Palm Cant Afford to Live in the Past
eWEEK Product Update: With release of new OS, Palm must try to bridge the wide feature gap between the Palm OS and those of Windows CE, Symbian and open-source-based competitors without leaving its large developer base behind.I finally got around last week to installing NetBSD on my IBM z50 Workpada subnotebook-sized unit that teamed excellent design and capable hardware with the extremely poor-performing Windows CE 2.11 operating system. Id picked up the z50 a year or so back when IBM pulled the plug on it and the devices could be had for under $300 over the Web. As much as Id always loved the slim, functional design and excellent battery life of the z50, I didnt used mine much. The z50 had no upgrade path to Windows CE 3.0, so I was closed off from a tempting array of new hardware and software add-ons. With NetBSD, the z50 is a respectable laptop replacement with a stable pipeline to future software and device driver upgrades, courtesy of the kudzulike BSD/Linux developer community.
Much more than my newly useful z50, however, this years PalmSource Developers Conference has me dwelling on upgrade paths and developer communities. Palms freshly spun-off mobile operating system branch, also named PalmSource, launched Palm OS 5.0 in a developers beta version this week at the show.