PalmSource, Inc. today featured their OpenHouce day (with the Sunnyvale mayor cutting a ribbon and all), a number of press releases and a few insights. OSNews was there, so here is our mini-report and a few pictures of the event.
The new headquarters for PalmSource is a large, modern building, with a gym & showers, a large kitchen, while the engineers have their own office with glass doors (instead of using the traditional cubicles). The employees have actually moved in to the building 1.5 months ago already, but the opening event was today.
David Nagel, CEO at PalmSource, gave a speech, presenting the new deals PalmSource had signed lately while he also presented awards to the three more significant PalmOS applications. Among the main points of the speech was that PalmSource is going the telecommunications way, with the help of Kyocera and Samsung.
After the speech, PalmSource’s partners/licensees were holding a mini-exhibition of their products, and people like Iambic Software, DataViz with their Documents2Go, AvantGO, and even Intel, Motorola, Kyocera etc, were there.
We got to talk to both David Nagel and Steve Sakoman about the BeOS situation as well. Mr Nagel told us that a few of the design principles in the sound department of BeOS will make it to PalmOS .
Steve Sakoman told us that if some pieces of code or design from BeOS/BeIA will be found suitable for the ARM platform (that the new PalmOS 6 will be running on) then they will be used, otherwise the best possible solution will be endorsed instead. Mr Sakoman also told us that PalmOS 6 will be featuring some more user configuration and even themes. The emulator that OS6 will feature in order to emulate the older software, is sometimes faster than running on the original hardware, which is a pleasant surprise. We asked Mr Sakoman what does he think about the new SONY PDAs that are not 100% compatible with all existing PalmOS applications due to the system changes SONY did, and he replied that from now on their partners/licensees will have to pass a specific PalmOS validation/compatibility test. Mr Sakoman declined to comment in the question if the new APIs will be C++ based. Regarding BeOS, Mr Sakoman said that there are absolutely no plans to release any new BeOS for the desktop, PalmSource does not work in this field, and that no significant offers have been made by third parties to buy the BeOS code and rights.
In the event, along with a few ex-Be engineers (and also good friends) I ran into, Jean-Louis Gassee was present too, as he is now a member of the board of directors at PalmSource. JLG said that he finds the exhibited Palm products very promising, but his personal favorite was the Kyocera PDA/phone combo.
The new building.
David Nagel giving a speech.
A lot of attendees.
From left: Manuel Petit de Grabriel (ex-Be kernel engineer, now at PalmSource), Jason Park (ex-Be engineer, now at PalmSource), Chris Bark (PalmSource engineer).
(Good friends) Mathias Agopian and Dianne Hackborn (both ex-Be engineers, now at PalmSource)
Maybe they can display the BeOS Source code during there open house
Anyone know how much they want for the sourcecode?
Hopefully you got a CD and some t-shirts with it =)
Should we start to collect some money?
Have anyone asked for peaces?
Like BONE and the new app_server?
Maybe there are parts where there is no licensed code, and that they easily can release?
Maybe they can be merged into OBOS?
That is what we paid for Blender!
Face it, otherwise they wont get anything.
This would exceed the costs for stripping the code off its patented/commercial parts.
Kyocera has developed a very cool PDA running intent (the foundation of AmigaDE):
I can’t believe that Palm Inc. would purchase Be Inc’s ip rights, and engineers for 11 million, and then allow the source to go for a measly 1 million.
If that’s the case, and it REALLY IS only 1 million, then it is completely feasible to be purchased.
Anyone care to comment?
Its nice to place a picture behind some well know Ex-Be staff (Diana and Manuel). Anyone got links to more photos?
…New building space, new web site, new devices coming out, new licenses etc…
Can’t blame them for having no plans for BeOS but I look forward to seeing the new devices soon.
I am concerned that OS 5 may not offer much immediate advantages over OS 4 to spur business. Unless they have a good business offering to take on BlackBerry, they’ll have to manage their money very carefully to ensure survival. Time will tell.
