“Nobody knows when we’ll start the shift to Cobalt, OS 6, or on which devices. For now, we’re saying that we’ve built the functionality we need into the Treo and the Tungsten T5 and there’s no need to confuse developers by switching. I’m not even prepared to commit us to a change next year, or the year after, at this stage”, said PalmONE president Ed Colligan. It is interesting to see how companies afraid to switch to new programming frameworks in fear that they will allienate their third party developers who are used to the “old way”. Nobody likes big changes, it seems.
PDA Makers Won’t Commit on PalmOS 6.1
2004-11-06 Wireless 37 Comments
This is rediculous!
What’s PalmOne’s point?! I’m all for the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy but the truth is that Palm OS 5.x Garnett IS BROKEN. Not in the sense of having major bugs but it simply lacks functionaility already available on it’s primary competitor, Windows Mobile.
The most glaring fault is it’s lack of true multitasking, which Cobalt addresses (to some extent). The network configuration in Garnett is much more intuitive than Windows Mobile 2003 but the functionality (of say, the bluetooth stack) just can’t hold a candle to Win Mo. PalmSource claims to have improved Bluetooth support and added more profiles.
And the list of improvements goes on. Cobalt isn’t akin to Longhorn filled with fluff and stuffing that no one know’s who will use. It’s adding needed features that do nothing but improve the overall Palm experience.
What the hell is PalmOne trying to prove with this kind of future-phobic talk???
I was waiting for the T5 to have palmOS 6 and wifi, and it had none of them. The T5 comes out, overpriced and underspec’d. I had no chance but to switch to windows mobile 2003, and It seems I made the right choice, at least i’ll get something in the next 2 or 3 years, while the rest of the palm-fans will be waiting on this very nice OS that no-one wants to sell….
i don’t believe him. i don’t know why they don’t want to introduce the new platform, but it sounds odd, not to switch to their new platform. do they have some problems with palmos 6 they don’t want to tell? they have to have some schedule and some idea how to get the developers to the new platform…
I’ve been waiting for OS 6 for quite some time now before buying a new mobile. My Tungsten W (which doesn’t support 5.x even) is just getting too old. But there’s simply no point in waiting it seems, maybe it’s time to switch to Blackberry…
Pocket PC was a big change in PDAs and smartphones but that HUGE change in the market is changing Palm’s customers’ preferences.
Change is good and change is bad, in this case it would be good. Might as well make stuff compatible in the first place.
Its remarkable that PalmOne cannot understand that most palm users and the PDA market in general is waiting for Cobalt, OS6 based PDA’s. If the OS is ready why the delay?
The company that I used to work used to supply just palm PDA’s until 18months ago but switched to Ipaqs and looks now to be moving to Blackberry becuase they were not willing to wait and see what happens. On a personal note I was going to purchase a Tungsten T3 last year but thought I’d hold off until the replacement arrived with OS6 becuase there was no guarntee that the T3 could be upgraded to Cobalt. Looks like I made the right move.
Just a bunch of stupid excuses, os 6 is supposed to be app compatible with existing applications… where’s the problem???
This is the last straw. What a stupid comment made by PalmOne. Their OS is antiquated and far behind its competitors. Subpar network and general APIs, no multithreading/tasking.
So long, Palm!
I have used Palm 4 devices, and played with palm 5. I own a WinCe device(Jornada)…
I liked Palm more than Windows, however, I won’t buy a PDA until I can get a soft-input area(the grafitti writing area) that is in my jornada, nor do I want a non-wifi PDA…
Give me color, wifi, bluetooth (optional, but not a card!), soft input area, thin with a good battery!, no camera(or as a more expensive option) and a reasonable way to sync with my mac.
I will pay go money for it, but i have my demands..
>>This is the last straw. What a stupid comment made by PalmOne.
>>Their OS is antiquated and far behind its competitors. Subpar network and general APIs, no multithreading/tasking.
>>So long, Palm!
OS 6 has a heavy BeOS base. I wouldn’t worry too much about any lack of multithreading.
