Palm Nova OS Details
Palm 2.0 = New Nova OS + New Palm Smartphone Brand (Quattro or Quatreo?)
As most of us know, over the past three years Palm has been secretly working on the development of an entirely new operating system codenamed “Nova” based on Linux which the company plans to use to power the next generation of Palm smartphones expected to be released in the first half of 2009.
For the most part Palm has kept any information about this new NOVA OS close to its chest but in a recent interview CEO Ed Colligan finally opened up a little and discussed in some detail what this quote/unquote “Palm 2.0” operating system is all about.
Colligan speaks of “Palm 2.0” as being a “next-generation operating system with much more capabilities, driven around the Internet and Web-based applications” – addressing not only one of the core limitations of current Palm smartphones today (not a particularly rich mobile browsing experience) but also the nascent use of mobile web applications.
Asked why Palm was still developing its own OS, Colligan stated that “We’re focused on executing our own system, mostly because we really believe that to create the most compelling solution it should be an integrated package much like we started with the Palm OS and doing the original Palm Pilots: we did the operating system, we did the hardware and we did the whole synching architecture and the desktop tie-in, which is equivalent to the Web these days. One of the things we wanted to do is to make sure that we had an end-to-end solution we really controlled and could deliver the end-user experience we want to deliver. We think [Palm 2.0] is going to be stunning and breakthrough in its execution, and we’re working on some very exciting new devices to go with it” (not all devices will be smartphones and Foleo II may appear under the new OS).
Colligan also points out that the “classic” Palm OS is not going away as it will continue to be offered in low-end devices such as the Centro. “Centro is our consumer line of products, the start of a product line to hit that demographic and price point” Colligan says. “Centro will be strictly Palm OS”.
At the same time, Palm will continue to promote the Treo line of Windows Mobile smartphones to business customers (such as the forthcoming Treo 800w and Treo 850). “Microsoft is the de facto standard in corporate email, and I think they should be the de facto standard in mobile email. If you have an Exchange server today you can already get mobile push email without installing a single other piece of third-party equipment, so it’s pretty easy to deploy. I don’t believe we could ever create a position in the business community that competes with Microsoft, it just wouldn’t make any sense.”
That ‘next generation’ Palm 2.0 OS will slot in between the Centro and Treo lines under a new ‘prosumer’ brand that’s yet to be decided, Colligan explains. “We’re going to continue to look at those three line areas – consumer, prosumer and enterprise. Treo is today more of our mainstream prosumer product which is extended into the enterprise, but over time you’ll see some branding work done on the top two to make sure they’re really well delineated.”
Overall it’s encouraging to hear that Palm is not only getting closer to releasing its new NOVA OS / Palm 2.0 smartphone but also placing much greater emphasis on mobile web browsing and mobile “Web 2.0” applications – I’m naturally dying to see what the devices running Palm 2.0 will actually look like…
Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the news that Palm will in the future only push Windows Mobile in the Enterprise market but there is clearly logic behind this move. Palm seems likely to use Windows Mobile smartphones to compete against RIM then NOVA OS smartphones to compete against Apple and the Classic Palm OS Centro to compete against other entry-level manufacturers – giving the company a wide portfolio to grab market share.
Treonauts are always ready for the next thing…