MobileInfocenter

Palm Announces New Linux Based Mobile Platform

Today at Palm Inc's Analyst Day, Palm CEO Ed Colligan officially announced that Palm will deliver a new Linux and open source based mobile computing platform combined with Palm OS Garnet technology on new products later this year. The new platform was just announced at the Palm Analyst meeting and details are light at this point and still coming in. Read on for some slides and more information from the presentation.

The platform is described as a "new foundation for Palm." It will combine aspects of Palm OS Garnet and a Linux core. Palm plans to "evolve" the Palm Developer community to the new platform.

Colligan highlighted and stressed a few points about the new platform. He continually stressed the importance of the user experience citing the ability to have an instant on, highly portable device with great battery life. Other highlights included greater hardware flexibility and the ability to handle simultaneous voice and data, two key ares which have hampered the traditional Palm OS in recent years.

Another key aspect would be the device's web browsing experience. Colligan said Palm is focusing highly on connected web applications and web services built around mobile devices. He cited the ability to easily backup and restore over the web, delivering software and device updates over the internet and wireless software distribution. The recent Opera brower licensing agreement is likely tied to this new platform.

Colligan also revealed that this was a new platform that Palm has been working on, in house for a number of years. He stated that Palm would not license this new OS to outside hardware companies, meaning this will be a Palm exclusive platform.

This is a separate project from Palm Inc and is not related to the ACCESS Linux Platform, which is being developed by ACCESS, formerly PalmSource. Many of the technical software and hardware details have yet to be announced.

Linux Product Hints

Some further hints and details about the new device were alluded to in the question and answer session that followed. Ed Colligan remarked that we could expect to see new products "very soon" this year on both existing and the new linux based platform. During the last quarterly conference call, Colligan said that "clearly we [Palm] have been working on a major new area that has been speculated about in the press and talked about by Jeff Hawkins. Hawkins previously dropped major hints that he would reveal more details for Palm fans at an upcoming conference in May.

At various points Palm executives talked up the attractiveness of free wireless data access and stated that Palm has developed a unique implementation of WiFi in order to maximize the battery life in regards to future products. Colligan also mentioned that it will not be critical to offer this new platform/device initially through carriers. He indicated that Palm is going to offer this product direct to customers, but then said they could eventually be offered via carriers.

This could indicate either that the first generation may not have or require telephony functionality, and might be positioned as a wireless Internet device. On the other hand, it may be user upgradable to wireless data service or offered in multiple versions with and without phone service. The most likely scenario is that this new OS will power a wide range of devices from Palm in the future and the first version may debut on a PDA like tablet device, with smartphones to follow down the line.

The Analyst presentation concluded without any technical or developer details revealed about the new Linux based platform. Many questions remain to be answered as to what the official name will be, what Linux technologies are included, how Palm OS Garnet compatibility will be handled and what the development environment will be composed of. Colligan ended the Q&A session stating that the Linux based platform will be a integral "core technology" for Palm for the foreseeable future.

Palm linux Platform

Palm linux Platform

Palm linux Platform

Article Comments

 (146 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Start a new Comment Down View Full Comment Thread

But who's Linux is this?

Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 9:32:34 AM # Q
Is this new Linux platform developed in-house by Palm, or is he loosely referring to Access's ALP foundation?

If it's the former this is fantastic news.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Ryan @ 4/10/2007 9:40:53 AM # Q
This is in house from Palm, Colligan said they've been working on this for years.

Details are still really light at this point, as they only vaguely announced the platform with no real technical details yet.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8042/palm-preparing-for-linux-development/
http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8551/palms-open-secrets-exposed/

RE: But who's Linux is this?
hkklife @ 4/10/2007 9:43:08 AM # Q
I'd say with almost complete certainty that this is NOT the ALP/Access IP. I think Palm are going to stay as far from Access as possible other than the FrankenGarnet licensing matters are concerned.

The vague term "commitment to Palm OS customers" could mean aything from just mimicking the Palm OS GUI & loon'n feel in Linux to a compatibility layer on top of it.

Heck, Palm may even have another Garnet device or two left in it yet!

