Over the last two weeks, my rather positive view of the future of the Palm OS economy has worsened – and apperently, I am not alone. Dmitry Grinberg(famous by fixing Palm’s ‘mistakes’) openly announces Windows Mobile evaluation; Brayder closes shop; Palm’s PalmSource contract is problematic, etc.
The Palm OS economy currently is full of rumours. Some report the spotting of a Cobalt-powered Palm (SG) handheld, while others report on the end of Palm’s traditional PDA business and the death of the LifeDrive line. Independant of whom you listen to, the sum of the rumors is the Palm OS economy is off badly.
Palm itself has a company policy of not commenting rumors, which is indeed standard for larger US companies. However, in this case, they maybe should open their mouth – else, developer erosion would reach dangerous speeds.
Palm basically lives off its third party developers(face it). When Windows Mobile entered the market as Windows CE, nobody really considered it because of the ultimate lack of third party applications. Almost all application development took place for the Palm OS, making sure that Palm users always had loads of impressive third party apps to choose from.
IMHO, mobile operating systems are insignificant – what people want are functions. Wheter these functions are powered by Palm OS or Urp Burp OS is insignificant….
Third party developers want future security. They invest loads of time into creating applications and want to sell them for a long, long time. The current rumor situation is very negative and thus dangerous for Palm’s third party developer share.
IMHO, Palm should see the problem and announce what OS they plan to run and what products they plan to create. Just keeping the situation as is, may leave their shiny new Garnet-compatible OS without developers…