Comments on: Where is Palm OS 6?

The next generation version of the Palm OS was promised to be completed by this time. Dec 29th has come and gone without a peep out of Sunnyvale. Is Palm OS 6 still on track for an on-time release to licensees?
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Forget Palm OS 6

rav @ 1/2/2004 11:19:59 AM #
Hey, Palm, PalmOne or PalmSource, or whatever you're called now... how about putting a little more effort developing a WiFi SD card or a new, more compact and desirable Palm unit that includes WiFi.
Sony has WiFi with their UX50, and hp has the new, super compact pocketPC 4415 with WiFi... but, Palm only offers the bulky C unit. To me, WiFi is more important than all the bells and whistels being offered in OS6...

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
TedTschopp @ 1/2/2004 11:37:04 AM #
Well, I'm going to disagree. But I don't do so from an uninformed position. I had a Sony with a Wi-Fi card and rarely used it. Even though I had several hotspots to choose from.

On the other hand, the bluetooth on my T|3 has gotten a lot more use in the last 3 months that I've had it than I ever got out of my sony the whole year I had it.


RE: Forget Palm OS 6
rsig @ 1/2/2004 11:46:45 AM #

Just curious as to why you didn't get any use out of your WiFi-enabled Sony.

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
Spock9 @ 1/2/2004 11:57:50 AM #
For one thing, get you story straight! Palm split into palmOne(hardware) and PalmSource(OS). Why would the OS side be making hardware? That is palmOne's job now. For your information, take a look at the T|C next to any of the PPC WiFi devices and it compares nicely. Plus it works! And as a majority of 1 I'm glad Wifi is more important to you than Multitasking/Multithreading, but that certainly shows how little you do with your device. So, take some time and think before you type.

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
Courante @ 1/2/2004 11:59:16 AM #
Without multitasking, WiFi power is not fully realized, hence OS 6.0.
RE: Forget Palm OS 6
pdouglas12 @ 1/2/2004 12:51:21 PM #
Palm was one company before they split it up, making them less answerable to their customers, so I think it is just fine to blame both spin-offs for their failures. And I don't believe for one minute that the OS development can take place in a vacuum without hardware.

That said, I agree completely that a small, Wi-Fi equipped Palm has been long in coming and/or an SD Wi-Fi should have arrived months ago. I have a Bluetooth access point in the office, enabling me to download email from POP3 and AOL into my Tungsten1, but my home system won't assign an IP through Bluetooth--so I can't use the T1 at home to d/l my email, thus making it useful in only one direction in my commute. Wi-Fi in a small handheld could revolutionize Palm travelling email. But they can't make it work. Sony can. PC's can. Just Palm (or whatever they call themselves) can't .

It is, however, nice to see that other's have the same angry reaction I do to this latest delay--I seem to relate all Palm news to the missing SD Wi-Fi.

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
Verteron @ 1/2/2004 1:03:11 PM #
By fixing the OS and its driver model, it'll be far easier for people to write drivers for WiFi SD cards. With the new web browser (XHTML/DHTML/CSS), we'll be in surfing nirvana in no time!

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
Timothy Rapson @ 1/2/2004 4:49:39 PM #
Nothing I have seen in OS 6 makes it a compelling purchase for me.

I don't care about multi-anything. I don't need or want WiFi, Web browsing, or much else that OS 5 currently lacks.

I do want the T3 to sell for $200. So I hope there is a T4 with OS 6 out very soon.

Then again, if OS 6 has complete TrueType support and standard graphics APIs that allow programs like PPC's Pocket Artist and TextMaker appear on the Palm platform, I might wait for it.

Overall, I think I am more likely to get a $200-250 T3 or Zire 71+ with OS 5 rather than a $500 T4 with OS 6.

RE: Forget Palm OS 6
mikecane @ 1/3/2004 4:18:29 PM #
Geez, Timothy, are you sure you need color and external storage?!!? Have you looked at the monochrme Zires to fit your, eh, ah, uh, needs?

Summer? Mike Cane's predictions?

rened @ 1/2/2004 11:40:00 AM #
I hope it's Feb 10 _this_ year (Happy New Year :-)?
What should make us think OS6 devices won't show up before the summer?
And the 3rd question is: what does Mike think about all this? He predicted a while a go OS6 would be late; is it? And what else does he predict for this year?


RE: Summer? Mike Cane's predictions?
mikecane @ 1/3/2004 4:19:31 PM #
Who knows if it's really late? I'm shocked and awed to hear that they've closed the offices for several days. My God! If they're *that* blase, the marketplace (OK, MS!) will eat them alive.

