Palm delays Linux phone

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Palm delays Linux phone

Palm OS stays on life support longer than expected.

Palm won't ship it Linux smart phone until next year, the company's chief executive Ed Colligan disclosed during an earnings call.

The maker of the Treo smart phone revealed in April that it is developing a new, Linux based operating system for its mobile phones. At the time, Colligan promised that "we have system software that we will roll out before the end of the year."

In a conference call with financial analysts last Thursday however, the executive said that the software won't reach consumers until next year.

"We will deliver some new smartphone prodcuts through the rest of this calendar year on both or windows mobile and Palm OS platforms. Products based on the new Linux based platform that we are working on, that won't be until some time next year," Colligan said.

He declined to provide a more detailed product roadmap, but did stress that Palm will continue to launch new devices before the launch of its Linux platform.

Palm's Linux software will replace the Palm OS 5 software that primarily appeals to consumers and small business users. The operating system hasn't seen any major upgrades since February 2004, when PalmSource released Palm OS 5.4 Garnet.A much delayed update to Palm OS 6 Cobalt was finally cancelled in June 2005.

Enterprises meanwhile tend to prefer Windows powered Treo models because they can more easily be integrated with their other systems and applications.

After a mutli-year exclusive commitment to Palm OS, Palm first unveiled its Windows Treo in September 2005. Windows models currently account for nearly half of all of Palm's Treo sales.
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