I've carried a Palm device since Handspring first offered it's Visor. While I was content to nestle in the (expensive) corporate software world that Bill and his buddies have carved out, Palm desktop's Windows exclusive interface was not a problem. Now that I've struck out into the (nearly) trackless wilderness of Linux, trying to get my Palm devices to reliably sync with any version of Linux has proven to be more problematic than I had ever envisioned.
Consequently, I was heartened to hear that Android rolled-out the long awaited open source OS for the as yet sight unseen gPhone.
By creating an open platform, Google is trying to make money not on software or hardware sales, but by creating vast hordes of ad-susceptible phone users. Google can be less selfish about design, and less worried about stumbles on the road to perfection. Google boss Eric Schmidt told us today that they would not be in the business of clamping down on independent development, and from the sound of it, would be encouraging carriers to adopt a hands-off policy toward third-party development.read more | digg story
Intrigued by this development, I wandered by the Engadget site, only to discover that
Palm, which has been struggling for years through countless setbacks to introduce its own Linux-based mobile OS, in the mean time using a continuously cobbled-together version of Palm OS 5 (originally introduced in 2002) throughout. Palm's first attempt at a next-gen mobile OS, dubbed Cobalt, is announced in 2004 and quickly becomes the stuff of vaporware legend, delayed over and over until ACCESS eventually buys the flagging PalmSource (more here on how that whole thing went down); ACCESS pledges to finish development of Palm's misplaced next-gen mobile OS, and then license it back to Palm (among other companies).read more | digg story
But Palm's had enough, so earlier this year it announces its intentions to release its own Linux-based OS -- again -- but this time without the help of its spin-off sister company Palm Source (which, of course, is now a part of ACCESS). And that new OS is quickly hyped and lauded -- and then delayed. Yet again. Pushed back into late 2008 at the earliest (although we won't be surprised if Palm revises and makes that 2009 or even later). And so we ask, Palm, where the hell were you when Google was rallying its Open Handset Alliance?
Yes, where the hell were you, Palm? Why am I still forced to juggle an OS that has essentially remained unchanged since 2002 with newer and faster PC's and their constantly updated OS's? Why hasn't a shift to a Linux based Palm OS come about? Why is the Palm Desktop still exclusively set up for corporate software solutions (Windows/Mac)?
Most Importantly, will I have to endure a brain transplant (long before the iPhone ad, or the iPhone itself, I frequently referred to my Palm device as 'my brain') in order to get a device that plays well with the OS that I intend to use for the foreseeable future; A Linux OS?
Will we ever see a gPhone? Google executives won't say ... yet. For now, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says there will be a variety of Android phones offered by several wireless carriers. But even without a dedicated gPhone, we can all look forward to a software platform designed to better the user experience, while also being light on the pocketbook. All the while, Google is extending its seemingly endless grip on the technological world.read more | digg story
So, in the meantime, I'll keep carrying my Treo 650. I'm just not sure what manufacturer I'll be purchasing my next device from...