Guardian Article: Can Palm find a way to survive?
In an intriguing article published by the UK's Guardian newspaper, Palm’s CEO, Ed Colligan, admits in an interview this week that “it will be 12 to 18 months” before a Palm smartphone running a Linux-based OS appears. This information, while slightly contradictory to earlier reports, is nevertheless a sign that all may not be well with Palm's in-house OS developmental efforts.
The guardian article, while offering little in the way of new information, does a solid job of providing a nutshell summary of the myriad of reasons leading to Palm’s current doldrums, such as the aging Garnet OS architecture, reduced revenue and consolidation in the PDA market, and the lack of differentiation amongst the Treo line in the face of increasingly fierce competition.
Ed Colligan recently admitted on the Palm Blog that the main reason behind Palm's cancellation of the Foleo was the cost and effort of a two-pronged effort to develop the Foleo and its OS alongside a smartphone-centric Linux platform. Yet the Guardian article goes one step further and offers the suggestion that perhaps even trying to develop one new Linux-based OS in-house is too much for Palm to bite off in its current state. Such OS development is resource intensive, and, as an analyst quoted in the article says, "more of a distraction from the path it should be taking."
The Guardian piece concludes with this final paragraph:
"The risk for Palm is that the company might end up put all its focus into owning a shiny new software infrastructure for its handsets, but lack the resources and attention to build the services that customers want."
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