Rumor: Palm to Release a Linux Feature Phone?

LinuxDevices.com is reporting that Palm may ship a Linux powered feature phone by years end, say sources close to the company. The article claims the device will be powered by Wind River Linux, not PalmSource's version of Palm OS for Linux.

This development would certainly be a surprise given that Palm CEO Ed Colligan recently remarked at the unveiling of the Windows Mobile Treo press conference that "We [Palm] doesn't need another operating system." Furthermore, Palm's senior VP of marketing Ken Wirt was recently quoted as saying "We are waiting for PalmSource to port the Palm environment to Linux before moving away from Palm OS 5. [...] It will take us about a year to build a product on Palm OS for Linux after they come out with it."

Open jobs listings on Palm's website indicate the company has been preparing for Linux development for a new generation of Palm devices. Back in August, the company had as many as 13 open engineering positions related to Linux. Wind River's website even lists Palm as a customer.

PalmSource has been busy working on its own version of Palm OS for Linux for feature phones and smartphones. However, the company does not plan to have the new operating systems ready until the summer of 2006 at the earliest.

Thanks to David Beers for the tip.

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Good or Better of "good, better, and best" line of Palms

craigdts @ 10/8/2005 7:05:07 PM # Q
I wonder if Palmsource is involved in this?
RE: Good or Better of
cervezas @ 10/8/2005 7:20:02 PM # Q
I wonder if Palmsource is involved in this?

That and the question whether this would be a Treo or (as LinuxDevices suggested) some kind of feature phone--those are the burning questions. Their feature phone argument isn't making a lot of sense to me, but this whole thing is pretty crazy sounding.

It's actually the weirdest Palm news I've heard in a very long time.



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

RE: Good or Better of
LiveFaith @ 10/8/2005 8:51:26 PM # Q
I'll bet my collection of concept devices against a non-PalmOS-Linux PDA / Fone from Palm by the end of the year. Are they serious about 2005. Worse than some of our rumors.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
RE: Good or Better of
Captain Hair @ 10/8/2005 9:38:53 PM # Q
It's actually the weirdest Palm news I've heard in a very long time.

You can say that again...

"People who think they're smart annoy those of us who are."

RE: Good or Better of
LiveFaith @ 10/8/2005 10:43:10 PM # Q
Is it April 1st at 12:00AM?

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
RE: Good or Better of
LiveFaith @ 10/8/2005 11:22:40 PM # Q
With the new Windows Media Treos coming out in 06', I cannot imagine such a Linux play with Palm's limited resources?

Treo 700w (Q1)

www.palm.com/us/images/company/about_feature_photo.jpg" rel=nofollow target="_new">http://palmone.r3h.net/www.palm.com/us/images/company/about_feature_photo.jpg

Treo 800w (Q2)
http://www.churchoflivingfaith.com/images/treo800w.jpg

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Good or Better of
AdamaDBrown @ 10/9/2005 1:56:41 AM # Q
Given that PalmLinux won't be ready to ship to manufacturers before mid-2006, even according to the most optimistic projections of PalmSource, I just can't see this happening.

RE: Good or Better of
arp @ 10/9/2005 8:27:16 PM # Q
It would hardly be strategic of palm to do this with another variant of linux than the one they're hopefully going to license later, from PS/access.

I'm guessing this is some kyocera or samsung phone, or maybe moto.

--
http://www.arpx.net/article.php/top_10_palmos_applications - my top 10 apps

Clarification
Masamune @ 10/10/2005 5:42:22 AM # Q
I've just paid a visit to Wind River's webssite. Their latest press release:

https://portal.windriver.com/news/press/pr.html?ID=2662

...states that a commercial grade version of Linux will be ready by November 2005. The way I'm reading this is that the back end of PalmLinux is now approaching a finished stage and that a *prototype* device may now exist within the company. My guess is that the Palm overlay for this version of Linux isn't ready yet at a commercial level and that the PalmWind device won't be ready until at least spring of next year

RE: Good or Better of
SeldomVisitor @ 10/10/2005 8:27:02 AM # Q
Why does ANYONE think the vaporware "PalmLinux" being developed by PALMSOURCE in CHINA is the WindRiver Linux being developed by...WindRiver?

