Register Article on Palm's Diminished Windows Mobile Focus
An intriguing article concerning a possible lessening of focus by Palm on Windows Mobile has appeared on The Register. As is the Register’s usual M.O. when writing gossipy news items, the author of the article may or may not be privy to a number of rumors not mentioned in the article -- so any and all analysis of the piece should be taken with equal amounts of interest and skepticism.
While a bit rambling in places, the article makes several interesting and possibly accurate suppositions concerning Palm’s new-found shift towards a new “Palm OS-on-Linux” successor platform. Palm promised during their recent Analyst Day conference to not only continue shipping new Garnet-based devices but also introduce the first Linux-based product later on this calendar year. That would bring the number of OSes requiring support by Palm from two to three.
The Register article goes on to predict that Palm may be slowing their Windows Mobile device plans in the near future. This would be a necessary step by a company of Palm’s size in order to concrete more resources on the Palm OS-on-Linux side of their multi-forked OS path. Instead of being the main focus going forward (as many predicted and/or feared in 2006), The Register speculates that Palm may actually relegate Windows Mobile-based Treos to enterprise and corporate users, leveraging its traditional strengths in such areas as turnkey push e-mail to easily fit in with Microsoft-centric corporate IT departments. Then Palm can target its home-brewed Linux OS solution to multimedia users and the same “…consumer and lightweight corporate… audiences for which the Register claims the current incarnation of Palm OS Garnet is currently most keenly suited.
The article ultimately claims that this newfound OS jostling and repositioning is intended to place Palm in a better position for an upcoming acquisition. Presumably such a suitor for Palm would not be in a strategic alliance with Microsoft, nor would it have a vested interest in anything more than a token handful (at best) of Windows Mobile-based Treos.