What’s the deal between PalmSource and GoodTechnology Inc?
offer them a million for the code and i’ll bet they’ll ask for 2,000,000. Give them 2,000,000 and they’ll ask for 3 and so forth. I don’t think they have any intention to license that especially if, as sakoman said in that article, they end up using any of the code that will work on an arm. IMHO they are just screwing with beos users.
If you do read OSnews Please ask eugenia to do something about your picture. I sincerly prefer the one hosted on frbug.
Eugenia, about the first paragraph, what was announced could you give us more details ?
Konrad: Hopefully you got a CD and some t-shirts with it =)
Should we start to collect some money?
I think we should, no harm trying. It is much better than reinventing the wheel no?
G0tt: That is what we paid for Blender!
Blender is an application, BeOS is an OS. BeOS logically has more code and effort into it than Blender.
Mike Bouma: Kyocera has developed a very cool PDA running intent (the foundation of AmigaDE):
That is Java right? I’m not so sure…
Chris Simmons: I can’t believe that Palm Inc. would purchase Be Inc’s ip rights, and engineers for 11 million, and then allow the source to go for a measly 1 million.
Actually, no. They are only licensing the source code, you would have to pay royalties to Palm. Plus, the source code cannot be made open.
yc: I am concerned that OS 5 may not offer much immediate advantages over OS 4 to spur business.
I think the immediate advantages of OS 5 is speed, and extra processing muscle for more complex applications, since they are migrating to ARM.
ryan: offer them a million for the code and i’ll bet they’ll ask for 2,000,000. Give them 2,000,000 and they’ll ask for 3 and so forth
Palm is a professional company. If they want to prevent future BeOS development, they would just say a flat no, because it wouldn’t really harm their PR.
They bought BeOS for 11 million dollars, what did you expect, they would license it for free? LOL.
Ludovic Hirlimann: Eugenia, about the first paragraph, what was announced could you give us more details ?
The new product’s announcements is at http://www.palmsource.com/
If Palm charges one million for BeOS they’re making a profit. When their accounting recorded the charges for the purchase of BeOS and their engineering team they only wrote the purchase price of the actual OS at somewhere south of $900,000 (I thought they wrote it off as $890,000 but I could be wrong).
If they get a million they’ve already made profit off it. I just wonder if Steve Sakoman had yc in mind when he commented on Palm releasing a desktop OS…
palmsource really does need to focus on making a profit in the handheld arena. They need to focus on the corporate market, the phone market, and on innovating the platform so that more people will want palm enabled devices or be willing to upgrade.
Beos as cool as it is more distraction at this point for them, even licensing it. Odds are that the license would fail to bring palm much money, which they really do need, and it will take time that they need to spend on competing with the immediate threats of symbian, linux, and microsoft.
Palm’s really does have to keep its focus and execute its short term plan. Beos might make sense 2 to 4 years down the road and maybe only as the future evolution of palm OS.
The 11 million price is completely separate from the value of BeOS source as it stands today. Remember, had APPLE (or anyone else) purchased the source and developed it into a competing PalmSource product then PalmSource would be spending greatly to compete.
Purchasing with cash is not the only option. There could be trades and/or partial licensing. What if we offered to trade some source access for desktop realestate on the new desktop? What if there was someway we could broker the BeProductive source for a license of BeOS source. There are options that might make sense to PalmSource.
>> Kyocera has developed a very cool PDA running intent
>> (the foundation of AmigaDE):
ranjan r wrote:
>That is Java right? I’m not so sure…
No, but intent/AmigaDE also includes a JVM written in Virtual Processor code. This JVM is around multiple times faster than competitive solutions, like for instance Insignia Java.
About VP code:
ryan: Beos as cool as it is more distraction at this point for them, even licensing it. Odds are that the license would fail to bring palm much money, which they really do need, and it will take time that they need to spend on competing with the immediate threats of symbian, linux, and microsoft.
Linux poses little threat to Palm, Microsoft and Symbian. this is because there isn’ any application compatiblity between different vendors of Linux, so the only way to target them all is to use Java, which could work on all platforms except Microosft (which can work to some extend with third party plugin.