Inquiring minds wanna know!

And...

Why does ANYONE think PALM would be doing PALMSOURCE'S developing in Linux for PALM'S use? Why not think instead that PALM looks at how deficient PALMSOURCE is/has been and simply said "Hey! We modified PalmOS extensively ourselves! We can go it alone with Linux, too!"?


RE: Good or Better of
cervezas @ 10/10/2005 8:41:06 AM # Q
Why does ANYONE think the vaporware "PalmLinux" being developed by PALMSOURCE in CHINA is the WindRiver Linux being developed by...WindRiver?

Maybe the same reason people always get confused about Linux. The name is used in two ways (one correct and the other loose) and people--especially in the press--get them mixed up all the time. Correctly speaking, Linux is not an operating system. It's a kernel on which you can build an operating system. But people also often refer to operating systems built on Linux as being "Linux."

We're told that Palm OS for Linux is designed to be kernel-agnostic so it can run on different Linux kernels (including, theoretically, a kernel with patches maintained by WindRiver). However, as far as I can see, WindRiver's "commercial grade Linux product" is an operating system, or "platform"--i.e. it's a substitute for Palm Linux, not a potential ingredient.


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

RE: Good or Better of
Dr Opinion @ 10/11/2005 1:55:36 PM # Q
> "...Why does ANYONE think the vaporware "PalmLinux" being developed by PALMSOURCE in CHINA is the WindRiver Linux being developed by...WindRiver?..."

You misread the posts, fool. :)

Palm Linux refers to a Palm API compatability layer that is expected to be able to run on a number of different Linux distros. Wind River linux is rumored to be one of the distros Palm Linux will be built on: http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6692714302.html

Ergo, any specific device may run *both* Palm Linux and Wind River Linux. Fool. :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

Reply to this comment

Out of left field

cervezas @ 10/8/2005 7:08:57 PM # Q
Now how's that for something totally out of the blue? It'd be damned funny if all the time that Colligan and Gates were skulking around and giggling about their Windows Treo secret, Colligan was getting ready behind Gates' back to rain sweet Linux down on Microsoft's Treo parade.

I can fantasize, but to be honest I'm really wondering how credible this source is.


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

RE: Out of left field
craigdts @ 10/8/2005 7:35:16 PM # Q
"Given that PalmSource has been focused on its Linux phone mission for about a year now, the timing seems about right for Palm's name to show up on one those Wind River Linux handsets."

Is this just the author confusing Palm and Palmsource or is there some implied relationship or collaboration between Wind River, Palm, and Palmsource on this phone?

RE: Out of left field
Dr Opinion @ 10/9/2005 2:19:21 AM # Q
> "...It'd be damned funny if [...] Colligan was getting ready behind Gates' back to rain sweet Linux down on Microsoft's Treo parade..."

That certainly would be a great rationalization for accepting bill's $$$ to make a treo with a "start" button... :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Out of left field
fierywater @ 10/9/2005 11:17:17 AM # Q
Since when did it cost Bill? Palm's the one that pays to license WM.

RE: Out of left field
AdamaDBrown @ 10/10/2005 12:57:46 AM # Q
Don't mind D.O. He lives in his own little world where the sky is orange and the Windows Treo was all Microsoft's idea and money.

RE: Out of left field
Dr Opinion @ 10/10/2005 3:33:34 AM # Q
Hilarious, adama, you should be in comedy. Thanks for sharing your marvelous gift of mirth.

But seriously. No-one actually *pays* for wince, right? I mean, that should be really obvious.

This is easy to prove: m$ refuses to break out the wince numbers. If wince really was making any money, why would m$ be ashamed? :)

Of course, some "licensees" might have to pay a token amount per unit, for example around $5 for a unit priced at over $600. This is obviosly far less than cost, but still amounts to tens of thousands for many "licensees". The flip side is that m$ provides extensive "free" engineering support to licensees, completely offsetting the token abount per unit.

m$ isn't interesting in making money from Dell or HP on a per unit basis. m$ wants to capture the *market*. At the moment the market is owned by Palm, but m$ has been dumping cash into its money-losing wince business for years trying to capture market share.

