“Palm recently announced a partnership with Wind River Systems to provide the underlying open standards Linux operating system for future Foleo Mobile Companion products. Over the weekend, PC World Magazine ran an article on their website about a possible acquisition of Wind River by IBM.
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Palm is a company that has a lot of balls in the air. The Elevation Partners recapitalization deal still needs to be approved and potentially executed with a backdrop of an already jittery financial marketplace. Palm is also gearing up for a number of new product roll outs including the Foleo Mobile Companion sometime in the next few weeks; the release of the new form factor Centro smartphone, and last, but not least, the launch of a new Linux-based version of Palm OS, which I’ve dubbed “Palm OS II” until Palm officially names the new operating system in advance of its introduction during the 2008 calendar year.
As if this wasn’t enough to keep a medium-sized technology company occupied, the possibility of having a new business partner acquired, I’m sure, has a few people at Palm interested in the latest M&A (mergers and acquisitions) newspaper headlines. The last operating system provider that Palm was working with, ACCESS/PalmSource, ran into trouble. So what is to prevent such a thing from happening again?
Today Palm announced at LinuxWorld a partnership with Wind River Systems to provide an open standards Linux platform for future Palm Foleo products. In addition to being the preferred device software optimization (DSO) partner, Wind River is also making their Wind River Workbench software development suite available to the Palm developer community. Palm and Wind River will begin working on incorporating the Wind River platform to the Foleo over the coming months.
“By building the Foleo on an open Linux-based platform and publishing the tools developers need, Palm hopes to establish a vibrant developer community to create new applications that extend the mobile companion’s built-in capabilities,” said Mark Bercow, senior vice president, Business Development, Palm, Inc. “Wind River’s open Linux platform gives us the reliability, performance and stability we need to continue driving innovation. Palm Foleo allows you to switch between applications at the touch of a button, play a game or write a memo, and synchronize your email. The Foleo makes you more productive than ever on the go.”
“By offering an incredibly reliable architectural platform combined with an organization committed to operational excellence, Wind River is rapidly becoming the commercial Linux distributor of choice for mobile companies,” said John Bruggeman, chief marketing officer, Wind River. “The stability and flexibility of Wind River’s Platform for Consumer Devices, Linux Edition, coupled with Wind River Workbench development suite give Palm the strategic platform and tools it needs to differentiate the Foleo and help it deliver a solid platform for developers.”
Thoughts on today’s announcement
This is great news for the Palm community as it means that Palm is proactively working to build a solid foundation for the Foleo product family. By providing developers with the software development tools to create new applications for the Foleo, customers will be able to gain access to third-party applications that will extend the capabilities of the product beyond the initial product design.