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Friday, December 08, 2006
Palm OS Garnet Gains New Life

What is old is new again as Palm regains the rights to the old OS from ACCESS software.

We have heard for three years that PalmOS 5 was just a transition OS between PalmOS 4, which was based on the dragonball processor and a new multitasking OS that would benefit from the more powerful ARM processors. The new OS, which was called Cobalt, or PalmOS 6, never came to be. Then, through various corporate reorganization, sales and purchases, the license for PalmOS went with PalmSource to a Japanese company called ACCESS, which is working on a new Linux based platform. Now, it appears that Palm, Inc. is getting a perpetual license from ACCESS to do what it wants with OS5.

"Palm, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with ACCESS Systems Americas, Inc. (formerly PalmSource, Inc.) to license the source code for Palm OS Garnet, the version of the Palm OS used in several Treo(TM) smartphone models and all Palm(R) handheld computers. Under the agreement, Palm has a perpetual license to use as well as to innovate on the Palm OS Garnet code base. Palm will retain ownership rights in its innovations. The new agreement also provides Palm flexibility to use Palm OS Garnet in whole or in part in any Palm product, and together with any other system technologies. The company plans to ensure that applications now compatible with Palm OS Garnet will operate with little or no modification in future Palm products that employ Palm OS Garnet as the company evolves it over time to support Palm's product differentiation strategy."

So, what does this mean for Cobalt? Is this new life or the end of the Palm OS? Stay tuned.

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