Linux on Your Smartphone


Palm will release smartphones at the end of the year that will run a version of the Palm OS on a Linux kernel. This change, the company believes, will provide a more stable platform for its phones as well as allow its handsets to simultaneosly handle voice and data operations. The new OS will support aps that run on the current platform. The company, however, will continue to offer handsets that run the Windows Mobile OS, which it began offering last year.

Palm also announced that it plans to release a wider array of products this year and next. In the past, the company has been slow to release new designs and features; in particular, Palm handsets have lagged behind in multimedia options. The move to a new OS should allow the company to better compete against its rivals--and possible suitors--Nokia and Motorola.

The company seems unconcerned about losing market share to Apple's upcoming iPhone. At a recent meeting with industry analysts, Palm's senior vice president of marketing, Brodie Keast, referred to the iPhone as "primarily an entertainment device."

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