Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?

Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?

Summary: As I keep thinking about the Palm Pre and Palm Web OS announcement and looking at the stunning image gallery I can't help but think about all of those millions of Palm OS fans and developers wondering about the future of the current Palm OS. Palm is definitely moving fully into the cloud with the Palm Pre as they focused on their Web OS and never showed any desktop syncing capability. This means we have pretty much seen the end of any non-phone mobile devices from Palm, and pretty much everyone else now as well. What about all the money people have sunk into Palm OS 5 applications? Does the Palm Pre and Web OS support legacy Palm applications?

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Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?As I keep thinking about the Palm Pre and Palm Web OS announcement and looking at the stunning image gallery I can't help but think about all of those millions of Palm OS fans and developers wondering about the future of the current Palm OS. Palm is definitely moving fully into the cloud with the Palm Pre as they focused on their Web OS and never showed any desktop syncing capability. This means we have pretty much seen the end of any non-phone mobile devices from Palm, and pretty much everyone else now as well. What about all the money people have sunk into Palm OS 5 applications? Does the Palm Pre and Web OS support legacy Palm applications?

This question was asked of Palm VP Stephane Maes, by Ina Fried at CNET, and Stephane stated that these applications will not run natively on this new Linux-based OS, but that "we anticipate there will be solutions to do so." Could one of those solutions actually have ties back to Palm's history? The Garnet VM emulator is available now for Nokia's Linux-based Internet Tablets and the company that develops the software, ACCESS, purchased the Palm OS from Palm a few years ago. Maybe Palm is working on a deal with ACCESS to get something like the Garnet Virtual Machine onto the Palm Pre.

If you were able to run your existing Palm OS applications in a virtual environment, would that satisfy your needs? I think as we move forward in the mobile space, there comes a time when a clean break must also be made to progress to the next level. Microsoft and Apple have done this in the past with Windows, Pocket PC (remember SH3 and MIPS app), and the Mac OS. With the focus on the cloud in the new Palm Web OS this seems like the perfect time for a clean break from the old Palm OS. Are you prepared to make a break from your Palm OS applications? It is either than or eventually die on the vine, right?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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31 comments
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  • Has anyone seen anybody using a Palm in the last 5 years?

    I sure haven't. In fact I don't think I've seen one since cell phones became so pervasive. Which leads to, how many people even care about Palm OS 5 apps?
    GoPower
    • All the time!!!

      Most of my fellow residents and many attending physicians use the Palm TX or the older but wiser Tungsten T5. Every Day, Many Times Each Day! Not sure how we would get by without it. Some of us use a Treo and only carry one device, but I am in the minority.

      The plethora of OS5 apps for healthcare is astounding. Most of them free. The same is true in aviation. I would really hate to lose all of these. Most would run in a virtual machine quite well. Some of them simple things like medical calculators, acronym dictionaries, and care templates. Some more complex like med books, PDRs, and drug interaction checkers. I would be waiting years for all of this to get ported. Most probably would not be.

      The promise of WebOS running OS5 apps is truly the Holy Grail for many of us.

      Rick
      rickpalen
    • Absolutely, yes.

      My buddy still uses his Treo as his primary
      PDA/phone, and I still use my IIIxe and my
      m100. If my company didn't force me to use a
      Blackberry, I would have stuck with Palm as my
      primary device. That's the key to device
      adoption - How many companies can you get to
      impose your device on their employees. When
      the employee gets a device for free, even one
      they don't particularly like, they are unlikely to
      carry around a second personal device, even if
      they prefer the way it works.
      roystonlodge
    • You serious?

      Of course, I have! There are millions of Treo users out there who are using Palm 5--including myself. And yes, I see 2 people every day using their non-phone Palms (tungstens). I think Palm needs to move into the future, sure; but we all had been under the impression that the new OS (Nova?) would be backward compatible as well. When one adds new customers, it's good to keep the old ones during the transition!
      lmerklin
    • Of course!

      I have tried, more than once, WinCE and definitely disliked it. PalmOS is way more practical to use and I have a wealth of very good apps I don't want to part with which are not available on other OSs. A pity that this new device does not natively run PamOS 5.
      pstrg
    • Yeah...me!

      I used an m100 until I upgraded to a Zire 72. All sorts of great native functions, plus 3rd party apps, free and otherwise. Kept waiting for the Palm Centro smartphone to finally become available on Verizon and when it did I bought the next day. Installed all my coveted Palm apps. Now, have the phone, web & Palm apps all in one handy-dandy little shirt-pocket size gadget. It couldn't be better. The only thing not available on the Centro is the Graffiti handwriting recognition software and Notepad functions that I used all the time. QWERTY keyboard and Memo app is a close subsitute. I can only hope that Palm -- which really squadered the great lead they had in the PDA OS market -- doesn't blow it again: support OS 5 in any new operating system, and please -- PLEASE!!! -- continue to make it possible to use all the great 3rd party apps available for Palm...which is STILL the best, most flexible and yet simplest PDA-style OS available.
      BadgerPhan
    • Just bought 2

      I was needing to run some apps that needed OS-5 so I bought a Zire 31 to replace my IIIxe. Also got a Z-22 for my wife. We don't need the phone capabilities, don't like paying for service plans, just need a great pda for scheduling, jotting notes, to do lists,running certain apps, databases, etc. As we are both in academia, we aren't needing to be at the constant contact of others, so these do what we need without overkill. And some of my colleagues also have non-phone pda.
      bish81
    • Yup.. "Antique" Palm Tungsten T2...