Licensing wouldn’t distract engineers and businessmen. Licensing BeOS to a third party wouldn’t cause them to loose money, but rather stand to gain money for them. They have nothing to loose. If BeUnited employed the same method as Blender, we would have BeOS 6 out now.
And to BeFriendly, you suggestions on a mutually benefiting deals doesn’t really benefit Palm. Palm doesn’t need desktop real estate, it also doesn’t need Gobe Productive.
Thanks Mike for clarifying.
NO, IT IS NOT 1 MILLION. AFAIK (from my BeUnited days), it is MORE than that. Stop pulling numbers out of your asses, because at the end you are the ones who are going to get pissed/hurt. 1 million WAS NOT enough last year. AFAIK.
> Eugenia, about the first paragraph, what was announced could you give us more details?
I link to the yesterday’s press releases, don’t I?
i don’t think licensing beos will make palmsource lose money. i just don’t think it will really make them much money and it will offer a distraction. but since you said:
“They have nothing to loose If BeUnited employed the same method as Blender, we would have BeOS 6 out now.”
Then why in your opinion don’t they do anything with Beos? My belief is that they are focusing on the more immediate necessity..cleaning house at palm and palmsource. Still i am not entirely convinced with the Palm source business model in regards to generating real growth.
Regarding BeOS, Mr Sakoman said that there are absolutely no plans to release any new BeOS for the desktop
The number was around 2 million some time ago, afaik. Eugenia, chill out, no point in getting pissed over some ignorant posters. Btw, the source tree would also include PicassoGL, 3D acceleration and everything you saw and didnt see in Dano. So even if they ask 11 mil for it, it’s not much!
is what do the Palmsource execs think of Dano floating around? I haven’t heard a peep in the news regarding anyone going after those that distribute it. Did you ask them, Eugenia?
> Did you ask them, Eugenia?
Nope, forgot. Personally, I don’t really think they care about it btw…
That’s right elver – $2m but it’s not likely to happen is it? Unless yc is rich.
We gather as much money as we can, and hit Vegas. PalmSource, here we come…
Well, here’s my little fantasy, for what it’s worth:
– – – – –
2002: Palm launches PalmSource and their new Palm OS.
2003: The new Palm OS starts to gain ground in developer-space, but nothing phenomenal in the marketplace.
2004: People stop worrying about whether or not Palm will still be around — they don’t seem to be going away. The new Palm OS becomes the old Palm OS with a release of a new version.
2005: The new version really puts them over the top, for various reasons.
2006: Palm begins to experiment with “larger” PDAs — some would call them tablets — to take on the laptop and desktop market (the orignal tablets, supported by Microsoft, didn’t quite pan out).
2007: Palm releases its’ first larger PDA workstation type thingy, and since the operating system for it was built by the fine folks that built BeOS, it’s a really great OS (although not BeOS). Still, not the big marketing push everyone expected…and people are wondering why.
2008: Huge freakout moment — Palm buys apple (hey, I -did- mention this was fantasy, right?) Palm becomes the new apple, making really slick hardware that runs the PalmOS instead of OS X (or whatever they’re calling it by now).
2009: Lots of unhappy Macfanboys.
2010: Business as usual, except some people are running Windows and some people are running PalmOS…but it makes us happier than OSX did, and the hardware is cheaper. Mac faithful get annoyed, but people like us love it and snap it up.
2011: We all look around at what happened, and say “hey, that only took 9 years!”
– – – – –
After all that discussion about “what makes BeOS great” (and after playing with XP for a few days, which feels like a downhill ride after 2000), I have decided that I don’t want BeOS back. I just want an efficient, responsive and useful operating system that doesn’t crash, cost a fortune, take away my rights or upset my political viewpoint.
This basically means I’m going to pull my old Atari 800XL out of the basement. Oh wait, there’s no Mozilla port. Darn.
ryan: Then why in your opinion don’t they do anything with Beos? My belief is that they are focusing on the more immediate necessity..
I don’t think Palm nor PalmSource would need ANY focus to license BeOS to BeUnited.
