. The full text of Motion Apps' announcement is here.
With the news of all existing WebOS 1.x devices due to receive an update to WebOS 2.x, users that absolutely require a specific Palm OS application have no choice but to fall back to a legacy Garnet device, hold off installing any WebOS updates for the foreseeable future, or invest in the only Palm OS device still in production, Aceeca's PDA32.