Rumor: Oslo Never Going to Be Released

Last month, an image was released of a prototype handheld from Palm Inc. that would run Palm OS 5. It was called the Oslo and rumor had it Palm would be releasing it next month.

According to PDA Buzz, this device will never be released. Quoting "reliable sources", the article says that Oslo was a prototype that the company decided months ago to not make into a shipping product.

Oslo featured a hi-res color screen, a Directional Pad, Bluetooth, and a built-in speaker. Almost certainly its most controversial feature was the fact that the entire bottom of the handheld could slide up or down. This allowed it to be compact when being carried around. Later, when the Graffiti area was needed for text input, it could be expanded to its full size. Unfortunately, this sliding feature made the whole device thicker than many users wanted.

However, if PDA Buzz is correct, all of this is moot. Palm has decided that its next-generation handheld will not be the Oslo.

Thanks to Harain for the tip. -Ed

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Despite the bashing. . .

somas1 @ 8/20/2002 11:54:17 AM #
Despite everyone's bashing of the little Oslo it could have been a contender

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 11:57:39 AM #
The collapsible design would only have the effect of boosting the price for a feature that is not practical. It did look cool though

Hope they have something better in store because they need it

RE: Despite the bashing. . .
Nate @ 8/20/2002 12:05:17 PM #
Coulda been -- I certainly liked the looks of it (though the rumored thickness scared me off a bit). I imagine if this really was a passed-up prototype that they have something even better in the works though...

Syncplicity. Redefining Simple.

How much spin is in this spin?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 11:59:06 AM #
Could it be that our overwhelmingly ngative response scared them off?
RE: How much spin is in this spin?
Token User @ 8/20/2002 12:30:02 PM #
What negative response ... which PIC posting were you reading?

General concensus was that this was a device that everyone (except the Sony trolls) wanted. Only major criticisms were they should make it a little thinner, and have a virtual grafitti area.

Palm doesn't drive their development based on gossip
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:53:56 PM #
Palm doesn't change their plans based on gossip based on rumors. They haven't removed a product due to bad response to "rumors".

The exact OSLO you see in the pictures may never be released, but not because of the rumors (that are inconsequential in the bigger scheme of life).

Even if the exact OSLO won't be released. The OSLO does correctly illustrate many of the technologies and features that will be available in the coming months and devices *similar* to OSLO will be released.

So just relax and don't overly analyze/obsess the rumors.

RE: Palm doesn't drive their development based on gossip
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 3:32:40 PM #
Well I hope you are right:)

And so do others

RE: How much spin is in this spin?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 1:27:49 AM #
"The OSLO does correctly illustrate many of the technologies and features that will be available in the coming months and devices *similar* to OSLO will be released."

I'd be happy with something with all the Oslo features (hi-res screen, OSv5, speaker, D-pad) but minus the retracting bottom.

negative response
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 2:29:26 AM #
hmm, yeah, the palm guys always hang around here in pic and check out these nonsense comments, and if someone posts "oslo sucks" they are simply not going to release it.

Remeber, this is just a rumor

epall @ 8/20/2002 12:01:55 PM #
I think it's just a rumor. I'm still hoping for Oslo to come out before september.

RE: Remember, this is just a rumor
Beavis @ 8/20/2002 12:35:32 PM #
Didn't Palm make websites take down the leaked pictures? If it is never going to be released, what was the big deal about showing the pics?

RE: Remeber, this is just a rumor
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 8:35:57 PM #
Because when Palm brings out the m520, the exact same thing as the m515 but with OS5 and a 66 MHz processor, they figure all the loyal brainwashed Palmites will throw $600 at it. If the Oslo pictures were to remain out, it **might** make said Palmites think about how they've been buying the same old schlock over and over again and actrually demand they DO SOMETHING!
RE: Remeber, this is just a rumor
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 1:20:45 AM #
Palm didn't make all the websites take their pictures down. Notice the one on this very page.
RE: Remeber, this is just a rumor
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 1:21:53 AM #
Oslo was a rumor too. There was a picture to go with it so a lot of us believed it but there was never anything official from Palm.
What If...?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 2:17:04 PM #
Hmmm...maybe Palm allowed the pics to be leaked and then made a show of going after (who originally posted the Oslo pics on the net) in order to drum up some needed publicity/curiosity?

Just a thought.

Oslo Never To Be Released

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:08:10 PM #
This is pathetic. I have been looking fowerd to the OSLO for months, and now it is never to be released. Could it be our negetive response to the thickness, or could it be palms bad financial position. Whatever it is palm better come out with something better because they need it. :)
RE: Oslo Never To Be Released
ahecht @ 8/20/2002 12:13:50 PM #
It is too bad. I too would've seriously considered purchasing one. I do hope that their replacement also features integrated bluetooth, enhanced speaker, and a d-pad.