Dave Owen: This basically means I’m going to pull my old Atari 800XL out of the basement. Oh wait, there’s no Mozilla port. Darn.
I don’t think that Atari is fast enough to run any port of Mozilla.
There were requests and inquiries. In the end, BeUnited did not have the large scale funding that would have been required to make a professional deal with Palm. Palm and BeOS are things that exist in the range of millions. BU is a non-profit organization based on volunteers. So is there any wonder there were no happy deals? 🙂
If there is anyone out there that has a few million US dollars to contribute to advancing desktop computing, please send it in and I will make sure it is directed towards purchasing the sources from Palm There just aren’t any people out there with that kind of money who are willing to give it away for causes that don’t promise a profitable return.
We have to get over the fact that Palm owns something we want and sees no value in it… that’s life. I’d love to have access to the Bryce BeOS port that was created way back and the BIAS Peak port, but these are also lost dreams for now.
Keep cheery, folks. The OSBOS alternatives will become viable eventually.
While Palmsource might not directly lose money on liecensing BeOS, it is a huge legal liability that they don’t need right now.
Any effort has to raise enough money so that they are satasified there it completly covers any possible liability.
I’m sure if palmsource were turning a huge profit and didn’t have much to do they would look into it a lot more closely.
I’m new to this website/forum, so forgive me if I’m being naive, but does anybody have a _good_ reason for Palm’s byout of Be Inc? I never understood it. BeOS was doing *okay* (not great, but better than it’s doing now), and Palm was doing really well. They have a great product, and I honestly don’t see anything of BeOS that would be useful to Palm! It sounds like a big mistake to me, and I think Palm Inc. would rather just ignore it and move on. Maybe they’ll license parts of the code, but I think even if we did come up with $11M (please don’t flame me about money, it’s really irrevelavant, it’s huge to us, small to them) it’s not worth it to them. Plus, does anybody have $11M to spend?
> but does anybody have a _good_ reason for Palm’s byout of Be Inc? I never understood it.
It is well known. The reason Palm bought Be’s IP was simply for the Be engineers. Not so much for the software. If you read the SEC files, you will see that they paid ONLY about $800,000 for the software and the rest $10 million was for the working force.
You see, PalmOS hasn’t really changed for many years now. And PocketPC was running fast towards their market, so they needed a team of engineers that they could do cool stuff for the PalmOS 6. So, they bought Be’s IP.
That makes sense, but it seems like a steep price to pay. Although I guess they had the money, and they really didn’t mind killing an operating system (although that’s what has happened to all of os BeOS-fans).
>>>That makes sense, but it seems like a steep price to pay.
It’s not a steep price at all. Considering that every month’s delay of launching PalmOS 5 and PalmOS 6 will cost Palm a percentage or two in market share.
“The reason Palm bought Be’s IP was simply for the Be engineers. Not so much for the software.”
This is simply not a credible statement.
1) palm is building a brand new OS in two years? That is difficult even for a pda os.
2) Sakoman in that very article said they will use portions of the code when applicable. Hence they bought beos for more than the engineers
3) In the shareholders meeting even JLG said Palm was the only chance for the Be technology to live on. Hmm.
I don’t think palm OS 6 will be beos but i’d be willing to bet a nice sum that parts of beos will be used (real code) and that the concepts/technology will be applied regularly
Now if you do that without buying the rights to the beos then you get screwed and sued for patent infringement.
That statement “we just purchased be for the engineers” is so ludicrous that is make one wonder what the H*LL these guys are really up to. Frankly, i think they have to stick to that “party-line” or face tacitly admitting that the development of palm os, prior to the purchase, was in sad and scary shape. If they don’t say that ridiculous its just for the engineers line they are admitting Palms prior incompetence to their own investors and who wants to do that?
How long did it take apple to port and change NeXTSTEP to become OS X? 6 years? Palm is going to write a brand new OS and TEST it in just two years. No way not even for PDA. They can’t do that, particularly the testing phase, unless they retrace some and probably apply many of the steps of Beos, which does not mean using beos just applying the tech and concepts. Palm os 6 will not be beos but you’ll see some of the same features. That is nearly guaranteed.