One thought I have had in the back of my mind for a while...Garnet is still seemingly stuck at OS 5.4.9.

Palm may release all new POS Treos going forward as OS 5.5 (that is, all post-755p Treos) and have some soft of compatibility certification process, where anything that runs on Garnet 5.5 will also run on the new Palm Linux-based solution coming at year's end (this could be the "evolving " of not oly the developer commmuity but the user base as well as was hinted at in the presentation).

P.S.
Such an occasion would also be the perfect time to release a final round of mildly revised PDAs...I am shocked that they even mention PDAs in the talk--at least they are still turning a profit!


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

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 9:56:03 AM # Q
Hmm. Well this is certainly great news, but I'll restrain my enthusiasm until I see this secret new Linux core from Palm's skunkworks for myself. A lot of questions remain unanswered, and given Palm's track record and slow pace of innovation, I have this horrible vision of the same outdated PalmOS GUI running on top of Linux. I hope that doesn't prove to be the case, but when has Palm shown anything innovative within the last three years in terms of software or hardware?

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com
RE: But who's Linux is this?
hkklife @ 4/10/2007 10:01:30 AM # Q
Kent, the Palm skunkworks have been around much longer than you think...they've been cooking up half-baked STINKERS such as the Palm VII, i705, LifeDrive, and 700p for years now!! ;-)

In terms of innovative hardware or software, you're right that Palm has (at best) done precious little other than a few nice GUI nips & tucks to Garnet. Here are a few examples of things I particularly liked: the fantastic threaded messaging app in the 700p & 680, the 680's phone app/contact interface, the stylus tip-sized reset button, the Treo d-pad (especially the 750/680 version), the boing-boing retractable stylus of the T|T/LifeDrive and the Palm Treo cradle with its nifty hidden battery charging compartment.



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

RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 2:01:52 PM # Q
**** ROTFLMAO ****

>>>Is this new Linux platform developed in-house by Palm, or is he loosely referring to Access's ALP foundation?

>>>If it's the former this is fantastic news.

Er, Foo, shouldn't you be on the fekkin ground offering MANY MANY MANY apologies to Beers?

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 2:48:56 PM # Q
Er, Foo, shouldn't you be on the fekkin ground offering MANY MANY MANY apologies to Beers?

For what? We've known Palm was developing some kind of next generation platform for some time. I even mentioned it just a few days ago. The only unanswered question was whether it would be a totally unique architecture or just Garnet slapped on top of Linux. We still don't know what the hell this OS really is, other than the fact Linux is its foundation.

The best news to come out of this announcement today is that Palm isn't moving to Windows Mobile. Had Palm chosen this path, it would killed what makes Palm unique.

You can bet money the new OS will not be made available to existing users (who have long endured and suffered from years of FrankenGarnet), which means we all have to upgrade to new smartphones in order to access PalmLinux (whatever it's called). And it's much too late for that because my tax dollars are going to iPhone, just like millions of other users.

In a nutshell... this is too little, too late. This move should have come two years ago. Palm has annihilated its brand name and reputation. It will take every resource to get back what they've lost, let alone grow beyond.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 3:16:12 PM # Q
Foo, must I violate your privacy by running a quote from an email you once sent me? I still have it.

Now be nice and apologize.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 3:17:14 PM # Q
And Foo, I still want an iPhone too.

But this is Third Business stuff *first*, not for Treo. And that can make it a *very* nice iPhone Companion.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 3:30:17 PM # Q
Hey, Foo!

I just sent TWO of your emails back at ya.

Be a man. Do the right thing.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 3:40:13 PM # Q
Did you send them to kentATpocketfactory.com? Nothing has crossed my inbox.

No matter. I'll admit I didn't buy into David's crackpot theory either. Basing everything on little more than the fact Palm was hiring developers with Linux experience was like putting two and two together, making eight. But when industry analysts began murmuring about Palm's secret project, it was obviously a fact.

But if I'm not mistaken, David also bashed me for my prediction that Palm wouldn't be using ALP. Even called me out on it. Now... if he knew Palm was developing its own Linux project, why did he believe they would adopt ALP. Seems like a contradiction.