RE: Oslo Never To Be Released
Sweetlu @ 8/20/2002 12:14:49 PM #
The thickness off this device really turned me off. Hopefully Palm releases a device with a D-pad, speaker, bluetooth, & high res+ screen (soft graffiti area) in an m500 series form factor. Please Palm no graffiti area, let the users choose what input layout they want to use.

Yankees, Steinbrenner,...... I will never turn to the dark side.
RE: Oslo Never To Be Released
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 2:20:49 PM #
Good, personally I would like them to keep the V, m500 series form factor, and just upgrade the inside with the hi-res screen, processor, card slot and such.
RE: Oslo Never To Be Released
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 2:25:22 PM #
Well, I think Palm would be well-served to release 2 "new" units this fall:

A "juiced up" m5xx (call it the m525 or m525xe or something) formfactor unit, OS 4.1, 66 mhz dragonball, m515 screen, and a better battery to make up for the faster CPU. Not having high-res, virtual grafitti and mp3 (unlike Sony) will actually be a benefit for once as it'll add to battery life.

Then release a "brick" OS5 unit somewhere in size between a palm III and a v/m500 formfactor, and have a knockout screen on it, as well as a D-pad and perhaps even Bluetooth.

That way there will be the current models taking up the low and middle end of the price spectrum, with the two power models available at the high end. A 66 mhz dragonball should be amply sufficient for someone who demands the m500 formfactor anyway. It will not be realistic for Palm to shoehorn an ARM cpu into that case for at least 6 months anyway...

Palm Development

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:19:50 PM #
Palm Development:

Ok we have three products that have got the go-ahead. Now where do we put our money?

1: Consumer surveys………To costly
2. Trust the developers……… Hell no!

Leak the info and read the posts… Great idea, no investment…right target. Can I get a promotion!

PDA Buzz

Doo @ 8/20/2002 12:24:14 PM #
I consider the where this info came from. PDA Buzz has had a very negitive palm slant for a while now.

But it was cancelled months ago...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:26:45 PM #
A lot of people think that it was cancelled based on feedback on various message boards, but the article said that it was cancelled months ago. Plus, there was some positive feedback (directional pad, etc.)

Although with Palm who knows. Maybe is was cancelled days ago. Days, weeks, months, 16-bit, 12-bit, what's the difference.

It did look to be an innovative (maybe that's the problem) design with some merit.

I am guessing that someone will eventually come out with something like it.

RE: PDA Buzz
Moosecat @ 8/20/2002 12:30:23 PM #
You're assuming that we interpret this news as bad? I'd bet most people (myself included) think it is good news that Palm isn't going make its first major OS5 innovation a useless sliding clamshell for the graffiti area.

The disappointment voiced here is more a reflection of being returned to a state of total ignorance about the first OS5 devices, rather than disappointment that we won't be able to buy Oslo. Let's hope there's a REASON Palm rejected Oslo -- maybe they have something much better.

RE: PDA Buzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:44:44 PM #
The negative slant towards Palm was because Wes Salmon was in charge there. PDA Buzz got bought out last month and Wes left so the site is much better, though not nearly as good as Palminfocenter. :)
Wes : Good riddance
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 1:22:33 PM #
As far as Palm specific coverage, Palm InfoCenter ****s all over PDA Buzz.

But you're right, the mood has been considerably lightened since their new ownership got rid of that "PocketPC Nazi" Wes Salmon.

He was just POSITIVE that the Palm OS (not just Palm the company) was going to be eaten alive by PocketPC and Symbian.

I myself can't predict what will happen, but I like Palm's and Symbian's (future) position better than PocketPC's.

Anyway, I like to visit PDA Buzz about once a week or so and get my fill of other PDAs/platforms' progress.

The mood of the site has improved drastically since he was fired.

RE: PDA Buzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 3:06:01 PM #
Ya, PDABuzz actually would tend to have a positive slant towards Palm; most PocketPC forums were concerned about that right when Wes left
RE: PDA Buzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 7:58:23 AM #
C'mon - Wes was about as fair as it gets. Unless you are heil Palming everything, you're considered biased. I use a Palm device everyday, but I don't think that Wes was in anyway biased one way or the other. Palm IS slow on innovation and the Oslo looked like they were actually TRYING to do something. Hopefully they looked at Sony and realized what they had wasn't nearly up to par and will now do an NR-70 clone.
RE: PDA Buzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 9:06:11 AM #
To the person who refers to Wes as a "pocketPC nazi", I think you're a fool. First of all, for throwing around a term like Nazi in such a casual way. That is such a loaded and inflammatory word. Sceondly, I think you are foolish in making the claim you make about the so-called bias of PDABuzz. Now, I am a loyal Palm user, and have never owned anything but a PalmOS device, but let's face facts: PocketPC's OS and hardware has steadily improved and innovated. In the same time period, Palm has done little. It's only because of Sony (and I am not a Sony user, btw) that PalmOS machines are really moving in any kind of interesting direction. Maybe Wes is biased in favor of companies and products that are actually doing something.

