The Palm OS has changed its name to Garnet, the internal name for the current version of Palm OS 5, presumably to make the operating system more attractive for use on non-Palm handhelds.
The operating system owner, software company Access will be hoping that the name change aids its very weak position in the handheld market, with less than two percent of handhelds running Palm, and four competitors stretching out ahead of it.
While PalmOne has transitioned from a PDA company to a phone company, the operating system has caused it significant delays. The Palm 700p , a Palm OS based handset with 3G, appeared in May 2006 in the US. In Europe, the 750v launched in September 2006 and does 3G but is based on Windows Mobile - there is as yet no Palm-based 3G phone in Europe.
Hardware maker Palm will continue to use the Palm name, although increasingly many of its Treos will be using Windows Mobile, in order to get better access to office desktops and email - although Palm itself has just announced plans to add Microsoft's push email to its phones.
Mewanwhile, Access, which bought PalmSource in September 2005, is developing Access Linux Platform, a Linux operating system that will run Palm OS applications through an emulation layer - a move that Palmsource itself had been promising. This could make Palm OS redundant eventually, but Access appears to be late on a promise to deliver it to manufacturers in 2006.
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