Is emulation on Linux “saving” the Palm OS?

Tom Krazit, CNET news staff writer, shares an interview with Access executives. Access took on the task of breathing life into the Palm OS. Brave task few would have taken so late in the game. I wish them the best of luck.

As you can tell from my heading, I don’t have a lot of faith that Linux will save the Palm OS. Actually, I’ve always thought the end result will be an entirely new OS that will preserve the legacy of applications — for the sentimental lovers of a favorite Palm software that you just can’t replace. As pointed out by Dieter Diaz in the CNET interview, Access will rely on emulation and Moore’s Law in microchip advancements to keep the Palm OS alive.

How much of the Access Linux Platform will bring Palm OS components forward?
Diaz: A big portion, actually. We are including a version of Garnet (Palm OS v5.4, the most current version) emulated. The approach is there is an abstraction layer that had been designed for Garnet to sit on various types of hardware, and we are now connecting this abstraction layer to Linux. So we are very much similar to Java; we are creating a virtual machine of Garnet inside the Access Linux Platform.

What will that do for the performance of Palm OS applications on the Access Linux Platform?
Diaz: We believe the performance will be good. Mostly it will be driven by the new processors that are available.

I’m bullish that we’ll see a great OS for the smartphone. If trends hold, it’s probably going to be Linux based its core.

Of course, if Nokia and the Symbian partners can find a way to offer the jump start they’ve to the open source and application development community, Symbian might be able to maintain it’s 50% market share lead.

Whatever happens, I’m not cheering for Windows!

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