PalmSource Introduces Palm OS Cobalt and Garnet
PalmSource today introduced Palm OS Cobalt, previously know as Palm OS 6. Cobalt is a new enhanced version of the operating system that is designed to enable the creation of new categories of devices for the communications, enterprise, education and entertainment markets. PalmSource also announced Palm OS Garnet, an enhanced version of the popular Palm OS 5, designed to accelerate the development of Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones.
"We believe Palm OS Cobalt will pave the way for new categories of smart mobile devices and solutions, for the communications, enterprise, education and entertainment markets," said David Nagel, president and CEO of PalmSource, Inc. "We have also reinforced our commitment to optimize our platform for wireless devices, by including wireless capabilities in both Palm OS Cobalt and Palm OS Garnet, designed to enable a wide range of smartphones and other wireless products."
Formerly known as Palm OS 6, Palm OS Cobalt is a complete rewrite of Palm OS designed to maintain ease of use and software compatibility while creating a foundation for next-generation Palm Powered devices and solutions tailored to the growing needs of the communications, enterprise, education and entertainment markets. Palm OS Cobalt improves compatibility with Microsoft Windows, while offering advanced features including:
- Multitasking, multithreading;
- Memory protection;
- Support for more memory and larger screens;
- Industry standards-based security;
- Extensible communication and multimedia frameworks capable of handling multiple connections simultaneously;
In addition, Palm OS Cobalt provides rich graphics and multimedia features derived from the Be OS, which Palm®, Inc. acquired in 2001.
Also announced today, Palm OS Garnet builds on the solid foundation of Palm OS 5 and incorporates new built-in technical features such as standard support for a broad range of screen resolutions, dynamic input area, improved network communication, and Bluetooth. Palm OS Garnet is designed to enable licensees to more efficiently bring Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones to market and reduce development costs.
New Software Development Tools
PalmSource also introduced new software development tools for Palm OS Cobalt and Palm OS Garnet. A technical preview of the new Palm OS Developer Suíte is now available to Palm OS developers in the Resource Pavilion in the Developer Zone. The new Palm OS Developer Suite is based on the industry-standard Eclipse environment, an open-source, Integrated Development Environment (IDE) originally developed by IBM that supports software development in a variety of languages, including C, C++, Java and COBOL. The Palm OS Developer Suite provides one set of tools designed to assist Palm OS developers to create and bring to market higher performance wireless, entertainment and enterprise-grade applications that take advantage of the advanced functionality of Palm Powered smart mobile devices. PalmSource and its partners now offer a wide variety of development tools, including Metrowerks CodeWarrior, the Eclipse environment, Borland's tool suite and the Microsoft NET compatible tools from AppForge.
More About Palm OS Cobalt
- Multithreaded, Multitasking — Palm OS Cobalt is designed to enable multiple applications to run simultaneously, so users gain more productivity and a better user experience. For example, a user can listen to MP3 files, book a calendar appointment and take an incoming phone call. A background-processing model is designed to reduce most memory problems commonly associated with multitasking in mobile devices.
- Expanded, Protected Memory Architecture — With support for up to 256MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM, Palm OS Cobalt paves the way for the creation of more sophisticated communications, enterprise, education and entertainment applications. In addition, the new protected memory architecture is designed to protect against applications "hanging" the system or causing crashes.
- System Wide Security Architecture — Palm OS Cobalt provides built-in encryption, authentication and authorization frameworks for securing applications such as enterprise and e-commerce solutions, browsers, wireless email and connections to corporate networks such as VPN. The extensible structure also offers software developers advanced, industry-standard security services and cryptography.
- New Pluggable Communications Design — The modular, flexible, industry-standard STREAMS-based framework is designed to offer a simple way for licensees and software developers to add communications support for a wide variety of networking and communications protocols. Palm OS Cobalt is designed to supports multiple simultaneous communication sessions on various wireless networks, such as downloading WiFi delivered data while receiving a phone call.
- Extensible Multimedia Framework — Palm OS Cobalt is designed to provide a rich graphics and multimedia architecture. Graphics support includes paths, rotation, gradient fills, anti-aliasing, outline fonts and transparency. The new graphics system is designed to support screen sizes up to 32,000 by 32,000 pixels! Multimedia support includes playback of industry-standard audio and video including ADPCM/PCM, MP3, MPEG1 and MPEG4 designed to enable licensees and software developers to more easily build media-based applications. This extensible multimedia framework is designed to enable licensees and software developers to easily add additional audio and video standards.
- Improved PIM Applications & Databases Palm OS Address Book and Date Book are redesigned to support up to 255 fields, providing better interoperability with Microsoft Outlook. Each standard PIM application is designed to automatically adjust layout size to fit particular actions. For example, a small screen for the Dynamic Input Area when editing a document, and a larger screen when reading an eBook. Palm OS licensees and software developers can also extend and customize underlying schema databases easily to create new fields.
- Better compatibility with Microsoft Outlook and PC files PalmSource has also added additional fields to Palm OS DateBook and Address Book, designed to correspond more closely to the information stored on Microsoft Outlook. In addition, Palm OS Cobalt is designed to allow users to transfer PC files directly to Palm Powered devices by dragging them onto an icon on the PC desktop, making it even easier for reading and editing.
- Compatibility with existing Palm OS software Palm OS Cobalt includes a software emulator, designed to enable software programs created for earlier versions of Palm OS to run on Palm OS Cobalt Palm Powered mobile devices.
What leading Developers are saying about Cobalt...
"With the release of Palm OS Cobalt, we believe that PalmSource has firmly ushered us into the 'post-pc' age," said Alexis Hinds CEO, Blue Nomad. "The new multitasking, multimedia, and security APIs reaffirm PalmSource's leadership position in the mobile space, and will enable developers to deliver very rich applications to users clamoring for more sophisticated productivity and entertainment applications for Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones."
"Electric Pocket is excited about the new multimedia support in Palm OS Cobalt, which will enable us to offer advanced video messaging via our Pixer MMS solution for Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones," said Steve Bennett, chief executive officer, Electric Pocket Limited. Wireless carriers demand stability and leading edge capabilities, and we're confident that Palm OS can give us the best of both worlds.
"Our long-term faith in the Palm OS platform is reinforced by the PalmSource commitment to providing a true modern operating system with multithreaded and multitasking in Palm OS Cobalt," said August Grasis III, CEO of Handmark. "Together with the new extensible multimedia framework Handmark applications will deliver new features and richer user experiences."
"The powerful processors and rich audio and video capabilities of today's Palm Powered devices make them ideal portable entertainment devices for multimedia," said Brian Hall, president and CEO of Mark/Space, Inc. "The Missing Sync for Palm OS Cobalt from Mark/Space provides a simple and fast means to transfer music, audio and photos between a handheld and iPhoto or iTunes on a Mac."
"I view Palm OS Cobalt as a watershed event in the growth of the Palm OS platform as it incorporates two technologies that will be vitally important for the enterprise: flexible, schema-based databases and a truly robust security system," said C.E. Steuart Dewar, CEO of Pimlico Software, Inc. "With these technologies in place, developers like Pimlico Software will be able to develop even more powerful applications, which in turn will secure the dominant position of the Palm OS platform in the mobile market."
PalmInfocenter will have more coverage of Palm OS Cobalt and Garnet from the Developer Conference in San Jose as it gets underway.
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