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 3:50:29 PM # Q
Where is David anyway? I would have thought this announcement would be music to his ears, since it proved his theory right.

If you're here David, speak up. And congratulations. Now what were you saying about ALP?

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com

RE: But who's Linux is this?
SeldomVisitor @ 4/10/2007 4:05:15 PM # Q
> ...The only unanswered question was whether it would be a totally
> unique architecture or just Garnet slapped on top of Linux. We still
> don't know what the hell this OS really is, other than the fact Linux is its
> foundation...

The graphic accompanying this article (from the presentation) pretty explicitily shows the Linux part is underneath Garnet AS WELL AS standalone - those cutesy arrows aren't there for no reason.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
palmato @ 4/10/2007 4:35:16 PM # Q
The graphic accompanying this article (from the presentation) pretty explicitily shows the Linux part is underneath Garnet AS WELL AS standalone - those cutesy arrows aren't there for no reason.

Oh, I love so much arrow-ware: makes SW development look easy and nice. While hiding the things that really matter...

I heard the whole thing (really boring) and I'm not sure Colligan explicitly says the Linux adaptation was entirely done by Palm itself. Am I missing something?
However they had to start from something, and AFAIK whatever distribution they chose the license is GPL: meaning they have to release the source to the community, at least the part regarding the kernel. The garnet emulator and the new API are not part of that.

--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: But who's Linux is this?
SeldomVisitor @ 4/10/2007 4:55:55 PM # Q
Maybe they took what Motorola had in their phones and flew with it!


RE: But who's Linux is this?
palmato @ 4/10/2007 5:22:05 PM # Q
Or maybe it's windriver... (longtime rumor on pic)


--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 6:00:52 PM # Q
I don't think they said *everything* will be PalmLinux.

There's still a good case for making something like a TX with just FrankenGarnet if all one wants is a PDA. Heck, I'd like a TX-like PDA (but with LifeDrive design) *without* WiFi if it'd cut the price.

A PDA for me is the core apps with maybe some video option (TCPMP). Just make sure I can use a keyboard with it too (dump the BT, make it a bottom connector) and I'm happy.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
cervezas @ 4/10/2007 7:08:42 PM # Q
Yawn.

Old news.

Apologies accepted.

Can I get back to work now?

:D

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

For the record
cervezas @ 4/10/2007 7:16:23 PM # Q
Ok, for those who don't know me, here is the original series of posts where I discussed (with increasing certainty) what turns out to be pretty close to what Palm just announced:

Forget PalmSource. What about Palm's Linux plans? (3/23/06)
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=57

What Palm Inc's Linux OS might look like (3/26/06)
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=59

It's confirmed: Palm is building their own OS (3/29/06)
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=60

Looks like I may have been right about this one, too:

Palm turns to the server side (4/23/06)
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=69

...and about "delivering software and device updates over the internet":

Palm and device management
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=75

Those are the posts that pre-dated (or co-dated) my "Palm's Open Secrets Revealed" article on PIC, which was kind of a roundup of the information I'd collected by May of last year. Looking back at that article now it looks like I was 3 for 3 in my predictions! Woot!

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8551/palms-open-secrets-exposed/



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

RE: But who's Linux is this?
PenguinPowered @ 4/10/2007 10:28:46 PM # Q
Congratulations on your sleuthing David.

I must say that the idea that Palm has really been working on its own Linux port for more than two years cracks me up no end.

It makes the year I spent at PalmSource seem even more surreal, which I didn't think would be possible.


May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: But who's Linux is this?
Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 10:39:23 PM # Q
Ha! That's the best quote I've read all day Marty! ;-)

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com
RE: But who's Linux is this?
mikecane @ 4/11/2007 10:49:12 AM # Q
Where is the legendary hackbod these days?

Even if she has nothing to do with Palm any longer -- or even ALP/PalmSource (ALPSource?) -- it'd be good to have her chime in.

RE: But who's Linux is this?
PenguinPowered @ 4/11/2007 1:15:18 PM # Q
She's an electric sheep, these days, and has no interest in anything Palm related, other than to compete with it.

May You Live in Interesting Times
RE: Spin, denial and distraction
twrock @ 4/14/2007 2:26:52 AM # Q
Be a man. Do the right thing.

