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Palm Licenses Palm OS Garnet Source Code

Palm OSACCESS has announced it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Palm, Inc., that gives Palm a perpetual license for the Palm OS Garnet source code. ACCESS and Palm have also agreed to an expansion of the two companies’ existing patent license. Palm will pay ACCESS a total of $44 million (USD).

Under terms of the agreement, ACCESS has granted Palm specific rights to modify the code base of Palm OS Garnet for use in its devices such as the Palm Treo smartphone family and the company’s other handheld computers. The agreement also grants Palm the right to use Palm OS Garnet in whole, or in part, in any product from Palm and together with any other system technologies.

To ensure forward-compatibility of Palm OS Garnet applications, ACCESS and Palm have agreed to continue to measure compatibility against the compatibility test harness in use between the two companies.

ACCESS remains strongly committed to supporting its Palm OS licensees and developers. We are also committed to preserving and furthering the pioneering legacy of our operating system,” said Jeanne Seeley, CEO of ACCESS Systems Americas, Inc. “This agreement gives Palm more flexibility as it designs new devices while also enabling Palm OS Garnet developers to preserve their current investment in applications for Palm OS Garnet-based devices. We are pleased Palm has extended its commitment to the Palm OS platform and we look forward continuing to work with them.”

ACCESS has posted an extensive FAQ covering many questions and aspects regarding the licensing agreement.

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Maybe...

dkirker @ 12/6/2006 9:19:49 PM # Q
Maybe Palm will now fix the "bug" in the Network Library that is keeping WiFi from working on the Treos. Probably not.

Cobalt?
drbuzz0 @ 12/7/2006 1:03:42 AM # Q
Remind me? What happened to cobalt?

It went from "cobalt is almost ready" to "Cobalt is ready. Look at it running on this sample device" to "Okay...who wants to license Cobalt? Anybody? Anybody?" to "the concerns about Cobalt compatability and features have been resolved" to "Okay...lets talk about ALP...or Garnet.... oh Cobalt? Um...nevermind that one"

Stephen M Packard, Jr.

RE: Maybe...
rsc1000 @ 12/7/2006 1:11:45 AM # Q
>>Remind me? What happened to cobalt?

Oh dude - you SOOO have not been around here lately, no? Even asking that question is fighting words to some. I suggest you check the PIC archives to read the sad and sordid tale.

RE: Maybe...
PenguinPowered @ 12/7/2006 2:08:24 AM # Q
PSRC postponed work on Cobalt to work on PalmOS for Linux. Meanwhile GSPDA announced they were going to ship a Cobalt phone, by the end of 2005. Instead, they shipped the same phone six months later running Savaje, which is amusing because Savaje is now out of business.

Then PSRC got bought by ACCESS, and PalmOS for Linux morphed into Access Linux Platform, whith a heavy emphasis on Access and PalmOS represented by a 68k emulator.

Speaking of which, where is ALP, anyway? '06 gonna be over soon

In other news, Marvell bought the XScale processor family from Intel, but have made it clear by annoucning Monahans that they plan to keep it on the market. Don't be surprised if PalmOS Garnet, er, I mean PalmCE, shows up on a Monahans based phone one day. (Don't be surprised if it doesn't either.)



May You Live in Interesting Times

ALP running late
cervezas @ 12/7/2006 1:47:05 PM # Q
penguinpowered wrote:

Speaking of which, where is ALP, anyway? '06 gonna be over soon

ACCESS quietly slipped this into the middle of the FAQ they just published:

We will announce the official name of the ACCESS Linux Platform when we announce that it is available to our licensees and developers—expected sometime in the first half of 2007.

http://www.access-company.com/developers/press/palm_faq.html

So, yep. They're behind schedule. Like about 90% of all big software projects... sigh. Oh well, just gives Mr. Moore some time for his Law to catch up with the demands of Linux on a high-function smartphone. From a review I read yesterday it sounds like Trolltech's Greenphone is going to need some help from him, too. As does the Nokia 770.

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

Reply to this comment

**CRASH!!**

hkklife @ 12/6/2006 9:19:38 PM # Q
**CRASH!!**

(that was the sound of me, my 700p, and my stockpile of old Palm PDAs going out of my upstairs window!) Now this is a surprise!

So much for the slow news week I was just getting ready to mention to Ryan!

