Home > Wireless > Palm OS Update Will be Gradual Palm OS Update Will be Gradual Eugenia Loli 2002-05-21 Wireless 13 Comments “The Palm handheld computing platform is moving ahead with advanced new technology, but users and developers shouldn’t expect to see a big change overnight, according to company unit PalmSource.” Read the rest of the report at News.com. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 13 Comments 2002-05-21 9:30 pm Why did they buy Be? It seems that they simply locked the product up and threw away the key along with $12 million they spent buying it. Everytime I see a PalmOS story, I expect to see some hint that part of the BeOS product is being used. It seems that I never will. 2002-05-21 10:10 pm C’mon Palm! What are ya waiting for?? For WinCE to completely dominate *your* market? For Linux to catch up so quickly that you’re left in the dust? I keep being reminded of another company whose device was arguably better than their competition at the time, capable of doing things that the others couldn’t no matter how hard they tried (at that time)! They had better hardware, software, ect….yet were still blown over by their competitors. It was callec Sega Game Gear, will Palm go down in history as the same? 2002-05-21 10:19 pm it was way back in 1996 when apple acquired NeXT and it is only 2001 when they released mac os x. still i think they should be bought out by aol or sun, and be’s source code open sourced like open office or netscape 2002-05-21 11:19 pm I think it’s a good plan that they’re doing a gradual update instead of one huge one. OS 5’s main goal is to transplant the OS from 68K to ARM, as well as add a few improvements. The next major version after 5 will have the full load of enhancements and native ARM core apps. Apple was smart in how they gradually moved from 68K to PPC code when the first PowerMacs came out. And they spent millions trying to make Copland, which was too large of an undertaking to be done all at once. As to why the bought Be? I’m assuming they wanted some of the core technology as well as the engineers. It seems like some people here think that it’s not a real amount of work to integrate source code bases as well as convert source from two disparate design styles into one large source. I can’t honestly believe some of you think that all the Be related source would show up instantly in OS 5. But enough of my ranting. 2002-05-21 11:33 pm They port BeOS (or parts thereof) to ARM and use it directly but BeOS was never designed for low power devces and palm would lose 100% of their current software. It looks like they are doing a gradual changeover with emulation being the first stage with bigger changes phased in later. This makes a lot of sence. They could do things fast but they would end up with: A) loads of bugs. B) loads of security problems due to bugs and over quick design (or none at all). C) Large software – i.e. badly written code tends to be big and if it’s big it’ll use loads of battery power. D) It”ll use too much battery power anyway if it’s not designed to be low power. I can think of one large software company which has at least 3 of the above failings, unfortunately they happen to be the biggest. The phone market is a lot fussier than the PC market, if your phone crashes you’ll not be best pleased – and phones do crash. Palm may be a PDA but if they stay as PDA only they’ll die. Writing operating systems is a big complex job and if they do it too fast they’ll have the Windows 95 of PDA OS’s. 2002-05-21 11:57 pm Looks like Palm is taking the same approach that Apple took when they shifted from 68K to PPC. It’s the right thing to do! It leads to a very smooth migration. As for BeOS from Palm, I *still* have hopes. Since the PC desktop OS market is still exclusive to MS until antitrust remedies go into effect, I can’t blame Palm for not announcing anything yet. Time will tell. ciao yc 2002-05-22 12:24 am i have no idea what palm will do with Beos but i can say that palm OS 5 better look better and offer greater capabilities (more than PIM). Symbian is looking very good and even windows CE, stinger is looking more attractive, not to mention the linux alternatives. 2002-05-22 1:38 am Palm bought Be for the engineers, a ready made team of engineers coding in a decent language with interests in creating compact, fast code. I can think of two software engineers that I know who are dedicated to such goals and thay can’t be in the same room as each other. With universities churning out computer science graduates or should I say ‘IT’ graduates with no understanding or ability at a level below the higest level languages it is extremely difficult to put together a team such as the one at Be. I can’t see any significant part of BeOS as we know it appearing in palm OS 5. 2002-05-22 11:43 am Actually, the Game Gear was just a cut down Sega Master System. How was this better than the competition? 2002-05-22 1:27 pm i always find the palm bought be for the engineers to be an interesting statement. Why not just hire those soon to be unemployed engineers for a lot less than 12 million when be closed its doors or layed them off (it would have beeen soon)? Why pay 12 million for the opportunity to hire someone who might not even take the job? does that really make sense. Does anyone pay for the right to offer someone a job when they can offer them one anyway? the only reason i could see doing that (paying 12 million) is if you want those 50 engineers to infringe on intellectual property that belongs to their former employer. In this case the 12 million is well spent because you get the code and you don’t save a lot of money by avoiding lawsuits. be groovy (i think) put it best when they said no one pays 12 million for more liabilities and workers are liabilities. That nagel continues to be so cagey about the purpose of the purchase raises suspicion. Frankly i suspect that Palm OS 5 was in horrible shape before that purchase. I think the Be purchase may have saved palm’s OS development program just like the NeXT purchased saved apple’s OS development. I don’t think you’ll ever hear the truth about the purchase because it might be percieved as an admission of the sorry state of affairs that palm was in. 2002-05-22 1:45 pm I am not sure how relevant Palm can be in a few years, since the HW is evolving at a much faster rate than SW. It took Apple 5yrs to do the shift, but in same time x86 increases speed by about 10x. A handheld x86 capable of running BeOS, Linux or Windows can already be assembled with off the shelf parts for less than a few $100, it won’t be as fast as a desktop or even laptop, but it will be a whole lot faster than an Arm. If Palm is going anywhere with Arm, they will have to switch to XScale ie Intels StrongArm replacement. And another funny thing, since the Apple folks are always wondering if Moto is going to be around for them with faster Gx, Palm will have to wonder the same about Moto as a new Arm license. So does BeOS run on one of those tiny Sony Vaios? 2002-05-22 5:34 pm Actually, Palm doesn’t have to worry about Motorola for the ARM based units. There are going to be multiple vendors for the ARM chips the Palm OS units are going to be using, including TI and Intel. And if I recall correctly, Palm itself is going with TI chips. 2002-05-22 9:57 pm >A handheld x86 capable of running BeOS, Linux or Windows can already >be assembled with off the shelf parts for less than a few $100, it won’t be >as fast as a desktop or even laptop, but it will be a whole lot faster than an >Arm. Absolute speed is pretty much irrelevant in this case, battery power is a great deal more important. I have a Pson 5mx. Ok there are some small areas where it might be faster but it’s no big deal, I hardly notice it in fact – and this is a 36MHz ARM. (It’s an excellent machine BTW). A 200MHz ARM would be faster but it would also cut my bettery time by a large chunk and I absolutely would notice this. The point is there may be a valid case for making that PCs are faster then Macs but in the PDA absolute speed is really not important at all. Functionality and battery life is everything.