      Still use it as a notepad when I work. MUCH easier (at least, for me) than whipping out my laptop or trying to cram the info onto my cell phone.
      Wolfie2K3
    • Every single day

      Yes, I use my Palm every single day, and I love it. I tried Windows Mobile and was very disappointed. Palm OS is great!! I'm planning to keep using it for a while...
      omar@...
    • Can't get by without it

      @GoPower

      I use my TX all the time. I have an iPod Touch for a year and have tried to migrate my info to that device, but it's just not as easy to use as the TX and there is no app that ties my contacts, appointments and such together like Agendus. And that funky on-screen keyboard is nowhere near as easy to use as the stylus. Plus, I think it's just stupid to tether all my apps and info to a phone and carrier. I would really rather not have to face changing the way I do things and re-entering all my data into a new set of apps on a new device just to change phone carriers.
      GeodesicGnome
  • Double edged knife

    You get to break away from OS5 apps which, like the previous poster indicated, are probably not being used very much, but what are you getting in return?

    webOS?

    In the past few months we've had undersea network cables cut. Russia has cut off all natual gas exports to Europe.

    Does anyone really think it's a good idea to be at the mercy of some other entity for a critical service? If you ignore the hype, common sense says NO.
    croberts
  • RE: Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?

    I gave up my Palm TX with great reluctance 4 months ago and have missed it ever since. I did feel it was the last of a dying breed and I had to move on but I haven't been pleased with the HTC TyTN2 that I bought to replace it. I went with a WinMo device because it was the only other mobile OS that offered the ability to sync with my desktop apps (DayNotez, ListPro, etc) but it hasn't been the most enjoyable experience... I'll wait and see if Palm will offer proper desktop sync'ing (not the silly 'cloud' sync'ing) before I decide if I'm moving back to Palm.
    johnd126
  • All things to all people

    More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's "Super-berry"

    Why does this seem to have a familiar "ring" to it? (pardon the pun...)

    I'm not interested in "big brother's" "cloud."

    No subscriptions. No service charges. My data. My computer. My PDA. My privacy.

    What's so difficult to understand?
    oldbaritone
  • Disappointed

    I've been using Windows Mobile 6.1 for a few months now and, boy, do I miss Palm 5. It had it's share of quirks and, oh golly, the browser on the Palm TX sucked, but overall it was a good solid OS where things behaved like you expected and didn't hang for no reason and synchronized properly and reliably to the PC.

    I write html for a living so perhaps I'd be more apt to write applications for the WebOS but there was no shortage of other folks willing to take the plunge and create some amazingly useful programs for Palm 5.

    I've used Palm since the original Palm Pilot and liked how they worked. The end has been gradual but nonetheless, it's sad that all of us are being abandoned in the march for the Next Big Thing.

    Right now if I was going to start writing applications for a mobile device it would make sense to pick the device with the biggest audience and the greatest chance of being around long term: hello iPhone.
    johnd126
  • Old, clunky, and RELIABLE!

    Every day.

    I work in a below-ground office. Cellular service is nonexistent. The "cloud" is up there somewhere, but not down here.

    But good-ol' reliable TX works just fine. Contacts, schedules, even some reference manuals - all in my pocket. Easy, quick, and inexpensive.

    Dock it, push the button, and it's updating while it's charging. No "dead zones." No jerk calling me to sell me something I don't want, while I have to pay for the call.

    Sure, it's old. But with SDHC cards, I carry all of the information I need anyhow, and I don't need "the cloud."

    But nobody gets "subscription fees" from me for it, so that makes it obvious - "big brother" wants it to go away so I can buy something that I must subscribe to make it work.

    No thanks, Ma Bell, Sprint, AOL-TW, ATT, MCI, whoever. I don't need a "two year service agreement" to make this TX work.

    Wake up. It's not about functionality, it's about the fat cats getting their piece every month. Period.
    oldbaritone
  • RE: Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?

    I've used Palms since the m100 and enjoy my Centro. I think it would be great to have some sort of bridge so the Pre can use existing apps until (or if) developers can write new apps for it!
    randyfernandez@...
  • RE: Welcome Palm Web OS, now what happens with Palm OS 5 applications?

    There are many of us who use the Palm OS but we may be using a Sony CLIE and other hardware folks using the old Palm OS because it is reliable, functional, simple, fast, thoughtful, and business oriented to the point where other calendars and appointment books are thrown in the garbage. You may not see us but trust me, we're in the zillions and trying to breathe live into old hardware that isn't made anymore. The hardware we use with the apps we bought and downloaded give us an incredible array of business tools that is almost incomparable when compared to all the other "whiz-bang" junk and Microsoft "you-know-what" type of operating system. Bring back the Palm in any functional configuration! I've got every one made from the beginning. I'll buy this one, too! All the "Palm-ers" will!
    COMPURAD
  • OS 5 in emulation? Sure!

    How hard will it be to get the emulator to run as fast as the old native chip? probably not too.
    geedavey@...
  • Hey! didn't they PROMISE us OS5 compatibility?

    I recall a statement from Palm execs that the new OS would support legacy apps. I firmly believe that the depth of developer support and program variety is the true strength of the Palm platform. Palm abandons its current user base at its peril.

    All I want is a multitasking OS, Flash and Java support for Web-based casual gaming, and legacy apps support. That's the Apple killer, Palm!
    geedavey@...
  • Why not just.....

    update the firmware in the current Palm OS enviroment? That would be way too easy considering that certain cell phone providers already do updates to the configuration (SPRINT). I mean seriously.. dload the OS, have PALM do it's thing and reboot. I mean, it uses a Linux shell, isn't that enough for an OS update? I may be talking apples and oranges... but didn't Windows CE have that little function when it went from 3.1 to 4.0?
    LapDRx