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Palm OS II-based smartphones now due H2 2009

Linux-based system software slips again?

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Palm's next-gen operating system will be finished by the end of the year, the company promised late last week.

The company said the Linux-based system software known as Palm OS II and 'Nova' is "on track" for completion by the end of calendar 2008. Handsets based on the OS will following the first half of 2009, it said.

Palm announced back in April 2007 that it would develop the next generation of the Palm OS itself, a move made to ensure it was not tied to a third-party, either Japan's Access, the current owner, or anyone else should Access choose to offload it.

Access took on the Palm OS when it acquired PalmSource - the OS developer spun out of Palm in 2003 - back in 2005.

Palm's current Palm OS-based smartphones, such as the Centro - reviewed here - run Palm OS 5.4m aka 'Garnet', for which Palm bought a licence to the source code in 2006.

As most OS development projects do, Palm OS II has slipped a bit. Palm CEO Ed Colligan indicated in May 2007 that handhelds equipped with the software would be available in 2007. Two months on, and that timeframe had expanded to 2008, and by October 2007, Colligan was saying fans will have to wait until the end of 2008.

No doubt Palm will say the completion of the OS within that timeframe indicates the release hasn't slipped again, but most pundits will undoubtedly measure the Palm OS II's overall development time up until the first handhelds pre-loaded with it ship.

Palm smartphone reviews
Palm Centro
Palm Treo 680
Palm Treo 500v
Palm Treo 750v

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