>> OS 6 has a heavy BeOS base. I wouldn’t worry too much
>> about any lack of multithreading.
Yeah, I’ll go out and buy that imaginary PDA that runs OS6 right now! That was the WHOLE point, there isn’t a PDA and the Palm drone pretty much confirmed one isn’t going to be released any time soon. Piss on that, just ordered an Axim.
Its remarkable that PalmOne cannot understand that most palm users and the PDA market in general is waiting for Cobalt, OS6 based PDA’s.
It’s not remarkable. Why? Because most Palm users don’t even know that Palm OS 6 exists.
You do. I do. Most people who read OSNews do. But 90% of the people out there, business execs, students, doctors, they don’t know that Palm OS 6 has been ready since January 2004.
So there you go. The PDA market in general is not waiting for Palm OS 6.
This is too bad. I’ve been looking for a small “Laptop-like” PDA I could carry with me to use at wifi locations on the road and I’ve been looking at sony’s Clie PEG-UX50, but I put that off to see if any OS 6 options would be coming soon (I really like the multi-threading in cobalt) but apparently I shouldn’t hold my breath. Sad news indeed.
“OS 6 has a heavy BeOS base. I wouldn’t worry too much about any lack of multithreading. ”
WHere’d you here that? I’d be interested to see more info on that.
for phrosty: that’s the thing though- Palm OS 6 doesn’t fix what you’re talking about. It doesn’t add true multitasking, not like people are used to on a regular computer or on a machine running Windows CE or PocketPC/Windows Mobile. On POS6 you have multithreading, but you cannot run more than one process. If a developer considers what you may want to do in the area of multitasking and makes sure to write support for it in her app, yes, you can have that thread run in the background. But unless the developer explicitly added support for it, you cannot do it.
The two most cited examples I’ve seen are fetching your email or downloading a webpage while you are in another app- say PalmReader, reading an ebook. That is all fine and good- and a welcome change over Palm OS 5, where there is not even that. If I am in upIRC on my Sony Clie NX70V, a nice PDA in many ways, and I need to go into the Address Book to get a friend’s email addy, I have to disconnect from the server and reconnect again. If I was making a post to OSNews in NetFront 3 on Palm OS- a nice browser, by the way- and needed some information I had in a note in Memo Pad, I’d have to book mark that page, copy what I was already done writing, go hunt for the information I needed and then go back and reload the page, etc etc. Some of these issues will be solved by Palm OS 6, but there are plenty that won’t.
One of the things I do on my PDAs is write programs. I code on my PDA and have done so since I started developing for the Newton on the Newton in NewtonScript, with no desktop machine as a part of the dev process. I may use PocketC or Plua on my Clie. Let’s say I wrote a huge app, one that takes 5 minutes to compile in PocketC. Unless the developer thought of this case in advance, I couldn’t just pop the app into the background- something I can do easily on Windows Mobile or on any “real” OS. They figure, hey, for what most people use PocketC for it only takes 20 seconds to compile their source, so why write that in? There are an infinite number of similar such cases possible. The biggest type of user this will hit is power users, the kind of folks who want to get more done with their PDAs than the crowd who just uses a Palm as an overpriced day runner.
Even if the developers magically knew about all of these special cases where *we* want multitasking, it’s still a big drag. They still have to put the time and energy into writing a lot of extra code to allow some particular task to be stuck into a background thread for all of the aspects of their application. This is something that an OS should handle, not something that the 3rd party developers should have to ever pay any mind to. Sure, sometimes a developer needs multithreading, and wants to design their app to take advantage of it, and that’s fine. That’s a case where a developer should deal with these things. But tossing any ol’ task into the background? That is the job of the OS.
I am one of those people who use a PDA as a full computer, as a laptop replacement. At home, my primary computer is a PDA, though at work I use regular desktop machines. Originally, I used a Newton, but then CE and Linux PDAs/handhelds. All 3 of these platforms are very capable. Although Linux on the PDA lacks things on a few fronts, it still beats PalmOS as a laptop replacement, though it is ver far behind in other areas.
