PalmSource Takes Another Step Toward Linux

PalmSource and MontaVista Software said today that they will work together to speed the development of next generation Linux-based mobile phones, a move that furthers PalmSource’s decision to move its Palm OS onto the Linux kernel.

The companies have joined each other’s partner programs.

MontaVista develops Linux mobile device operating systems through its industry-wide Mobilinux Open Framework. PalmSource’s partner program is called the Palm Powered Mobile World. It consists of mobile operators, infrastructure and middleware vendors and software developers and it aims to market Palm OS applications.

Quicker Action

“Partnering with MontaVista will enable faster time to market for our mutual customers who want to deliver compelling, cost effective Linux-based mobile phone solutions,” Albert Chu, vice president, business development for PalmSource, said in a press release.

PalmSource last year announced plans to purchase China MobileSoft to begin shifting to Linux and using the open-source community to develop software.

“The partnership between PalmSource and MontaVista further demonstrates the growth potential of next-generation Linux-based mobile phones,” Stacey Quandt, principal analyst, Quandt Analytics, told LinuxInsider. “This is a symbiotic relationship that will benefit both parties. MontaVista stands to gain from greater mindshare of its MobileLinux framework and PalmSource will enable independent software developers to develop for the Linux platform.”

Good Combination

PalmSource said its Linux OS for phones will be out next summer. MontaVista’s Linux platform is designed for mobile vendors. The combination of operating system and vendor platform is a good opportunity for PalmSource to make some inroads in the mobile market, Quandt said.

“Application support on Linux is a way for PalmSource to increase its marketshare with consumer and enterprise customers as well,” she said. “Palm OS never achieved the traction to become a favored operating system over Windows. Today Linux on mobile devices is a growth opportunity.”

PalmSource has been struggling and announced recently that it would indefinitely postpone its European developers conference.

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