PalmSource Joins OSDL

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL or the Labs), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, and PalmSource, today announced that PalmSource has joined OSDL as a founding member of the Labs' new Mobile Linux Initiative. PalmSource is the provider of Palm OS, a leading operating system powering next generation phones and mobile devices.

PalmSource announced last year that it would build its new applications framework on and port its Palm OS platform to run on Linux. As a member of OSDL and an MLI participant, PalmSource will work with other Lab members and the development community to advance the use of Linux in mobile devices. The MLI will focus industry and open source developer resources on Linux-based operating system technical challenges, foster development of applications for Linux-based mobile devices, deliver requirements definition documents and use cases, and host complementary open source projects that support the initiative

"PalmSource believes that Linux has the potential to become a leading operating system for mobile devices, and we are committed to accelerating that process," said Michael Kelley, senior vice president of engineering for PalmSource. "By joining OSDL, and being a part of the Mobile Linux Initiative, we can work closely with Linux industry pioneers to contribute to the on-going development and adoption of mobile Linux."

With more than 190 million mobile phone units sold in the second quarter of 2005, research firm Gartner, Inc. recently reported sales were up 21 percent from a year ago and it estimates that there will be 2.6 billion mobile phones in use worldwide by the end of 2009. As the mobile market continues to explode, handset manufacturers are increasingly turning to Linux as a strategic platform to deliver more capable mobile devices, increase flexibility, speed time-to-market, and lower costs.

"We are excited that PalmSource has chosen to be a founding member of OSDL's Mobile Linux Initiative," said Stuart Cohen, OSDL CEO. "PalmSource is a welcome addition to the OSDL membership and will be a driving force for growing Linux in the mobile device market."

Thanks to Moaz for the tip.

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Sam H @ 10/17/2005 5:36:13 PM # Q
Is any part of Palm OS (apart from the Linux kernel) actually going to be open source?
RE: Why?
cervezas @ 10/17/2005 5:50:25 PM # Q
Is any part of Palm OS (apart from the Linux kernel) actually going to be open source?

Sure. There are lots of services they are building on top of the kernel that they definitely want--need really--to be open source. Stuff like power management, file system, etc. They want to contribute stuff like this to the community otherwise they lose the benefit of having the Linux community help to support it when new hardware comes out, bugs are found, etc.

In fact, it's really important that PalmSource take a strong leadership position in organizations like OSDL (in addition to contributing excellent code) because it helps signal to the community that when there are multiple solutions to a problem that have been contributed, PalmSource's (or the one it picks) has a strong standing as being the defacto standard (other things being equal). And that's needed to avoid fragmentation that could otherwise occur.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog

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