I’m one of those who waited for a T5 with wifi+bluetooth and OS6, and I’ve been disappointed. I just bought a T3 ’cause I really like Palm over winCE but the next PDA, in an year or so, will be a WinCE. SONY is not going to sell their PalmOS based PDA in Europe anymore (why??) and Palm is getting old. As said by many people I want wifi + blutooth, so while I get in a wifi equipped pub or store I can get my mail while checking my shopping list or dialing via blutooth the phone number of a buddy to my portable phone.
I really don’t care about the cam. I already got one crappy cam in my portable phone (Siemens s65) and don’t need another one in palm.
Make the battery lasts longer so that i can read ebooks without fear to finish the battery. Make improvements on multitasking, support third party developers giving them the needed info to update their softs.
Or make a Treo with 480*320 with 400mhz processor and 64M ram (without cutting out battery). I had a Treo600 and switched to T3 cause the screen was crappy and processor slow. I have to check some databases quite big.
What is Palm doing ? I also read somewhere that the next PalmOS for PDAs could be based on Linux… Are they ok or are they just thinking taht PDAs are no more rentable ?
I’ve been waiting for the Treo 650 to replace my ageing phone for almost half a year now. I’m tired of palm treating european customers as second-hand citizens. I’m going out to get another phone this minute. I won’t wait until February for them to get their act together.
Actually, Palm OS has had multithreading since v1.0 Multitasking is what it currently does not support.
I’ve seen this more than once and, while it almost makes me want to scream sometimes, I have to laugh. Third-party developers do not run the software company–the software company runs the software company, and the end-users practically dictate with their wallet what gets bought and sold in the long-run; what makes it and what breaks it.
This is what happened to Amiga; it seemed to care more about appeasing third-party developers, to maintain a status quo and niche, than it did in caring about keeping up with the cutting edge and delivering to end-users what was wanted. Who wants to be stuck in a rut? Do you know where that is going to lead–the refusal to change and move forward? Take a guess. It won’t be pretty; it’ll be a train wreck.
If the software company is smart, it will transition–even if there is overlap; or even if the new thing supports the old.
(P.S. I don’t know, maybe developers are easy to confuse.) ;-P
Does everyone working there have a terminal fear of success?
While I would certainly never say that Microsoft “plays fair” when competing, it certainly helped them to have horribly-run companies like Palm, Apple, Commodore, Netscape, Corel, et al as competitors.
well, technically that should be ‘to hell with PalmOne’. Since Palm is no longer. Its now Palm Source and PalmOne. PalmOne is just a shitty company. Palm Source is the company making the PalmOS. To bad sony left the palmOS market in the states and europe. They might have had crappy palms over all but they kept the palm technology ‘on the edge’.
Am I the only one to notice that the article was posted on 4/11/04, or was this just a typographical error? I am an idiot concerning Palm development issues (and I love my Palm PDA phone!), but I thought I would point this out!
RE: Multitasking – um I thing you’ll find that you’re talking about PalmOS 5. PalmOS 6 (and this is info gleaned from an ex-Be, current Palm employeee – forget his name, but it was published here at the start of the year) stated that PalmOS 6 multi tasks. Apps will continue to run in the background, but only *one* can be run in the foreground. Pretty much the same a PPC 2003.
Here’s the interview:
If he said we’re switching to OS6 customers would hold off until it’s available.
He didn’t say they’re not switching to OS6, he just didn’t say when.
>the article was posted on 4/11/04, or was this just a typographical error?
The author of the piece is British and thus uses British date format.
jlg’s appointment as CEO means something after all…
He is the CEO of PalmSource NOT PalmOne. They are NOT a single entity anymore. Get that through your bloody heads.
He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PalmSource not CEO. Get that through your bloody heads.
Bloody heads? That’s just gross!
> Just a bunch of stupid excuses, … where’s the problem???
I don’t believe any word from PalmSource. If PalmOS 6 is that good as told, we would have seen it in some devices already. The point is, what kind of draw back is involved with PalmOS 6 that _nobody_ has chosen it over PalmOS 5 or windows mobile? Slow? Buggy? Bad human interface?