RE: Summer? Mike Cane's predictions?
rened @ 1/4/2004 5:44:31 AM #
So, that means a announcement this week.
But still no devices before the summer (that's July)...
That implies about 7 more devices (1..2x palmOne, 5..6x Sony) with OS5?

RE: Summer? Mike Cane's predictions?
ardiri @ 1/5/2004 9:55:53 AM #
palm os6 is in development; and, seeding.

there should be a bunch of things shown at the palmsource developer conference on feb 10-12; and, thats where most people will get their first views on the OS itself. it isn't really much to look at; its mainly an underlying structure/kernel change than a user interface change.

devices should be available probably by summer of 2004 that actually run OS6, however - you shouldn't expect OS5 to go away either; they will be running in parallel. this is the first time an OS update wont superceed the previous.

Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

T|3 upgrade

djurdi @ 1/2/2004 11:44:13 AM #
Does anyone know if it will be possible to upgrade the OS on the T|3?
RE: T|3 upgrade
Ben S @ 1/2/2004 11:55:50 AM #
Technically... maybe. Practically -- I doubt that PalmOne will release an OS upgrade. PalmOne doesn't sell the OS any more, so if they were to release an upgrade for the T3 (and remember, they'd have to do it -- PalmSource doesn't have access to the modifications PalmOne's made to the OS that are specific to the T3), they would have to a) license OS6 for the T3, b) spend time & money customizing it, c) release and support an OS upgrade (and we all know how well that's gone in the past -- remember the pain of the m500/m505 OS4.1 upgrade?) -- all of which would canibalize resources which they could put towards releasing *new* handhelds with OS6 on them, which they could sell with a much higher margin than a mere OS upgrade.

The OS costs them more than it once did, so the chances of seeing a standalone upgrade are correspondingly lower, IMHO.

RE: T|3 upgrade
Courante @ 1/2/2004 12:21:35 PM #
without upgrade:
1. it will piss off a lot of people
2. OS6.0 won't reach critical mass as fast.
RE: T|3 upgrade
Verteron @ 1/2/2004 1:04:34 PM #
Theoretically it should be possible to upgrade most of the Tungsten line (and the Zire 71) to OS6 provided they have a big enough ROM. Even if they don't, I'm sure PalmOne could move things like the new Web Browser in to RAM to squeeze it in.

OS6 most certainly should be able to work on devices without a virtual silkscreen (e.g. T|E, T|T, T|T2 and T|C), because one of the touted new features was pluggable input methods: presumably a hardware keyboard or a fixed graffiti area should just be another module that PalmOne can write for their devices.

As to whether they will, I sincerely hope so. I'd buy it if it was priced at anything up to $50, if the new features are truely as good as was promised (I'm particularly looking forward to the new Web Browser and the enhanced/revamped PIM applications).

I'm currently running a T|T2 which I got a great deal on about a month ago (£200 compared with the £275 normal price of the T2 and the £300 price of the T3). I will sure be annoyed if it's not upgradable, but PalmOne might have me sussed since if it's that good I will probably buy a new device in July and put even more money in their pocket.

I don't think any Sony devices will be upgradable because last time I checked they generally don't have Flash ROM...

RE: T|3 upgrade
Verteron @ 1/2/2004 1:16:07 PM #
> Technically... maybe. Practically -- I
> doubt that PalmOne will release an OS
> upgrade. PalmOne doesn't sell the OS any
> more, so if they were to release an upgrade
> for the T3 (and remember, they'd have to
> do it -- PalmSource doesn't have access to
> the modifications PalmOne's made to the
> OS that are specific to the T3), they
> would have to a) license OS6 for the T3,
> b) spend time & money customizing it,
> c) release and support an OS upgrade

I was surprised at the modifcations because they looked a lot like the POS6 screenshots we saw a while back. What I think PalmOne tried to do is "back port" as many of the new PIM features from OS6 to the T3's customised OS5 as possible. This could mean one of two things.

Either (a) They're anticipating an OS upgrade but just wanted to get the T3 out the door... or more pessimistically (b) They want people to think the T3 "nearly has" OS6 so they won't feel left out when PalmOne announce there's no chance of an upgrade.

RE: T|3 upgrade
JKingGrim @ 1/2/2004 5:44:59 PM #
I was surprised at the modifcations because they looked a lot like the POS6 screenshots we saw a while back. What I think PalmOne tried to do is "back port" as many of the new PIM features from OS6 to the T3's customised OS5 as possible. This could mean one of two things.

