Thursday, May 29, 2008

Colligan Talks Palm OS II, Foleo II

APC.com, the digital extension of APC Magazine, published an article online yesterday about Palm, their upcoming Linux operating system, and a glimmer of hope for another run at the Foleo.

Of the new Linux-based successor to the current version of Palm OS, APC writes:

"...Colligan calls it “Palm OS” and later “Palm 2.0”, both times his fingers drawing quotation marks in the air as he speaks. Palm 2.0, as in Web 2.0, although he makes it clear that “I’m not coming up with the branding right now – whether it’s Palm OS 2.0 or Next Generation, we’re not coming up with the branding right now. But this is something different to this” he says, pointing to the Centro.

Colligan speaks of this as being a “next-generation operating system with much more capabilities, driven around the Internet and Web-based applications”. It reminds us of a very modern take on the original OS, as well as a revisiting of the strategy which saw Palm create everything from the OS to the handhelds. It worked fine for Palm in the early days, and it’s working pretty well for Apple too.

“We’re focused on executing our own system, mostly because we really believe that to create the most compelling solution it should be an integrated package much like we started with the Palm OS and doing the original Palm Pilots: we did the operating system, we did the hardware and we did the whole synching architecture and the desktop tie-in, which is equivalent to the Web these days. One of the things we wanted to do is to make sure that we had an end-to-end solution we really controlled and could deliver the end-user experience we want to deliver. We think it’s going to be stunning and breakthrough in its execution, and we’re working on some very exciting new devices to go with it”.

But APC wasn't just going to ask Mr. Colligan about Palm OS II. They also asked about the possibility of a future Foleo product that Colligan alluded to some months ago in his notice to the Palm user community that the original Foleo project was being canceled. APC writes:

Not all of those [Palm OS 2.0] devices will be smartphones. While Colligan axed the much-maligned Foleo ‘mobile companion’ notebook, he admits the concept (if not the brand) could make a comeback.

“I still believe the idea will be vindicated some day. But the core decision behind that product cancellation was really driven by that we were developing this whole new operating system that is going to bring a new user experience, (but the Foleo) had been started under a different design centre, a different thought process and a different set of system software. I really want there to be one Palm user experience, and so we’ll come back around to that idea when we’re done delivering that experience”.

Indeed, when Colligan canned the Foleo just short of the product’s debut in September 2007, he said noted that he was cancelling “the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration” and reiterated that “the market category defined by Foleo has enormous potential. When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category.”


These are encouraging remarks from Palm's skipper. I am, as many of you are also, looking forward to new devices built around Palm's new Palm OS II operating system.

Read the full APC.com article here...

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2 Comments:

Blogger Micah said...

Hi Alan,
Thanks again for keeping website & podcast going. It seems like Styletap & Uncle Steve Jobs beat Palm again with the official release of Styletap on Iphone. Now Palm apps will run with a better processor and higher resolution and Palm loyalists can enjoy stable hardware.... Do you think this can potentially speed up NOVA release or at least NOVA screenshots within the next couple of weeks?

June 1, 2008 4:35 PM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

Ah, it would seem that StyleTap and Apple have beaten Palm at their own game, but there are two things that will keep me from using StyleTap on my iPod Touch:

1. Price ($50 - Ouch!)
2. No HotSync Manager support

What is the point of running the Palm enhanced PIMs, Passwords Plus, or other conduit enabled software if you can't sync it back to your desktop? It seems kinda pointless to me. Maybe if StyleTap only cost $20, but it is a no go for me at $50. The same is true for the Garnet OS emulator for the Nokia N700/N800 series devices. At least ACCESS is giving their software away for free.

As far as Palm OS II/Nova is concerned, no, I don't think Apple's hardware line up nor StyleTap's self-named software will speed up the development of Palm's Linux-based operating system. If Palm rushes Palm OS II/Nova to market, and it is buggy as hell, Palm will only have done even more damage to themselves if they had just left well enough alone. Similarly, I don't think that Palm will tip their cards around the Apple WWDC. Palm has stated that they are purposely being tight lipped about the development of Palm OS II/Nova, and I highly doubt that they will do anything to give away any competitive advantages just for a few screen shots. (I also don't think that the Palm OS II/Nova UI is ready anyway.)

What I am holding out hope for is an early launch of a Palm OS II/Nova device. Palm is saying that the first device running Palm OS II/Nova will be release before the middle of next calendar year. I'm thinking more like December 2008 or January 2009. Under promise and over deliver. That is the mantra of some of the new Palm employees.

Alan G

June 1, 2008 9:45 PM  

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