Palm’s Ed Colligan has declared Palm OS dead on multiple opportunities – once the Centro is gone, no consumer Palm OS devices are available. OK – Janam and Acceca still have a few industrial ones…but these are either too expensive or too feature-poor.

Even though Palm owns the Palm OS name, it is not the sole controller of the operating system’s fate – the Japanese ACCESS co (which bought PalmSource) continues to develop the product under the name Garnet OS.

An Access employee has now posted the following to a Palm OS developer mailing list:

Hi everyone –

With the recent discussions about PDA hardware that Palm no longer sells (TX, etc.) I was wondering how many of you still need to get Garnet OS (nee Palm OS!) devices for yourselves or for customers who are using your applications.

Maybe there is still enough of a market for non-phone devices at lower prices than the ruggedized ones from Janam and Aceeca. ACCESS has partners who could be interested in supporting this if the business need was reasonable.

If you have such a need or are interested, please email me. I am putting together a short set of questions to qualify this market need.

Tom Chavez

I would love to hear more from you all out there – leave a comment here and I will put you in touch with Tom!

Related posts:

  1. Janam prolongs Garnet OS license
  2. Access updates Garnet VM
  3. Access updates Garnet VM for Nokia Nxxx tablets
  4. Access invites developers to Access Developer Day
  5. Access launches ADN Foundry

29 Responses to “Access doesn’t want Palm OS dead”

  1. Definitely, Garnet OS still rules. It should be the defacto virtual machine in every smartphone/tablet device. Besides, I have several times dreamed about a Newton-like tablet device with Palm OS fullscreen a la Garnet VM, displayed in a high resolution e-ink (electronic ink)screen.
    Yes, like mixing a Nokia Nseries Tablet with an iRex 1000SW with the Palm OS ease. Feasible?

  2. Tam,
    A couple of questions here, 1)What mailing list was that? I have not seen any such message. 2) Are they going to work on a device? Work with a hardware manufacturer? or just release ROM images for existing devices?

    That said, I would love an update version of my aging TX. But in this economy, I’d do it in a heartbeat if the price was reasonable.

  3. Tom already contacted me and I’ll be happy to answer his questionnaire. My Auriga cave survey freeware is still very much alive, yet now that Palm devices are no longer available in stores, new users must get them on eBay and the like. I’m not sure a low-end model is the best way to resuscitate Garnet. I’d be happier with a TX-like device (large screen + Bluetooth) but with a replaceable rechargeable battery for a change (better suited day-long use), and why not an internal GPS chip.

  4. Follow up question. How does someone who has not received the original message indicate interest?

    Also I agree with Luc, I’d like a TX style device, just with a slightly larger screen (so that it is still pocketable), with updated bluetooth and wi-fi. And a better web-browser.. blazer is no longer up to task.

  5. For anyone here who did not get my original message, you can reach me at

    I am looking for people who have a need for PDAs running Garnet or who create a need with their software.


  6. Hi,
    the mailing list is not available to the general public.

    As for my sentiments: check the email I sent to you, Tom!

    All the best

  7. Tam,

    “a Palm OS developer mailing list”


  8. I’m on an Access-Dev mailing list, and I used to be on one with Palm as well (unless they dropped me off the list), hence my question…

  9. Some physicians may still purchase hand held units to simply carry them like a small ebook with wifi connections pertaining patient care.
    NO telephone
    Big hospitals could buy rugged built ones and use them like beepers. Each loaded with info and resources for residents and students, they could be portable medical knowledge with eRX and sort of a small intranet to support web based patient care.
    They would be passed to the next resident, like a beeper was.
    I still use/like best the T3 and make sure to have another on standby. Simply can not do without it.

  10. Hey, if Tom is still here listening, I’d love to see a Garnet VM on Android. I know it’s not really a good \long-term\ business model, but similar to \Classic\ for the new Palm Pre, I’d certainly pay money to have an Android machine capable of running my Garnet apps. And if it’s on Maemo, why not Android?

  11. personally i would want something to replace my aging Tungsten T5 which start to have some problems. i wish for something like lifedrive 2 with flash memory instead of harddisk (yes i know its possible to change disk for flash but i am too lame to make any hardware changes myself…), longer battery life and gps integrated….

    but for company i am working for its too late. we were mostly focused on selling our software for palm, but since tx appeared with broken digitizers and later palm stopped production of handhelds completely all our customers switched to pocket pc with windows mobile and palm version was abanonded. i doubt that head of company will decide to resurrect it even if there would be new devices appearing again.

  12. In case anyone is still checking out this page and comments. I got a follow up survey link from Tom via e-mail.

    I really hope this takes off… with improvements to GarnetOS, I could see myself using a GarnetOS device for a long time.

  13. It’s frustrating. I have a Treo 680 and want to upgrade to a modern phone…. But it’s hard. Palm OS is fast and easy.

    If Garnet wants to continue… the SMS Chat like on the treo 680 will be essential. Lack of that on other small, qwerty sliderless phones holds me back.

    Now thinking of buying the Centro…


    A new, improved Garnet …. updated graphics, web experience… But backward compatible PIM…

    Bring it on…


  14. I would buy a replacement for my Palm Tungsten for $200, but preferably a little less.

    Eventually I will probably move on to more current technology, but with so many $15 here, $25 there software purchases on my PDA, and with overall family budget tight right now, keeping the status quo is best right now. My current palm hardware is wearing out.

  15. Hi Eaton,
    there is a survey ongoing currently – chime in there!

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  16. I was referred to this site by Baalthazzar (thanks).

    I have been a Palm user since the beginning and was disappointed to see the Pre adopt a web centric OS (WebOS) as roaming data is too expensive (I travel internationally most of the time). I need a PDA that syncs cleanly with Outlook on my desktop and has phone and chat capabilities. I use a Centro now and it is fine but I can see the end of the line for Palm devices that run Garnet. WebOS with Classic might work but a Garnet-native device would be less prone to glitches I believe.

    Two aspects of Garnet are really great and worth mentioning:

    1. the chat string on text messaging, and

    2. the ability to set a time zone for some tasks in calendar with the default no time zone. This may seem like a minor issue but believe me, when traveling between timezones frequently, having the ability to have some activities constant and others reset to the timezone I am in, is unbelievably productive. Whoever thought this up at Palm as obviously a traveler.

    Thanks and good luck.

  17. A Treo Pro running Garnet is my suggestion!

  18. I was wondering if there was any more news about this.

  19. I wrote Tom about this and got a reply which implied he was only looking to hear from vendors who could sell many units, not consumers.
    I would personally love an energy efficient monochrome modern garnet device with memory expansion. (color screens give me a headache) and would be willing to pay a pretty penny for it.

    I think garnet OS could have a future market but someone needs to believe in it and push it consistantly.
    The OS needs to get back to it’s roots in my opinion, being that the palm OS was originally all about being small and fast and usable – and that was lost in trying to be something else and failing.
    If Palm had kept pure on the original value proposition, instead of trying to be something else, garnet would still be number 1.
    Selmi’s example above is a good example of what happens when a company doesn’t continue to support the product.

  20. I’m a late adopter of palm os, but I keep coming back to it after trying other devices with newer operating systems. Garnet is truly a great OS and is simple and quick which I like. Yes, it has its bugs, but I am willing to live with them. As for new hardware running Garnet, I am all for it! I currently own a tapwave zodiac and treo 755 and love them both, but would consider an upgrade if a new device came out and the price was right. I agree with a previous post that Blazer just isn’t cutting it anymore and having wifi built-in like a TX is a must.

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