Feeds

Palm to split – official

We just don't know how, or when

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Palm CEO Carl Yankowski took a step towards resolving the company's Apple-like dilemma today by saying that Palm would rid itself of either its hardware or software business. He just wouldn't say which.

Speaking at the 12th Annual Bear Stearns Technology Conference, Yankowski said one of these two options would be definitely enacted. That's more specific than he's been before. At the last financial update in May, Yankowski admitted Palm was looking at "dramatically changing" its business model.

Back then, he specifically denied Palm was quitting the OS business, although that looks the least painful option now. Palm derives most of its revenue from hardware, and could spin the OS licensing business off into a new, jointly owned company in which it retains an equal, but slightly-more-equal-than-the-others stake.

That's exactly how Psion solved the same dilemma three years ago, when it spun its software division off to create Symbian, with roughly-equal shares taken by Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. Psion had been shopping its Epoc operating system round to phone manufacturers for some time, with only limited success: it now boasts a clutch of new licensees, and Matsushita is a fourth shareholder. And while Psion itself hasn't exactly flourished since then, it has no one to blame but itself, and certainly not its OS licensees.

Existing PalmOS licensees Sony, Handspring and TRG would be sure bets to take a stake in Palm NewCo, if that's the direction it took. Neither of these could have the same grounds to complain that Palm was reserving OS features for itself, or using the OS to leverage unfairly against them on price.

In a similar dilemma four years ago, Apple simply decided to kill the cloners and withdraw from licensing MacOS, buying out its biggest licensee in the process.

Register Bootlace: Analyst Bear Stearns might ring a few bells with Palmwatchers. Six months ago the company predicted Palm sales would exceed expectations, while Goldman Sachs rated the company a "compelling buy". Since then, Palm stock has fallen from over $65 to trade at around the $5 mark. Financial analysts - doncha love 'em? &reg.

Related Stories

Sell your granny to buy Palm stock - analyst
Palm to axe 250 jobs as it dips into the red
Ailing Palm faces the Crusher, denies quitting OS business
Handspring toys with Palm alternatives

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Profitless Twitter: We're looking to raise $1.5... yes, billion
We'll spend the dosh on transactions, biz stuff 'n' sh*t
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.