Palm CEO Ed Colligan officially announced that Palm is working on a new Linux-based mobile computing platform today at a Palm analyst meeting. Palm will continue to support the Palm OS community with a plan to gradually shift Palm OS 5.4 (Garnet) over to the new platform. Eventually, the Palm OS Garnet would be completely merged onto this new platform. Colligan also indicated that products using the new OS could be expected very soon.
Details were slim but it is expected to use Opera as its web browser and the recently acquired Chattermail for instant messaging. Colligan stressed that the new OS would focus on the user experience, promising features like instant on, the ability to handle voice and data simultaneously, hardware flexibility, and long battery life. It would not necessarily come with a wireless data or phone service. The device functionality could instead dictate if either or both are included. This would allow Palm to offer everything from simple PDAs to devices supporting both.
As for devices that could use this new OS, details are even slimmer. One expectation is that it could power both new smartphones as well as completely new devices that Palm could unveil perhaps as early as May at an upcoming conference.
Palm’s Linux OS is completely independent of ACCESS’s own Access Linux Platform (ALP) which is also expected this year.