There are plenty of people who ought to step up and eat a little crow. But the typical pattern around here is more like:

-Boldly make predictions or emphatic statements about what will or will not happen regarding Palm (the majority of which present Palm in a negative light)

-Mock anyone who presents an alternate interpretation of the available data (quite possibly referring to them as a "Palm apologist" in an attempt to add to the insult and marginalize their insight)

-When in the course of time what actually happens shows you to be wrong, either spin your original statements around so many times that you were "right" all along or try to distract everyone with some "yeah, but..." statement, hoping they will forget that you were simply spouting ignorance from the beginning.

-Most importantly, avoid at all costs a straight up "I was wrong".

You'd more likely find "men" at an elementary playground during recess.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: But who's Linux is this?
ballistic @ 4/15/2007 7:48:59 AM # Q
Five days later, I'm wondering if this news will ever make the front page at Pocketfactory...
Reply to this comment

What about hardware

PacManFoo @ 4/10/2007 9:38:03 AM # Q
Now tell us what kind of hardware you plan to put this on Palm. Let me know if it's time I get off this roller coaster ride or not.

At least the chart is truthful in showing the decline in the commitment to the Palm OS community.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP2000, MP2100

RE: What about hardware
hkklife @ 4/10/2007 9:49:42 AM # Q
That, my friend, is where Hawkins' new "thing" will enter the picture. I expect any details on the hardware running this to be the very final bits of info to be released...and don't be surprised if "later this year" turns into "Q1 '08". It wouldn't be the first time Palm has missed the crucial Christmas season with a "hot" new product (the i705 springs immediately to mind).



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

RE: What about hardware
nybble @ 4/10/2007 2:20:22 PM # Q
Yeah, I hope we learn about Hawkin's project, that's a real question mark. It could help save Palm, although like everything about palm, I'm not holding my breath. They're reasonably good at talking about stuff and putting out press, less good, you know, actually delivering anything...

Blogged a little more deeply about my thoughts on this latest stuff..

http://comments.deasil.com/2007/04/10/palms-last-chance/

my blog: http://comments.deasil.com/">#comments

RE: What about hardware
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 3:18:23 PM # Q
I just blogged about it too:

Can It Be? Palm Is Tired Of Being A Bunch Of Eejits?
http://tinyurl.com/26a36p

Reply to this comment

Thank God we can stop talking about ALP now

Foo Fighter @ 4/10/2007 10:07:44 AM # Q
One side-benefit to today's news is that we can finally stop talking about ALP and ignore Access's development project because it has NO IMPACT on Palm users. So long Access, and good RIDDANCE!

-------------------------------
http://www.pocketfactory.com
http://www.elitistsnob.com
RE: Thank God we can stop talking about ALP now
scstraus2 @ 4/10/2007 8:56:59 PM # Q
I'm not so quick to say good riddance to all the developers that created the palmOS and many who created Be. I'd like to see something from both companies, because the Palm developers don't have much of a track record of developing anything like an OS, and what I have seen from them so far has been pretty buggy. Not like the PalmOS I used to love.

Reply to this comment

Don't forget the Bill Coleman connection - slide #19

SeldomVisitor @ 4/10/2007 10:16:35 AM # Q
Reply to this comment

Yet ...

khertan @ 4/10/2007 10:16:47 AM # Q
Palm announce the new revolutionnary next gen Palm OS that will overkill all of the other PDA ... Do you remember Cobalt ?

I don't think this new OS ll be a revolution, but ll be a good evolution.

And yes the no very secret product will be a mix between a pda and the know one umpc. A larger display based on an unix with a palm GUI and a compatibility layer to run Palm compiled applications.

The specs ... the new PXA320 at 733 Mhz with the same battery life than a tx, wifi, bluetooth and a 5,5" display.

Yes there are already a umpc/pda device with this specifications on the market. But not from Palm, and with an linux and it s run very well (500$).

Maybe palm ll ear me ... I WANT A TREO WITH AN TX SCREEN ! NO KEYBOARD ! GIVE YOUR USER THE CHOICE TO HAVE OR NOT A KEYBOARD ON THE TREO LINE !