This throws a MAJOR twist into things! I'd love to know if, behind the scenes, any Cobalt "bits" ( the BT stack, the EVDO stack etc) were thrown in as well.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Is this good news?
freakout @ 12/6/2006 9:57:20 PM # Q
What exactly does it mean? That the 680 won't be the last Garnet Treo? That Palm are going to try and do a new PalmOS 6 (not Cobalt?) Is it a sign of desperation, or a sign of confidence?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: Is this good news?
cervezas @ 12/6/2006 10:16:51 PM # Q
Yes, grasshopper, it's good news. Notice the stipulation that Palm gets "the right to use Palm OS Garnet in whole, or in part, in any product from Palm and together with any other system technologies."

This means Palm can proceed with developing their own next-generation Palm OS with backward compatibility to Garnet. The Garnet APIs are becoming an execution environment (like Java or Brew) that will run the same apps on two (or, who knows, maybe more) operating systems. I say "maybe more" because Palm may want to include Palm OS as one application environment inside, say, the Linux platform that powers their "Third Business" devices.

This will be good news for ACCESS, too. Even though ALP's native framework is clearly where they want developers to be going, the continuation of Garnet inside Palm will help ALP get some traction among current Palm OS users.

Whether Palm decides to release more products that are just Palm OS Garnet--not Garnet as part of an advanced OS--now that's a question. They may very well squeeze out a few more Garnet products, now that they seem to have ironed out so many kinks for the Treo 680.

Understand that the transition to Linux isn't going to be all a bed of roses, people. It may be hard for people on PIC to hear this, but a lot of folks will miss Palm OS Garnet if Palm and/or ACCESS don't knock this mobile Linux thing out of the ballpark. (Better than Nokia has managed to do, for example.) It's a big challenge getting good performance, battery life, etc. out of an operating system as sophisticated as Linux (maybe more so than Palm OS Cobalt). Palm may have good reason to keep improving Garnet for a little while before Moore's Law and developers get mobile Linux to the point where Palm is satisfied that using it as the basis for a next-gen Palm OS is a totally winning proposition.

What I'm really interested in hearing now is what Palm has to say about this purchase! With this negotiation complete, Palm may be at a point where they can reveal more of their plans, now.

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

RE: **CRASH!!**
surfmaniac @ 12/6/2006 11:27:00 PM # Q
Excellent insights, Cervezas. Please keep them coming for us waterlogged troglodytes who need things said/stated in laymen's terms. And while I've got you, any ideas/hints as to the oft-rumored (and apparently real) '3rd' business?

thanks

Another dumb American who thinks Palm has a bright future...



Third Business rumors
cervezas @ 12/7/2006 12:05:32 AM # Q
Yeah, I posted some fresh rumors and thoughts about Palm's "Third Business" on my blog today: http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=128

Enjoy! :-)

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

RE: **CRASH!!**
SeldomVisitor @ 12/7/2006 8:36:11 AM # Q
> ...What I'm really interested in hearing now is what Palm
> has to say about this purchase! With this negotiation
> complete, Palm may be at a point where they can reveal
> more of their plans, now...

I imagine at some point, probably already, they will have locked in cement just exactly what The Next Great Thing is (*). Since there is little "competition finding out" reason to hide what it is and lots of "PALM better do SOEMTHING soon!' reasons for revealing it, maybe indeed we'll find out soon!

=======

(*) For no particularly good reason I think the departure of Hawkins as CTO back in February marked that "locked in cement" point, maybe even WITHOUT Hawkins' approval.

But that REALLY is the purest of baseless conjecture.

RE: **CRASH!!**
medevilenemy @ 12/7/2006 1:06:54 PM # Q
My guess is that this means that palm's development of the widely rumored "Palm OS II" has reached a point where they are writing in legacy support. Which means that if palm really is working on such a project, development should be all but complete in a matter of a couple/few months. My prediction: Official news or something of equal weight regarding this by sometime in april/may.

RE: **CRASH!!**
freakout @ 12/7/2006 6:19:30 PM # Q
Yes, grasshopper, it's good news.

Cheers, Sensei Beers. ;)

RE: **CRASH!!**
AdamaDBrown @ 12/8/2006 3:21:50 PM # Q
This will be good news for ACCESS, too. Even though ALP's native framework is clearly where they want developers to be going, the continuation of Garnet inside Palm will help ALP get some traction among current Palm OS users.

How do you figure that? I would think that the continuation of Garnet would pull Palm users and developers away from ALP, since it's clear that the lines will be diverging, and that Palm's developments would hold more relevance.

