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Palm gets Linux in house

Top executives at handheld manufacturer Palm announced plans to introduce a Linux-based platform at the company’s analyst and investor day in New York on Tuesday.

The move mirrors the route taken by Palm OS developer, PalmSource, which was acquired by Japanese software developer Access in 2005. Like its OS-developer sibling, Palm is understood to have been working on the Linux platform for a couple of years already.

The new operating system is expected to make an appearance this year.

Further details were scant but it appears the in house developed Linux platform will run existing Palm applications, thereby giving greater stability to the operating system whilst allowing it to handle simultaneous voice and data.

Late last year, Palm bought back the rights to the Palm OS code, known as Garnet, from Access.

This week’s developments seem to closely resemble those at PalmSource/Access over the past years, where the company replaced the proprietary kernel in its handset operating system with Linux following the acquisition of Chinese software firm China MobileSoft in 2004. Access has been shipping a version of Palm OS for Linux since last year.

On Tuesday, Palm said it does not intend to licence the new Linux platform to third parties and the handheld vendor added that it has no plans to abandon the use of Microsoft Windows Mobile in some of its devices.

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