Palm betting the Farm on Linux

By way of the MIT Technology Review comes this story about Palm Inc. swtiching to a Linux basd platform.
Here are some highlights:

Smart phone maker Palm Inc. said Tuesday it will use a new platform based on Linux to help the company compete better.

Palm officials announced the new operating system platform during a meeting with analysts in New York, where they also discussed the company’s business strategy and refused to talk about recent rumors of a possible buyout.

The upcoming Linux-based platform, which Palm had been developing quietly for several years, will join the product mix as ”a new foundation,” Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan said.

He said the platform will take the Palm software and ”modernize” it.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company does not own the Palm OS and spent $44 million (euro32.77 million) last year for a permanent license to use it.

Although the Palm OS had set an industry standard for ease of use in handheld computing years ago and attracted millions of Palm devotees, some industry analysts have criticized the aging platform as lacking in significant improvements, especially in handling multimedia applications.

Colligan did not give specific product details but said the Linux platform, which will give the company control again over its own operating system, will help the company lower costs and reduce the time spent to bring products to market. He said Palm will introduce Linux-based products later this year.

Speculation of Palm getting acquired by either a larger gadget maker or a private equity firm has circled on Wall Street over the past few months.

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