Reply to this comment

Access FINALLY blinked! The Windows Mobile bluff worked!

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/6/2006 9:36:08 PM # Q
Of course, the PalmOS IP is pretty much otherwise worthless to Access and since they know Palm would NEVER license ALPOS giving up the PalmOS 5 source code for 1/7 the cost Access had paid for PalmSource only makes good business sense. Especially seeing how poorly Access' ALPOS project is supposedly doing these days. Can you say 2008? Can you say NEVER?


Unfortunately, Palm lacks the brain power needed to actually FIX PalmOS 5, but that's a whole other matter. I'll go on record for formally stating that Palm not dumping PalmOS and fully embracing Windows Mobile the minute they lost the PalmSource bidding war would be a huge error. The only part of PalmOS 5 a smart Palm will keep is hacking a PACE clone as a PalmOS emulator for Windows Mobile. Bets, anyone?

Bwahahahahah!!!

TVoR

RE: Access FINALLY blinked! The Windows Mobile bluff worked!
twizza @ 12/7/2006 12:06:46 PM # Q
Interesting note TVOR;
Outside of patching/fixing the network stack for 3G on GSM networks and a proper LifeDrive 2 there would be no reason to fix the PalmOS.

As for your bet, I don't think its WM, but a "better" PalmOS emulator on another OS would not be a half bad thing to see coming. Mainly for the PIM apps. Everything else could possibly be done under another OS much better.

Things will be interesting by fall of next year that's for sure.

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com

Reply to this comment

No Sunset?

Gekko @ 12/6/2006 10:04:38 PM # Q

No Sunset?

I feel like we're missing part of the story here.

Ryan - Source?

RE: No Sunset?
Ryan @ 12/6/2006 11:16:52 PM # Q
ACCESS/PalmSource was the first to put out a press release:

http://www.access-company.com/news/press/Current/120606_palm.html

I have not heard anything from Palm Inc on this news yet.

Reply to this comment

Fierce Competiton Ahead

jfme @ 12/6/2006 10:08:23 PM # Q
RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
legodude522 @ 12/6/2006 10:53:05 PM # Q
Just so others know, that was a concept picture from rumor sites. Not something that leaked from Apple. It's just speculation on what the iPhone will look like.

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000 + 4gb MicroDrive + Palm Tungsten T|3 (1100mah)
My T|3 is too [i]sexy[/i] for me.
White chocolate
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/6/2006 11:00:01 PM # Q
Not the real iPhone, but close to the White Chocolate concept it obviously will imitate.
RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
jfme @ 12/6/2006 11:04:21 PM # Q
We'll see if it really comes out on January. In any case, it does not look quite like a smartphone yet.

RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
PenguinPowered @ 12/7/2006 2:21:15 AM # Q
iPhone's not supposed to be a smartphone. it's just a phone + media player.

iPhonde, really



May You Live in Interesting Times

Savage battle to the death
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/7/2006 2:34:14 AM # Q
iPhonde, really

Jobs Walks the Walk, it Talks the Talk.

LG Chocolate + iPod Nano = iPhone


Much as iPods proved design and marketing trumph performance, iPhone sales will be show it's not wrong to underestimate the intelligence of your target audience. Svengali Steve Jobs did it again.

TVoR

RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
jfme @ 12/7/2006 8:55:31 AM # Q
Rumors say it will come out for all carriers and WILL have wi-fi. In fact, the sync will be done through it.

Meanwhile, the only place treo users will see wi-fi is in our dreams

RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
freakout @ 12/7/2006 6:58:41 PM # Q
Apple are way too proud and independent to put up with the Evil American Telcos' BS. Why would they suddenly allow Apple to put out a wifi device when they've been stonewalling the technology for years?

Nah. Makes no sense. My bet? Apple will sell it via their current iPod retail network, and skip the carriers altogether. Choose your own SIM.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Fierce Competiton Ahead
iphonde @ 2/5/2007 11:18:42 PM # Q
Did someone say Iphonde?

http://www.iphonde.com

Not an Iphone but an Iphonde

Reply to this comment

cool !

retrospooty @ 12/6/2006 10:24:50 PM # Q
I personally like garnet. It does everything I need it to do, and does it fast. I could see PAlm tweaking a few things here and there and keeping it going for several years releasing both Garnet and Winmob devices. Winmobile is OK to me, but the sync software is unacceptable.

