Linux OS on its way from Palm

Maybe Palm’s head-honcho wasn’t bluffing when he was talking about focusing on improving Palm instead of selling it to the highest bidder. Word from the Boy Genius Report via a helpful-hinter has Palm developing a version of the Palm OS that is based on a Linux Modular monolithic kernel. Details are sparse (what’s new there?), but some information has come to light:

- PalmOS 5 devices (currently the latest version) will still be released later this year
- Devices based on the Linux kernel should be released by the end of the year.
- The OS is separate from the Access Linux Platform, it is Palm’s own homegrown OS.
- Palm will not license the OS to other manufacturers
- It is highly likely that the new OS will use Opera as its default browser, given the recent agreement between Palm and Opera.

The Opera thing makes sense, and that’s not a bad move for the Treo-makers since Opera’s proven itself to be a pretty solid and reliable browser. I’m just wondering, though, if there’s going to be any apprehension when it comes to adoption.

Everyone’s more than familiar with the Mac v. PC battle, and although, yes, this is the mobile space, I’m willing to venture a guess that people will raise eyebrows when they see a Linux OS on their Treo. The fact is, though, that Linux has been making a resurgence over the past little while, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it started to slowly (very slowly) make it’s way into the mainstream.

But this is good news for Palm and it’s customers, I think, as they’re proving that they’re not afraid of change and willing to take chances. Let’s see what happens from here.

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