Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Operating System Convergence and the Palm Linux Announcement

Details are still a bit light, but Palm announced that they would be building a mobile computing platform based on Linux and open source.

The platform is described as a "new foundation for Palm." ... The Analyst presentation concluded without any technical or developer details revealed about the new Linux based platform. Many questions remain to be answered as to what the official name will be, what Linux technologies are included, how Palm OS Garnet compatibility will be handled and what the development environment will be composed of. Colligan ended the Q&A session stating that the Linux based platform will be a integral "core technology" for Palm for the foreseeable future. (Quote from Ryan Kairer on Palm Infocenter)

I suspect that this is actually part of a larger trend toward operating system convergence with Linux at the center of this trend as the primary open source operating system. Companies building set top boxes, mobile products, and other devices realize that there is not much value in maintaining an entire operating system when the value is higher up the stack. By using the Linux kernel and other Linux operating system components, companies like Palm can focus on the software above the kernel that adds real value to the product. We'll know more when they release the details, but my guess is that they will eventually replace low level PalmOS components with the Linux kernel and other parts of the operating system while focusing more on developing the user facing software.

1 comment:

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