And please for developper, stop to do specific things on each different devices. Unify your API ! A simple example ... the way that the home button preferences is stored on a Palm TX, a Treo 650, and a Treo 680 !

Benoit HERVIER
http://www.khertan.net/

RE: Yet ...
mikecane @ 4/10/2007 2:06:26 PM # Q
>>>The specs ... the new PXA320 at 733 Mhz with the same battery life than a tx, wifi, bluetooth and a 5,5" display.

Dear God in Heaven (or Ed Colligan, whichever will read this!), Make It So!

I'm telling all of you, THIS is the IDEAL SIZE for devices:

http://products.sel.sony.com/pa/prs/reader_specs.html

This is what UMPCs should shrink to. This is what PDAs should have grown up to.

As much as I lust after a UMPC, when I seriously contemplated right-now use, I had to admit it'd be almost like having to pull out a notebook. The Sony Reader is a drop-in-bag pull-out-now size.

All that being said, I still want a pocketable PDA. I don't need it to have WiFi, either. It's just about worthless on a 320x480 screen (and little better on the Nokia device). I just want to be able to do the core 4: Calendar, Address, Memo, To Do -- and, well, maybe a video now and then...

RE: Yet ...
mikecane @ 4/11/2007 11:47:13 AM # Q
New blog entries:

Itís Time To Stop Looking At Cheap Devices!
http://tinyurl.com/3cnrmt

Nokia 770: Now 99.9% Shit!
http://tinyurl.com/39knk9

RE: Yet ...
twrock @ 4/14/2007 2:51:25 AM # Q
I WANT A TREO WITH AN TX SCREEN ! NO KEYBOARD ! GIVE YOUR USER THE CHOICE TO HAVE OR NOT A KEYBOARD ON THE TREO LINE !

Yes, what he said.

If nothing else, the iPhone specs should show Palm that there is a market for this type of device. What, do you really think that Apple didn't do at least a little market research before spec'ing out the iPhone? How is it possible that Apple is going to beat Palm to market with a large screen, keyboardless smartphone? Palm should be able to put out POS, large screen, keyboardless Treo at significantly less cost than Apple's iPhone.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

Reply to this comment

Development Environment

epotter @ 4/10/2007 10:45:47 AM # Q
Is there any word on what development tools will be available? I assume that we can still develop Garnet apps with CodeWarrior or PODS. But what if we want to take advantage of the new Linux features.

Is there any news on a new SDK?

RE: Development Environment
hkklife @ 4/10/2007 10:59:50 AM # Q
From a power user standpoint (I have no clue whatsoever how to develop software), I'd like to see them really address the whole SDK thing properly so there won't be so many "under the hood" changes from device to device. For example, the hard button mappings has changed at least 3x under OS 5.x. Then you have stuff like the DIA area calls changing from the T5 to the TX (the straw that broke the back of Fitaly), the strange allocation of things like dbheap & dbcache memory (too little on a flagship PDA like the TX to a very generous amount on the relatively entry-level Treo 680) etc etc.

I imagine all of this makes it very tough on the developers who have numerous other issues to content with (software sites not paying comissions, the shrinking market for add-on POS softwareetc). Palm needs to rally the remaining developers (and users) and make '07 a trasitional year now that the way forward has finally been revealed (something that should've been done a year ago IMO).

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

Reply to this comment

wow, shocking news

VampireLestat @ 4/10/2007 11:05:39 AM # Q
"Palm OS Garnet and a Linux core"

hmm sounds much better than the retarded "ALP on Linux core which so happens to run Palm OS is a slow Ghost emulator in a non 320x480 resolution BS"

Now reading this exciting article! Woohoo!

I HOPE there is going to be a TX with this OS. If its Treo only, im going to be so Fn pissed.

RE: wow, shocking news
SeldomVisitor @ 4/10/2007 11:09:15 AM # Q
> I HOPE there is going to be a TX with this OS. If its Treo
> only, im going to be so Fn pissed.

PALM explicitly mentioned "multiple design form-factors".

Reply to this comment
Start a New Comment Thread Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass:

Latest Comments