Palm to launch new OS at CES

December 16, 2008 | 09:11

Tags: #consumer-electronics-show #garnet #iphone #mac-os-x #mike-bell #nova #os #palmos #pda #phone #smartphone #windows-mobile

Companies: #apple #ces #palm

Palm might be in the financial doldrums at the moment, but the company has a plan to get itself back on top once again.

According to Wired, the company is looking to launch a new smartphone operating system based around Linux at the Consumer Electronics Show next month.

While the company itself has been playing its cards relatively close to its chest, analyst Lawrence Harris believes that it's “actually close to a certainty, that they will show a new OS, new user interface and probably new hardware” at the show. Harris went on to state that the launch would be “Palm's last shot to prove it has what it takes to survive in a very competitive market.

Although little is known about the new operating system, it is thought to be based around the open-source Linux system that already provides the backbone for rival mobile platform Android. Currently working under the name Nova, any announcement of the OS at CES is more than likely to go hand-in-hand with the release of new hardware – with very few third-party companies currently looking to licence OS technology from Palm, it is up to the company to develop first-party implementations that will prove to the nay-sayers that Nova is worthy of interest.

The buzz surrounding Nova is understated, but strong: BusinessWeek quotes ex-Apple engineer Mike Bell, who was poached to join Palm last year, as saying that he is “fundamentally convinced [Palm is] on to something huge. Some of the stuff we're working on here is mind-blowing – better than anything I've seen before.

Whether Palm will be able to make an impact in an increasingly crowded marketplace amongst such luminaries as Windows Mobile, MacOS X, and Symbian remains to be seen. As a long-time Palm user myself, I'd certainly like to see the company back on top once again. Unfortunately, I said the same thing about British palmtop maker Psion – and look how that turned out.

Do you believe that Nova might just herald a return to form for the one-time leader of the PDA marketplace, or has Palm's time been and gone? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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