Come Spring there will be a CDMA Treo released for Sprint and Verizon on garnet. It will have EVDO and internal antenna. That will do it for me.

RE: cool !
hkklife @ 12/6/2006 10:29:52 PM # Q
You have an inside source or is this just speculation on your part?

I halfway expect the 700p to be put out to pasture any day now and a sleeker version with most of the glaring bugs fixed, the new phone app from the 680 and the 680/750 formfactor released for Sprint/Verizon.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: cool !
jfme @ 12/6/2006 10:35:02 PM # Q
Well, I've been hearing about the iphone for a long time...I think the idea of it has always been dismissed by everyone... But today I found something real interesting:

http://revision3.com/diggnation/2006-11-30

and

http://www.myiphone.com/apple-iphone-patent-3068.php


RE: cool !
jfme @ 12/6/2006 10:40:30 PM # Q
wow...wrong thread. Sorry

Reply to this comment

ALP

legodude522 @ 12/6/2006 10:49:38 PM # Q
Goodbye ALP. Hello Palm OS 2?

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000 + 4gb MicroDrive + Palm Tungsten T|3 (1100mah)
My T|3 is too [i]sexy[/i] for me.
RE: ALP
2xs @ 12/7/2006 3:05:00 AM # Q
that´s it :D Happy ending, I would say...

Palm Professional -> Palm III -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Palm TT2 -> Palm TT3 -> Palm TX
Reply to this comment

The family Palm is almost reunited.

VampireLestat @ 12/7/2006 2:37:31 AM # Q
Very happy.

Although the FAQ at http://www.access-company.com/developers/press/palm_faq.html
is detailed, the future of who develops what, who owns what and how the branding will be applied are all still a little unclear.

BUT, it is all slowly getting clearer and at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is that the venerable Palm OS will go on!

_________________________________
Palm TX, world's best designed handheld.


Windows Mobile + PACE = Palm's future (The NEW PalmOS!)
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/7/2006 3:01:12 AM # Q
As stated, "The agreement also grants Palm the right to use Palm OS Garnet in whole or in part in any product from Palm and together with any other system technologies."


More specifically:

"Q. Does this mean Palm, Inc., can use Palm OS Garnet on a Windows Mobile-based device from Palm, Inc.?

A. Yes. However, it should be noted that Palm will only be able to use the Palm OS trademark for products that meet the compatibility requirements, verified through the compatibility test harness used by ACCESS and Palm."

Later, again Access states: "The agreement also grants Palm the right to integrate Palm OS Garnet on top of other operating systems."

"Q. Does this agreement include a license to future operating system products from ACCESS (formerly PalmSource) or updates to Palm OS Garnet?

A. No. This new license agreement is only for Palm OS Garnet as it exists today as previously delivered to Palm. For example, this new license agreement does not include a license to future ACCESS products such as the ACCESS Linux Platform, which would need to be licensed separately. The new agreement also does not include any updates or upgrades from ACCESS to the existing Palm OS Garnet code base."

"Q. What will ACCESS name its version of Palm OS Garnet?

A. We will be re-naming all our products with Palm-based names. As you may remember, we sold our rights in the Palm Trademark Holding Company last May (2005). As part of that deal, we agreed to change our then name—PalmSource--as well as all our Palm-based product and program names."

So Palm can call Windows Mobile "PalmOS" if it wants to. (To confuse things some more, Access says "Under terms of the agreement, we have given Palm the right to use either “Palm OS by ACCESS” or the product's new name (still to be announced) when referring to the operating system licensed with this new agreement.") Hilarious.

"Although we are transitioning away from the use of those marks, for the time being ACCESS continues to be the exclusive licensee of the mark Palm OS and our customers (including Palm) are permitted to use those marks only under a sublicense from ACCESS. In addition to the new licensing agreement, ACCESS has negotiated the perpetual right to identify any of our software products that pass the compatibility tests as “compatible with Palm OS” or “Palm OS compatible.”"

Insane.

"We will announce the official name of the ACCESS Linux Platform when we announce that it is available to our licensees and developers—expected sometime in the first half of 2007."

And again: "Q. If Palm Inc., develops a new version of the operating system, can they name it Palm OS?

A. It would not be appropriate for ACCESS to speculate about Palm's business or any possible future product offerings."

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

"Q. Will there continue to be two developer programs for Palm OS--one program from ACCESS and one program from Palm?

