Recently, an analyst reported that Palm was planning to create a Linux OS-one that was not compatible/similar to the Access Linux Platform. Immediately, analysts went all bonkers claiming that ALP was dead, will never ship on Palm’s handhelds, blah.
At the first glance, this looks true. Developing an operating system is a huge amount of effort, it takes a lot of time, is expensive, etc. But is developing a Linux OS the same thing as developing a new OS?
Nope, it is not. A few (skilled) developers got Linux running on PalmOS boxen within a few weeks without having access to data about the hardware or anything. Now think of a full-fledged gang of software engineers(I am speaking of, say 50 ppl) wit acess to the best hardware and documentation. For them, creating a Linux derivate is a no-brainer.
So, if we now recall the sucker editorials published about half a year ago, this OS idea gets relativized. OK; Palm may be developing an OS. But there is no need that this OS will definitely be Palms future. The operating system could be developed as a “smoke test” or a backup plan in case ALP bails. Or, the operating system could serve as a bridge between the dieing Garnet and the upcoming ALP, allowing Palm to deliver smartphones with EDGE, etc soon!
So, keep your hair on and your eyes open!