As for Wes being dead-set against PalmOS products, here's a quote from his review of the Clie NR70:

"In my four years of covering the mobile computing industry, I've found few products that pique my interest as much as the Sony CLIE NR70 series. From the day I received it, I have been in PDA bliss. While it falls short in a few areas compared to competing multimedia enabled PDA's, the overall feature set, stunning design, and wow factor are enough to make up the difference. While my NR70V is now on its way back to Sony, you can rest assured I will have one of my very own shortly." those sure sound like the words of a PocketPC Nazi, doesn't it? Give me a friggin' break.

Sorry, friend, your comments are both silly and don't hold up in light of the facts.

it is comming

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:29:45 PM #
I have a good source that said that it is going to be released. The oslo code name was changed the second it leaked, so insiders can say "oslo will not be released"

RE: it is comming
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:49:17 PM #
"I have a good source"

OK than,
What are your sources???

How do we know you are not just saying this.

Palm_Otaku @ 8/20/2002 2:13:34 PM #
Waaaay back in late '98 (Palm III days) there had been all sorts of rumors and speculation about a new, thin Palm Device codenamed "Razor". Then at the PalmSource conference, a Palm rep (Mark Bercow maybe) said "There is no forthcoming product called Razor". What Palm had done was changed the codename to "Sumo", and a few months later released the Palm V.

Now I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily what is happening with "Oslo". If you read Denny's comments on PDABuzz, he states that "Oslo" was a prototype and that Palm's new high-end device will have a different design.

On the other hand, maybe Denny was told "the pictures leaked to the web were of a prototype" (true) and that "There is no forthcoming product called Oslo" (true).

Who knows? :) All I know is that I *really* am looking forward to seeing the new OS5/ARM devices come out!

Heh, and NR70V
Palm_Otaku @ 8/20/2002 2:25:32 PM #
Also, at this year's PalmSource, the NR70V was briefly flashed at one of Sony's sessions (which Ed got a picture of and posted here). It was described as a "prototype" to illustrate the kind of innovation that Sony was putting into the platform. Of course that prototype was released as a product.

OTOH, there have been a number of fully-functional prototype designs (from various licensees) that have not made it to production.

Only time will tell with "Oslo" :)

Quick Guide to Palm OS Device Codenames
bcombee @ 8/20/2002 7:04:38 PM #
From HwrMiscFlags.h in the Palm OS SDK:

Jerry: Palm VII HAL (Palm Computing)
Rocky: Pilot, PalmPilot, Palm III HAL
Sumo: Palm IIIx/V/Vx HAL
Austin: Palm IIIc
Calvin: Palm m100

HAL refers to Hardware Abstraction Layer -- its the layer of the OS between all the calls that programmers use and the actual hardware registers.

Other codenames mentioned in various header files:

Thumper: Qualcomm PDQ
Touchdown: Early name for Pilot 1000/5000
JerryEZ: Later Palm VII, all Palm VIIx's

Brad: ???
Cobra2: ???

Cessna: never released Motorola Palm OS phone

Phoenix: Samsung IH-300

Slinky: Handspring Visor
Belle: Handspring Visor Edge (???)

CFlash: TRGpro
StarKist: HandEra 330

Pda1Mono: Sony CLIE PEG-S300
Pda1Color: Sony CLIE PEG-S500C
Yosemite: Sony CLIE PEG-N710C
Nasca: Sony CLIE PEG-S320
Yellowstone: Sony CLIE PEG-N610C
Yosemite2: Sony CLIE PEG-N760C
Venice: Sony CLIE T415
Modena: Sony CLIE T615C
Nasca2: Sony CLIE PEG-S360
Redwood: Sony CLIE PEG-NR70, PEG-NR70V

CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at

RE: it is comming
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 8:06:56 PM #
I know probobly no one is reading this, and probobly no one remembers one of the reviews in the article on "More details on the next gen. handhelds". But the reply said that the real name of OSLO was FARGO. I also read a reply for this article (Rumor: Oslo Never Going to Be Released) that said the reason people say oslo wont be released is that palm changed the code name the second they knew info leaked. Could FARGO be the real changed code name?

Sounds like a bad handheld name. :)

RE: Quick Guide to PalmOS Device Codenames
Palm_Otaku @ 8/20/2002 11:50:59 PM #
Cool, Ben :)

Brad - Palm IIIx
Cobra - Palm Vx ("Cobra2" I dunno - the limited edition colored cases? The rebranded epocrates?)

I've noticed your interest in this topic before, and I'd like to compare notes sometime. Palm uber-geeks might like to see a page on this at (of course I'd like to check if the PalmOS licensees have any issue with codenames being made public after the devices have been released).

RE: it is comming
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 5:59:06 AM #
the trgpro codemane was "nomad"
RE: it is comming
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 1:35:27 AM #
The codename Faro turned rightly out to be a short and secret faaaart


I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:30:14 PM #
I wonder how many colors the screen can display?;-)
RE: Colors
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 1:46:56 PM #
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