PalmSources Linux Move: Good News and Bad News
PalmSource execs say the company's Linux move will let the Palm OS go "head to head" with Microsoft in the mobile arena. Analysts find there's much to like in the plan, as well as some rather rough patches.PalmSource Inc. looks to have the open-source community in its corner as it comes out swinging at established contenders for a share of the growing mobile handset market. But analysts were unclear on how PalmSources Linux move will shake out for the operating system and for its customers, including sibling palmOne Inc. "Were going head-to-head with Microsoft [Corp.s] Windows Mobile and Symbian [Ltd.]," Chris Dunphy, director of product marketing at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based PalmSource, said in an interview with eWEEK.com. PalmSource on Wednesday said it had acquired China MobileSoft Ltd., a developer of mobile phone software based in Nanjing, China. In addition to a variety of applications for smart phones, the company offers mLinux, a compact version of Linux for smart phones, and mFone, a software platform for less-expensive phones.
The company hopes to attract phone vendors with an established mobile applications platform, new media frameworks and, of course, its tested interface. It now can leverage the distributed support for chip sets and drivers available from the open-source community.