>>It is well known. The reason Palm bought Be’s IP was
>>simply for the Be engineers. Not so much for the
>>software. If you read the SEC files, you will see that
>>they paid ONLY about $800,000 for the software and the
>>rest $10 million was for the working force.
That may well have been the reason. In my opinion however, PalmSource can not maintain it’s leadership position if it only does handhelds. The purpose must change or PalmSource will soon learn (possibly the hard way) that it must compete on all fronts (Server, Desktops, Tablets, Handhelds, Automotive, vertical market appliances etc…) if it is to be a leader and not a niche player.
Nagel’s Idea of of PalmOS having better MS Windows integration than PocketPC or Embedded NT is identical to Gassee’s coexistance idea. It may lead to the demise of PalmOS or reduce it to a small niche player.
I believe that the next wave of assaults from Microsoft (post anti-trust) will really be deadly for all OS companies that don’t compete on many fronts. Microsoft will enter their space and render them irrelevant.
Endengered OS companies include:
-SUN Microsystems (really only does servers. It may be saved by Linux & good hardware.)
-PalmSource (Only does handhelds)
-QNX (Only in embedded world)
-BlackBerry (Only does handhelds)
-Good technology (Only does handhelds)
-Symbian (Only does handhelds/phones)
Operating Systems like the MacOS and Linux will hold their own since they will offer at least servers, desktops and embedded OSes. May be Apple will buy PalmSource to save them from the Microsoft Slaughter.
Time will tell.
I agree 100%.
I just can’t understand why PalmSource chooses to belittle the BeOS!
If they keep this up, Palm Inc. along with all the other PalmOS licencees will be running PocketPC, NT embedded, and MS Windows .Net sooner than could ever imagine!
“I just can’t understand why PalmSource chooses to belittle the BeOS!”
Its simple. they have to because they don’t want to be known as the next be, inc (that won’t do much for investor confidence) and they don’t want to admit just how bad off they were before the purchase.
>>>In my opinion however, PalmSource can not maintain it’s leadership position if it only does handhelds. The purpose must change or PalmSource will soon learn (possibly the hard way) that it must compete on all fronts (Server, Desktops, Tablets, Handhelds, Automotive, vertical market appliances etc…) if it is to be a leader and not a niche player.
Your opinion means absolutely nothing. If you want to see where Palm is heading, just take a look at their failed merger with Extended Systems. They spent $11 million on Be, but they were willing to spend $300 million on Extended Systems. You want need to have your own server OS to be in the enterprise business. All of RIM’s server stuff runs on Win2000.
>>>Nagel’s Idea of of PalmOS having better MS Windows integration than PocketPC or Embedded NT is identical to Gassee’s coexistance idea. It may lead to the demise of PalmOS or reduce it to a small niche player.
>>>Operating Systems like the MacOS and Linux will hold their own since they will offer at least servers, desktops and embedded OSes. May be Apple will buy PalmSource to save them from the Microsoft Slaughter.
You don’t need to own your own PDA or embedded OS to be in the PDA or embedded business. And Apple doesn’t have their own embedded OS. Apple licensed an embedded OS from someone else for the iPod. Apple is using SyncML and Bluetooth to talk to cell phones and PalmPilots.
Well, RIMM is a niche although a good one.
Pocket-PC may render it irrelevant soon.
It’s simply not safe to a have one product and be dependant on the Server software of a giant that want’s you out of business.
For Palm’s sake, I hope you’re right.
Microsoft now has 29 licensees. How many does Palm have?