The amazing thing is that despite competing for years against a convicted monopolist who is prepared to effectively dump billions of cash into licensees just to capture market share, Palm has still succeeded in developing a financially viable model, maintaining the largest user base, developer base, and application base in the market, and it continues to absolutely dominate the smartphone market.

Pretty cool, actually! :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Out of left field
sr4 @ 10/10/2005 4:04:30 AM # Q
Just remember the :) at the end of D.O.'s post means he's sucking the whole thing out of his thumb, in case anyone takes his deluded nonsense seriously.

Surur

I'm not the LEAST bit surprised
hkklife @ 10/10/2005 12:09:33 PM # Q
Given Palm/PalmOne's nature of cobblingt together crazyquilt OSes and endless patching PalmSource's original work, this is not a totally surprising move in my eyes.

Back during the Access buyout news, I proposed a 3-tier strategy for Palm's lineup:

Basic PDAs: FrankenGarnet
Flagship PDAs and Treos: PLinux
Flagship Treo: WinMob

I never figured that Palm would necessarily go with PalmSource's Plinux exclusively. When the news of the hirings for Linux engineers emerged, I even suggested that Palm was going to attempt to go it alone with their "own" (kinda like IBm tried with the PC Jr.) Linux OS and/or buy the IP for Garnet & Cobalt from Access and try to meld it all into one big mobile OS, picking the best bits from each one.

This is going to only throw yet another monkeywrench into the devloper community. They would now have to conceivably support:
Garnet
Cobalt (assuming an Asian licensee ever ships a device)
Palm's Linux
PalmSource Linux
WinMob

This fragmentation is NOT a good sign for anyone other than Palm's short term sales outlook.

RE: Out of left field
cervezas @ 10/10/2005 12:17:12 PM # Q
hkklife wrote:
This is going to only throw yet another monkeywrench into the devloper community

Not if it's a feature phone platform it won't. There won't be a developer community outside of Palm and the mobile operators.

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

RE: Out of left field
AdamaDBrown @ 10/10/2005 3:08:50 PM # Q
D.O. wrote:
No-one actually *pays* for wince, right?...This is easy to prove: m$ refuses to break out the wince numbers.

Actually, the Mobile and Embedded division, for which Windows Mobile is the major product, has revenue of about $280 million a year.

At the moment the market is owned by Palm

You never answered my question, D.O. Do you acknowledge that Windows devices outsell Palm, yes or no?

Kirvin 101
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/10/2005 4:02:30 PM # Q
You never answered my question, D.O. Do you acknowledge that Windows devices outsell Palm, yes or no?


Don't waste your time. Kirvin realizes that he can't effectively debate, so he's resorted to his current "Dr Opinion" pseudonym. He thinks now he can post as many lies and insults as he wants now because he's "anonymous". Too bad his posts just make Palm/PalmSource look even more idiotic.

Kirvin is chickensh**

TVoR

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Out of left field
Dr Opinion @ 10/11/2005 2:02:25 PM # Q
You guys are great! :)

Let's just recap on the points you can't refute one more time:

(1) m$ refuses to break out the wince numbers, clearly demonstrating it is a money-losing business. :)

(2) Wince "licensees" pay a token amount at most, but m$ provides extensive "free" engineering support to licensees, so much so that in real terms m$ actually *pays* "licensees" to ship wince devices.

(3) m$ wants to capture the *market*. At the moment the market is owned by Palm, but m$ has been dumping cash into its money-losing wince business for years trying to capture market share.

(4) Palm has still succeeded in developing a financially viable model, maintaining the largest user base, developer base, and application base in the market, and it continues to absolutely dominate the smartphone market... all this despite the fact that Palm and PalmSource compete with a massive monopolist who is actually paying manufacturers to take it's product! Hilarious!

Go PIC! I love this place. :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Out of left field
sr4 @ 10/11/2005 3:13:55 PM # Q

Congratulations D.O. Trolling at its finest. You make Palm supporters look real bad.

Oops, forgot the smilie :) Now I can say any bull I want, cant I? :)

Surur :)

RE: Out of left field
cervezas @ 10/11/2005 3:43:32 PM # Q
surer wrote:
You make Palm supporters look real bad.