As I understand it, there was some sort of miscommunication between Palm and PalmSource, and PalmSource did not know Palm was using the new PIMs on the T|t3. PalmSource was suprised to see them.

RE: T|3 upgrade
mikecane @ 1/3/2004 4:20:47 PM #
Well, if OS 6 *still* has the stingy Clipboard (as the TT3 does -- 32K Memos and *no fekkin way to Copy an entire Memo*!) -- who cares if the TT3 can be upgraded to OS 6?!

Business as usual

Palminator @ 1/2/2004 11:48:44 AM #
This is business as usual for PalmSource. I suspect they ran into serious issues which has delayed the release. They have historically been any where from weeks to months late on releases. I can't say MSFT is much better, especially considering this release is a major deviation from PalmOS 5. However, they still have execution problems and will most likely affect the eventual release of devices with PalmOS 6. I suspect people are going to be disappointed in the capabilities of the platform once it is released. It has been hyp'ed way too much.

RE: Business as usual
twizza @ 1/2/2004 12:10:11 PM #
Not to be rude to your comment. You are quite true in saying that companies are late more times than not. But if it is stated that the offices are closed, why then would there be an announcement if there is no one there to announce it. I understand that they said that it would be ready by Dec 29. That is a mistake on their end for not looking at the calendar and seeing that no one would be in the office. I believe that OS6 is done, for the most part, and all that has to happen is that it gets packaged and released to the liscensees. If it will take a winter vacation to gear up for that next big move go for it. Too often compnaies burn their employees out just to make dates. Take a break and come back strong PalmSource, I am sure that OS6 wont disappoint (most people anyways).

Check out my review of KeySuite over at

Personal Website: (cant wait for PalmOS to support Flash so that I can view my site on my Palmie)

RE: Business as usual
Palminator @ 1/4/2004 9:25:35 PM #
I still don't think people are going to be impressed with PalmOS 6.0. As a user, I don't care about multi-this and multi-that, I care about what the device can do for me, what the battery life is, and what the performance of the device is. From the things I have heard, 6.0 will require a much larger memory footprint, and the performance (relative to a PalmOS 5 device) is worse. There are no new applications (standard PIM apps) so what would make me want to buy a PalmOS 6 device? It will be more expensive because the extra resources required to support the OS, there is no performance gain, and the battery life is worse. They will spend another year trying to solve all of these problems before they have a competitive product to Windows Mobile.

Normal For Any OS

DevPOV @ 1/2/2004 12:05:34 PM #
I don't think I've ever seen an OS released on schedule. Especially a major release like this one.

When the betas are released then we'll know it is getting closer. I'd be pleasently surprised if OS 6 devices were out before Q3, but I won't be surprised if it wasn't.

Makes no sense..!

abosco @ 1/2/2004 12:36:19 PM #
>>PalmSource Director of Competitive Analysis, Crhis Dunphy, stated in an email that the PalmSource offices have been closed for the holidays between Dec 24th and Jan 4th. He did confide that things are "going good" at PalmSource but could not give any sort of official word until the office re-opens this Monday.

If this is his reasoning for the OS not being released at its expected time, then why did they announce it would go GM on Dec 29? More importantly, why would they give their employees two weeks off? Go back to work Dec 29, do the usual GM press releases and announcement of capabilities, Dec 30 do some more announcements/interviews, close up shop for the New Years, then go back Jan 4 and finish explaining. Then get to work on the SDK.

Sounds like an excuse because it's not ready yet. I'm not buying it. Of course, they might have an announcement on January 5 saying it was completed Dec 29. Ohh the possibilities...

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Makes no sense..!
Scott R @ 1/2/2004 8:33:06 PM #
"Crhis Dunphy, stated in an email that the PalmSource offices have been closed for the holidays between Dec 24th and Jan 4th"

Yeah, that's a pretty sweet holiday schedule they've got going there.

- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Makes no sense..!
mikecane @ 1/3/2004 4:24:32 PM #
Especially since the worker bees at MS seemingly never sleep -- just like rust!


mopcodes @ 1/2/2004 11:27:16 PM #

Hey Palm One...lets remember that it's not all about you.
It's all about us your customers. Bring about OS updates
for existing devices!!! I'm sure it will sell. I bought one
once for my Palm IIIxe. I cannot imagine you did not
sell more to other people like myself.

I want my Palm devices life expectancy to be longer!!!

D. Martin
Former Amiga/Commodore Author/Writer/Reviewer

Please wail 'til the first full business week of the year.

