By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-12-08 Print this article Print

-End Limitations"> What the low-end phones wont do, however, is run third-party Palm applications. This is a requirement of many current PalmOS users, but doesnt mean a thing to the vast majority of cellular customers. Whether the Palm UI and basic apps will mean anything to them is hard to say, but at least now the question is on the table—something PalmSource had thus far been unable to achieve. The deal also makes PalmSource a significant player in the growing domestic Chinese market. Because PalmSource is buying a holding company which in turn owns CMS, the acquisition will remain "Chinese-owned" for the purpose of preferential treatment by the Beijing government. PalmSource considers this a major benefit of how the purchase was structured. It also gets 150 CMS engineers, nearly doubling its engineering staff.
Click here for an interview with PalmSources chief technology officer on the future of the PDA.
Like Ive said, this is a stellar deal for PalmSource. Not because of the Linux sideshow, but because it makes the company a bigger player on the global stage. While PalmOS is well-known in the United States and elsewhere as a PDA platform, its penetration into wireless devices has been tiny. The CMS acquisition immediately gives PalmSource a larger and better product line for its global OEM customers to choose from. No longer is PalmSource limited to the high-end devices necessary to meet the hardware requirements of its OS. PalmSources acquisition of CMS isnt a big enough deal to catapult the company into global prominence, but it does provide a growth platform the company lacked. Where PalmSource had been a small fish in the global wireless market, it now has products spanning the full range of devices that customers demand. PalmSource has decided it wants to play on a larger stage. I think itll do well. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for eWeek.com, where he writes a daily Blog (blog.ziffdavis.com/coursey) and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is www.coursey.com.

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