Which is obviously the whole point. I concluded long ago that Dr O = TVoR. Out of disappointment that Jeff Kirvin wouldn't let him crap all over the 1src forums TVoR figured he'd create his own caricatured "artists conception" of Jeff Kirvin right here. This is supposed to show how stupid people are to be enthusiastic about the Palm platform and to prove that when TVoR "isn't around" PIC gets taken over by these zombies.

Yes, he's that sick in the head.

At some point he'll probably get bored with this game and probably start posting as the old TVoR personality again. I'm not sure which is worse.


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

Ryan, can you stop the LIES from Beersy and Dr Opinion?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/12/2005 12:16:30 AM # Q
Which is obviously the whole point. I concluded long ago that Dr O = TVoR. Out of disappointment that Jeff Kirvin wouldn't let him crap all over the 1src forums TVoR figured he'd create his own caricatured "artists conception" of Jeff Kirvin right here. This is supposed to show how stupid people are to be enthusiastic about the Palm platform and to prove that when TVoR "isn't around" PIC gets taken over by these zombies.

Yes, he's that sick in the head.

At some point he'll probably get bored with this game and probably start posting as the old TVoR personality again. I'm not sure which is worse.

Beersy, if you really believe that, you're an even bigger idiot than I thought you were. (Unless, of course, YOU are helping Kirvin with these retarded Dr Opinion posts.)

Ryan can confirm that I'm posting from a (VERY) different location than your "friend", Doc Op. People like you and Kirvin try to get too clever for their own good and end up making all Palm supporters look bad. Stop posting obvious lies about me. Don't make me have to break my foot off in your a$$... Again.


TVoR


------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô

The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

NetFrontLinux - the next major cellphone OS?: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=8060#111823

RE: Out of left field
Timothy Rapson @ 10/16/2005 9:22:52 AM # Q
Did any of you have someone in high school who gave him/herself a hickey or tried to? Whoever DR. Opinion is, he is too off base to be really playing ball here. I just wonder, no I almost wonder but don't really care, who is so silly as to do this.
It is almost but not quite entirely unentertaining in an amusingly sad and boring way.

RE: Out of left field
sr4 @ 10/16/2005 9:27:12 AM # Q

I'm actually starting to think D.O. is actually David Schlesinger. They both have the same level of paranoia regarding paid MS posters and poor connection with reality

e.g.

Interesting take on the situation. Let's see: All the PocketPC manufacturers on the planet, added up together, command no more than 20% of the PDA market share. Handspring, all by itself, has between 20 and 30%.

Someone's getting their collective asses kicked, but it doesn't seem to be Palm.


http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=2296#21194

Surur

Reply to this comment

Linux Feature Phone

KultiVator @ 10/8/2005 7:36:47 PM # Q
This could be utter nonsense.

Or could it be that Jeff Hawkings mutterings about a "Secretive Third Business" have started to be unearthed?

There's certainly scope for Palm to shake things up now that PalmSource has been taken from the isolated limb Palm had left them on.

But remember... in this game, on this site, there's often smoke without fire!

Have a good weekend all,

KultiVator

##########################################
### Russian Doll Logic ~ 1+1+1+1+1 = 1 ###
##########################################

RE: Linux Feature Phone
sr4 @ 10/8/2005 8:35:16 PM # Q

Interestingly, if they are branching of into feature phones running Linux, which would explain explain the Linux job listings on Palm's site, does this mean Palm feels they could do the new OS thing better and faster than PSRC? Are they actually divorcing themselves from PalmOS?

Surur

RE: Linux Feature Phone
Dr Opinion @ 10/9/2005 2:28:57 AM # Q
> "...does this mean Palm feels they could do the new OS thing better and faster than PSRC?..."

Yeah, obviously Palm has hacked together an entire Palm OS compatible linux distribution on the side. That makes perfect sense. Moron.

> "...Are they actually divorcing themselves from PalmOS?..."

Even more likely is that they are divorcing themselves from wince. Expect to see a news release to the effect of "we just couldn't bring ourselves to pollute our gorgeous Treo hardware with buggy wince garbage. At the last minute we decided to yank that lousy OS and ship with Linux instead." :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Linux Feature Phone
sr4 @ 10/9/2005 5:43:20 AM # Q

Its a bit senseless responding to your comments, but just to clarify, who says their new OS was POS compatible?