RhinoSteve @ 1/3/2004 9:03:35 PM #
Got word that some have checked out the parking lot of PalmSource in Sunnyvale this long holiday break. There are quite a few cars there for a holiday shutdown. My guess is that they are finishing it up and you are going to hear a lot this week from them.

Please, don't to the "silence is deafening" thing 'til nothing happens during regular business hours. My guess they said Decenber 29th to give the release manager some time to finish up the golden CD-ROM to the licensees and have it out to start off the new year on a high note.

OS 6 is out

Kodiak @ 1/6/2004 9:35:11 AM #
RE: OS 6 is out
Verteron @ 1/6/2004 9:56:24 AM #
It's on the front page but right now the actual article "cannot be found".

RE: OS 6 is out
Verteron @ 1/6/2004 9:57:42 AM #
The link is bouncing in and out like a pogo stick. When I refresh sometimes it's there, and sometimes it's not. Maybe something to do with web caching servers?

RE: OS 6 is out
mikecane @ 1/6/2004 10:00:42 AM #

Entire release:

PalmSource Ships Palm OS 6 to Its Licensees

SUNNYVALE, Calif., January 6, 2004 - PalmSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSRC) the provider of Palm OS®, a leading operating system powering next generation mobile devices and smartphones, has shipped Palm OS 6, the next major release of its operating system, to its licensees.

PalmSource has fulfilled its commitment to deliver the next major release of the Palm OS before the end of 2003. Palm OS 6, shipped December 29, 2003, combines the flexibility, simplicity and ease of use that we believe are the hallmark of today's versions of Palm OS with the emergent operating system requirements that meet the demands anticipated for tomorrow's smart mobile devices. These requirements include modularity, multi-tasking, memory protection, robust security and state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities. Palm OS 6 enables the development of a new class of Palm Powered mobile products and strengthens PalmSource's position in the wireless and telephony markets. Palm OS 6 now joins PalmSource's growing family of product offerings.

"Palm OS 6 is a major milestone for PalmSource, and we are happy to deliver the final version on schedule," said Larry Slotnick, chief products officer at PalmSource. "We believe that our team has developed a tremendous product for our licensees to bring innovative Palm Powered mobile products into new markets."

About PalmSource
PalmSource, Inc. is the company behind Palm OS, a leading operating system powering mobile information devices. More than 30 million Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones have been sold to date worldwide. Industry leaders Aceeca, AlphaSmart, Fossil, Foundertech, Garmin, GSL, HuneTec, Kyocera, Lenovo, palmOne, PerComm, Samsung, Sony, Symbol Technologies and Tapwave license Palm OS to create diverse mobile devices that meet unique customer needs. Palm OS has given rise to a large community of users, enterprises, developers and manufacturers, who together make up the Palm Economy. More information about PalmSource is available at,,, and

Palm OS is a registered trademark and Palm Powered is a trademark of Palm Trademark Holding Company, LLC. Other brands may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to, the features and benefits of Palm OS 6; requirements for and the development of a new class of mobile devices by PalmSource's licensees; and the value of Palm Powered solutions. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, the ability of Palm OS 6 to successfully meet, if at all, the demands for tomorrow's smart mobile devices; PalmSource's licensees to develop or create timely and innovative Palm Powered products running on Palm OS 6; the ability of such licensees to leverage the Palm OS 6 platform; market acceptance of Palm Powered devices running on Palm OS 6; our ability as well as that of our licensees to compete with existing or new competitors; the ability of PalmSource to benefit from any growth in the mobile device and smartphone markets; and the general economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad and other risks and uncertainties contained in our public announcements, reports to stockholders and other documents filed with and furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended August 29, 2003. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

# # #

RE: OS 6 is out
Verteron @ 1/6/2004 11:03:26 AM #
ARGH! I want my screenshots!

RE: OS 6 is out
CraigBMCM @ 1/6/2004 11:15:33 AM #
Let's hope this is a nail in PPC's coffin.
RE: OS 6 is out
G Martin @ 1/6/2004 1:06:26 PM #
>>Let's hope this is a nail in PPC's coffin

Why? This is just as stupid as a PPC user wanting Palm OS to die. Competition has been nothing but good for the PDA industry, and I hate seing ANY of the players leave the field.

I can just imagine how stagnant Palm OS would be today had it not been from the pressure generated by PPC, and I'm sure PPC would stagnate as well should Palm OS fade away.

I hope all of you platform *Fan-Boys* realize this.



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