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Why Palm Needs Android

I was reading this article recently about why Palm needs Android. I know, my google reader starred items list is a little backed up, so the article is not very fresh - but I do believe that it is quite relevant.

I do agree that Palm needs Android, but for somewhat different reasons than the article points out. The article does have some interesting points to make - like the OS market is crowded and making one that you control more doesn't guarantee you success.

My reasons for Palm ditching Palm OS II (Nova) are simple:

First, Palm has a piss poor record on OS development in recent years.
Palm was supposed to release PalmOS 6 - Cobalt... but they messed that up and the OS was essentially dead on arrival. No manufacturers, not even palm themselves used it!

Then palm decides to buy out a chinese linux manufacturer and merge their Cobalt OS with the linux they purchased to make a new OS. What happened? PalmSource was bought off by a Japanese company. The company then completed the OS (or is nearly completing it) and Palm is not using this OS, THEIR OWN brain child on new devices. Instead they opt to build something from scratch and call it Palm OS II.

Now Palm OS II has been delayed, and I think it will be delayed again, and again. I think it will be DOA just like Cobalt was.

Second, Palm needs to cut off the deadwood called Palm OS 5.x (aka palm OS classic). Palm needs to pull an Apple here. They've been supporting their classic OS for a long time, grafting on more and more functionality. Good for them! It really shows ingenuity on their part. Time has come though to make the symbolic gesture of putting PalmOS classic to rest.

By going with Android not only do they have the benefit of an open source OS, they also have the benefit of getting all those nifty apps that are coming down the road on Android. This is also an incentive for all those PalmOS developers to upgrade their apps from PalmOS classic to Android - there is going to be a bigger market!

What about all those legacy apps you ask? Well, they can be put out to pasture as well! It's time for them to retire. Palm has said that they will maintain the centro line for entry level consumers, so developers can still make apps for PalmOS classic if they want. People in the mid-tiers using Android Palm products can maybe use an Access provided Palm emulator to run most of the apps that they paid for in the past while they transition to newer apps.

Palm needs to stop wasting money on PalmOS II (Nova) and start developing some android apps to make their phones stand out!

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