I’d agree with yc. Microsoft is using its dominate desktop to compete across many products lines including phone softare, embedded, servers, pda’s.
that is quite an advantage. Microsoft can claim integration that people like palm and rim cannot. Moreover, the ability of PDAs and phones to sync up or just network with servers and desktops is rapidly becomming critical in the value proposition of these devices. If you always sync to MS software then MS can close you out. As it stands now, palm has a serious liability because microsoft can, at will, start screwing around with XP to make it more difficult for Palm to sync. that is a serious..serious problem for palm and one that palm should have a solution for sooner as opposed to later. Palm’s does have a bit of the coexistence mentality. JLG needs to sit down with nagel and explain to him what happens when you pursue coexistence with microsoft, and Palm also needs to expand the os to more functional devices. How about a little sony picture book like notebook? portable computing need not be confined to a 3″ by 3″ screen. Palm also better hope that linux and apple make some inroads in the corporate desktop.
I’d hate to be fed by the hand that wants to kill me and that is the case with Palm. their existence is dependent on their biggest enemy…microsoft.
“They spent $11 million on Be, but they were willing to spend $300 million on Extended Systems.”
you pay market value. the market value of a failed os maker (be, inc.) is low. Price does not mean anything regarding the impact of the purchased asset on the firm. For example, microsoft purchased DOS for next to nothing and turned it into the best selling OS in the world. Would you say DOS was useless and irrelevant to MS’s future because they paid little? MS has spent lots more on other acquisitions that didn’t have anywhere near the impact of DOS.
>>>>you pay market value. the market value of a failed os maker (be, inc.) is low. Price does not mean anything regarding the impact of the purchased asset on the firm. For example, microsoft purchased DOS for next to nothing and turned it into the best selling OS in the world. Would you say DOS was useless and irrelevant to MS’s future because they paid little? MS has spent lots more on other acquisitions that didn’t have anywhere near the impact of DOS.
I am not saying that Be’s tiny 11 million price tag makes it useless. I am saying that you can tell where Be’s priorities are with the Extended Systems deal — the enterprise market. You don’t go into the enterprise market with yet another server OS (based on BeOS). You write enterprise software running on Windows 2000 or unix/linux.
>>You write enterprise software running on Windows 2000 or unix/linux.
That a job for Palm Inc., Sony, Samgsung and other licensees to do if they wish and they are doing it. PalmSource needs to make its own OS platform more comprehensive. Even if MS has the Lion share, PalmSource needs to start looking into it. Granted it can not be done overnight but…
You don’t see MS writing PocketPC server software that would make it dependant on SUN or HP or IBM do you? No they don’t. They depend mostly on themselves, that’s why they are the leaders in their industry.
PalmSource is currently a leader in handhelds, it should leverage it’s position to make it’s platform better.
I wonder how marketable a small palm based laptop would be.
It seems that palm could really kick butt there if OS 6 can scale.
A palm OS 6 laptop using an ARM could offer significantly better battery life than a regular laptop. The keyboard means that it might be useful to more people. If palm keeps doing a good job with corporate app developers than this might sell,,,might not but it sounds like it could. If the intro of new flat panel screens keep pace and up to their promise then you conceivable have one of these for less than $1000. i’d buy one if os 6 is any good, and bet it will be.
>>>A palm OS 6 laptop using an ARM could offer significantly better battery life than a regular laptop.
Go and look at Transmeta’s crusoe chip. Nobody wants it. And it doesn’t matter how big of an energy savings it would be when compared with Intel’s CPU — because the CPU and its related chipsets only sucks up something like 10-25% of the total laptop’s power. The biggest energy users inside the laptop are the LCD screen and your disk drives. So even if Transmeta CPU is 50% more energy efficient than a Intel CPU, a Transmeta laptop would only be 5-12.5% more energy efficient than a Intel laptop.
>>>You don’t see MS writing PocketPC server software that would make it dependant on SUN or HP or IBM do you? No they don’t. They depend mostly on themselves, that’s why they are the leaders in their industry.
That’s because HP, IBM and Oracle are making their enterprise softwares that would run on Windows 2000 (as well as Unix).
>>>PalmSource needs to make its own OS platform more comprehensive. Even if MS has the Lion share, PalmSource needs to start looking into it. Granted it can not be done overnight but…
Do you think Oracle/HP/IBM would port their enterprise softwares to the PalmSource server OS? If not, then what’s the point for PalmSource to write themselves a server OS.