Surur

RE: Linux Feature Phone
craigdts @ 10/9/2005 9:01:00 AM # Q
from my understanding it's not Palm OS compatible at all. It will be Palm's feature phone OS on top of Wind Rivers linux. The more I look and think about this the more it looks like palm has left palmsource.

What the article is saying is that palm started making this move long ago, just like WM move. Palmsource decided to follow, but it's gonna take time. In the meantime, Palm still has to make products.

So they've decided to go with a feature phone (that lacks the ability to install new apps).

Probably see PIM, Web browser, camera, maybe a media player. Then thats it, you get what Palm gives you. I can see how carriers would love it as it would reduce their support costs. No complaints of incompatibility.


RE: Linux Feature Phone
cervezas @ 10/9/2005 12:50:53 PM # Q
The more I look and think about this the more it looks like palm has left palmsource.

While I think this "leak" is highly dubious, I want to remind everyone that Palm OS for Linux is not the only Linux work that PalmSource has been up to. China MobileSoft had been working on a Linux feature phone platform well before they were acquired last December and PalmSource has said on more than one occasion that they were letting CMS continue to conduct this work since their business has been growing very nicely in China.

So, just because Palm OS for Linux isn't ready doesn't mean that PalmSource doesn't have a feature phone platform ready for Palm via their CMS subsidiary.

What doesn't jive, though, is that I'm pretty sure I remember hearing that CMS produced their own Linux distro and this news says specifically that Palm is using a Wind River distro. Still, Linux kernels are relatively substitutable, so Palm may have licensed the CMS Linux platform and switched out the kernel to get something they wanted from it (features or support from Wind River).

To those who keep asking "what's a feature phone?" the most salient factor that differentiates a feature phone from a smartphone is that feature phones do not allow users to install any 3rd party applications other than Java apps. It's conceivable (but still, I think, unlikely) that CMS or Palm have developed PalmOS-like PIM applications that run on a feature phone platform and sync with Outlook and/or Palm Desktop via SyncML. That was PalmSource's announced plan, but I'd be surprised if it was ready this soon.

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

RE: Linux Feature Phone
Dr Opinion @ 10/9/2005 1:33:48 PM # Q
> "...who says their new OS was POS compatible?..."

It's called Marketing 101: "Compete where you have a competitive advantage". Palm's competitive advantage is its superior developer base, installed base, and huge application collcetion (dwarfing both wince and symbian combined).

Get with the program. :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Linux Feature Phone
sr4 @ 10/9/2005 2:13:13 PM # Q
I dont know why you bother replying. You do not say anything that makes sense and already said you do not wish to be taken seriously. Why waste everybodies time?

Surur

RE: Linux Feature Phone
Dr Opinion @ 10/9/2005 4:24:10 PM # Q
Whereas your inane posts add any value whatsoever? :)

Surur, I know this is embarassing, but you actually wrote: "...does this mean Palm feels they could do the new OS thing better and faster than PSRC? Are they actually divorcing themselves from PalmOS?..."

That's quite possible the single most stupid post on this entire story. And it was at 8pm. You can't even claim you'd just got back from clubbing, chasing babes, and smoking crack. :)

------
"People who like M$ products tend to be insecure crowd-following newbies lacking in experience and imagination."

RE: Linux Feature Phone
sr4 @ 10/9/2005 4:52:39 PM # Q
Yada Yada Yada

Did I beat my record?

Surur

RE: Linux Feature Phone
Timothy Rapson @ 10/9/2005 5:42:27 PM # Q
What single phone is the biggest competition for the Treo? The Blackberry
What OS obstacles are in the way of the Treo meeting the RIM Blackberry in a One-on-One market battle to the finish? Symbian, POS, and WinMob.
How might Palm once again have a hardware/software product over which they have complete control to be back on the very pinacle of a growing market? Buy writing their own Linux sollution for thier own phone. They couldn't buy back POS. They can't get control of Symbian and certainly not WinMob. But, all alone they can do a Linux phone that takes their newly admired Treo and offers 90% of what most users want to do with it.
I won't want one, but it might be quite nice.

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