A. The two companies will each continue to have their own developer programs. ACCESS intends to continue working closely with Palm to ensure forward compatibility with future devices available from Palm and other ACCESS licensees."


Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure. ALPOS will as ready "sometime in the first half of 2007" as Cobalt was in December 2003...


Any bets how long before Access dumps PalmOS 5 development/support completely? Probably less than 12 months...

TVoR

RE: The family Palm is almost reunited.
ChiA @ 12/7/2006 5:00:30 PM # Q
TVoR asked
Any bets how long before Access dumps PalmOS 5 development/support completely?

ACCESS has already dropped further development of Garnet - read between the lines in the evasive answer given to the question below:

Q. Will ACCESS modify its version of Palm OS Garnet?

A. We will continue to support our licensees and developers. We will provide professional services as needed. The functionality provided by the current version of Palm OS Garnet will be included in the ACCESS Linux Platform, our next generation operating system for smart mobile devices and phones. The ACCESS Linux Platform will include the Palm OS Garnet code in its entirety; thus providing a very high level of compatibility.


RE: The family Palm is almost reunited.
freakout @ 12/7/2006 5:55:46 PM # Q
Who really cares whether ACCESS continues to develop Garnet anymore? The extra functionality bolted onto the Treo is all Palm/Handspring's own work anyway...
Reply to this comment

Wonder if I care?

theog @ 12/7/2006 5:26:17 AM # Q
I wonder if I really care or not... I don't know.

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.
RE: Wonder if I care?
VampireLestat @ 12/7/2006 6:00:31 AM # Q
I care because the TX is an amazing device and Palm OS keeps me organized.

I have so many things to do in my life that I simply don't have time to waste learning stuff, or fumbling with Windows Mobile, constantly trying to find optimal ways of working around quirks and quarks.

- Palm OS is simple, straight to the point, fast for me to enter/find/remove/edit PIM data. And it plays great ebooks, music, games, etc. By the way, that new game from Astraware named GLYPH is awesome (graphics, voice, beautiful).


- The TX fits great in the hand, has a big screen and is very robust. I have dropped it numerous times on the ground and it is still going strong.
- I can trust my Palm alarms and I cannot trust my HP hx2750 alarms. The stupid HX battery goes dead intermittently for no reason, the alarms go mental and play non stop sometimes (or dont go off) etc. Im sure I could find all the solutions if I dug long enough, but the point is, I JUST DONT CARE AND I DONT HAVE TIME TO WASTE! With my TX, everything is simple and works. I trust it.

So when I see news that Palm OS will go on, I am very pleased, because it means I can count on the future. If my TX breaks, I will be able to buy another one, or a better future device, I can keep my software base, I can hope to see regular updates, etc.

I am really looking forward to a TX 2 with grafitti 3, new suprises and good ol Palm OS .

The Palm TX is the only serious professional handheld out there today in my opinion.

Reply to this comment

What DID they buy?

SeldomVisitor @ 12/7/2006 6:03:26 AM # Q
The FAQ at Access is pretty thorough. Very nice.

PALM gets to use the source code to do any development of =an= OS they want. They get to put it into any device they want. They cannot sell it to third parties. If they want to call it "PalmOS" or equivalent when they DO use it, they have to get it to pass a compatibility test with whatever Access has (as far as they agree with Access abotu what "compatible" means).

And then there's a strange part of the agreement that says:

== "...However, it should be noted that if the
== included Palm OS Garnet code enables at least
== one Palm OS Garnet application to run, Palm is
== required to have this product pass the
== compatibility test. If this product passes the
== compatibility test, Palm is required to
== indicate Palm OS Garnet compatibility following
== the branding guidelines agreed by the two
== companies..."

which has to be wrongly worded ("...is required to...pass...If it passes...").

So, from the FAQ alone, it looks like PALM gets to take the code, use it anywhere, if they want to say "PalmOS" then it's gotta pass a compatibility test (for the nearterm - at some point Access loses the rights to the name PalmOS" or something - no, PALM doesn't get those rights), and whatever that last part above means, and they get to do that for a single charge of $44 million rather than an ongoing recurring per-unit license fee.

Am I yawning yet?

====

As a corollary to this, ACCESS gets back $44 million of their outrageous price they paid for PalmSource (now they only paid a REALLY big price for the Linux side alone of PalmSource) but loses their biggest licensee.

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