Palm kills old OS; no battle between Pre and iPhone yet

It was a fun ride, PalmOS. Thanks for paving the way and doing your best to keep up with changing times.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

It was a fun ride, PalmOS. Thanks for paving the way and doing your best to keep up with changing times. But it's time to move on. We've got a younger, hipper and stronger operating system warming up on the sidelines, ready to take the reins for you. (Oh yeah, and Windows Mobile has to come along for the ride, too.)

It's not Earth-shattering announcement but that was pretty much the biggest headline to come out of Palm CEO Ed Colligan's presentation at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom & Internet Conference in San Francisco. PalmOS is all but deal; Long live webOS, the backbone of the new Palm Pre smartphone, expected to be released later this year.

Sure, Colligan was asked about potential legal tussles between Palm and Apple over patents, given the anticipation that's been building since Apple COO Tim Cook tossed a very thin threat in the direction of Palm - or anyone else that tries to steal from Apple. But Colligan simply said there was nothing to report.

Actually, what he said was that Palm respects the intellectual technology of other companies and is careful to avoid conflicts over patented technology. He said:

The whole area of patents is elaborate; (there are) a lot of issues there, and a very complex area. One of the things we've done over 15 years is build a very extensive patent portfolio in the mobile computing space, one of the highest-rated patent portfolios in this space, which contains more than 1,500 patents. And the reason you do that is to have a defensive position in the marketplace. It's kind of like two little porcupines going around, and you don't want to touch each other because you might get stung. You peacefully coexist and everything's OK and we keep working together.

It's no surprise that Colligan wouldn't drop any hints over legal battles. The priority right now is to get that product into the hands of customers.

One other headline worth noting: Though the initial launch of the Pre will be with Sprint, the device could become available through other U.S. carriers sometime in 2010. That certainly would cast a wider net if the company wants to come anywhere near close to challenging Apple and its iPhone.

Also see:

Palm Pre: Can it trump the iPhone? Will it matter? Palm’s Pre and OS: Home-run announcements at CES

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