Sony has canceled their PDAs in Europe an the States, because of Cobalt and it’s inabilities?
What kind of basic design flaw has to have occurred that Cobalt isn’t selling over a year since it was announced ready for market? So it couldn’t be fixed until now?
PalmSource/JLG: well, that’s either a VERy good sign or a asign that Palm Source is about to tank. Can JLG break the curse?
Sony: AFAIWG sees the writing on the wall regarding the continually dropping sales of pure PDAs at least in NA and Europe. AFAIK they are still going like gangbusters in Japan. Of course one of the other posters could be correct in that Sony may be considering switching their PDA OS to something else and in that case they would have only released it in Japan until most of the bugs were ironed out, as Japanese companies usually do. (Also as a comparison look at the large variety of Sharp Zaurus models, Sony Vaio models, etc in Japan v. rest of world…)
My Clie T615C is dying (I get a lot of use out of my PDAs), and I’ve been hanging on until someone released an OS6 device before purchasing my next PDA. I’m so glad he said this – now I know that I have to switch to PocketPC to get the features I want anytime soon (WiFi, blutooth, CF, SD, etc). I hate having to switch now that I’ve got my PDA software just like I want it… but I’ve got to do something soon.
British date format? <Insert picture of egg on face…> Thanks for giving the clueless a clue…
um I thing you’ll find that you’re talking about PalmOS 5. PalmOS 6 (and this is info gleaned from an ex-Be, current Palm employeee – forget his name, but it was published here at the start of the year) stated that PalmOS 6 multi tasks. Apps will continue to run in the background, but only *one* can be run in the foreground. Pretty much the same a PPC 2003.
Nope, I am not talking about Palm OS 5- I am indeed talking about Palm OS 6. OS 5 doesn’t have any multitasking as such, although Sony has been adding a very, very limited form of multitasking/multithreading since OS 4 and continues to do so in OS 5. PalmSource may provide their own version in OS 5 too, though I don’t know enough about the differences in API. That is, in Sony’s OS 4 and 5 you can have *one* background thread. This is pretty much only used for playing MP3/ATRAC music in the background while you are in another app.
Anyone can go and download the OS 6 emulator and read the docs. What I describe applies to OS 6. OS 6 can have multiple background threads, where OS 5 can only have one. And the thread API is something exploitable for a lot more tasks than playing music in the background, where in OS 5 that was what it was primarily for. There is the bulk of the difference.
Go download the OS 6 or 6.1 simulator now. There is no way to run multiple applications. If your application has specific support for running a specific part of it in the background you can do that, but this does not just apply to any application. It is indeed multitasking, but a limited form of it, not what Newton, WinCE/PPC and regular desktop OS users are used to.
To quote from that interview:
This is a true preemptively multi-threaded, multi-process OS, and developers can create additional threads both within their own applications and in a common “background” process.
A single app can run, and within that single app you can have multiple threads. Or you can have a thread popped into this common background process. Either way, you’ve only ever got one app running at a time. It isn’t the same as WM2k3 as you state- you may only have one app that you see in the foreground, but those other apps running at the same time are still running in earnest. On Palm OS 6, when you pop out of the program and into another, the previous program stops running. All there is to it.
The background threads are what I was speaking of. You’re thinking within a confined box. The fact that the app can start and re-attach to threads in the background is actually just as powerful as running a GUI thread continously. In fact, it’s actually cleverer. PalmOS 6 can potentially continue your app’s processing in the background – just headless. Whan you restart the app, it’s state can be reset. This is no different in concept to what PPC 2003 is doing. The fact that the GUI stops is no problem, so long as the app is coded well, and multithreaded in such a way that the background task can do what it needs to…
Well I do believe you are all mistaken in the multitasking ability of the palm, as I got a Zire 31, and I can play an mp3 then do what I want and it does not kill my real player program, so I think alot of the people here are mistaken when it comes to that aspect.