Yeah, it sounds like shampoo, but has a lot of potential to either clean up Palm's hairy OS story or make it a whole lot more messier. Further confusing an already erratic roadmap, Palm OS is now going to run atop Linux.

The crowd goes wild, obviously.

Me, I'm skeptical. Creating a Palm layer atop a minimal Linux kernel will improve portability, foster a whole new generation of (hopefully more open) development tools and, of course, increase Palm's survival chances, but it's sad to realize that no matter what they run, nothing even comes close to the ease of use of older generations of Palms - and that's not something you fix by adding more complexity.

Plus this puts a nail in the coffin of Palm OS 6 even before it's out the door (not to mention the BeOS code Palm is still sitting on).

Still, maybe now we'll get a decent Mac OS X toolchain without all of that CodeWarrior and native Windows emulator nonsense - it's not exactly rocket science to port Linux code to the Mac. More like ./configure && make, if your code is properly written to begin with.

We'll see. The only thing that's certain for me: I won't buy another PDA anytime soon, and Palm's continuous hesitations and shenanigans aren't helping.

On to other news:

  • Someone managed to rip the graphics off the iPod firmware, therefore providing a lot of people with considerable entertainment. Even considering you have to wipe your iPod clean to install them, custom screens are starting to appear here and there:

  • The Isle of Man is being used as a guinea pig again, this time for HSDPA. more. I wonder where they get the backhaul for this (and yes, backhaul is key).
  • I sorta missed this, but SonyEricsson is now pushing SVG again. Interestingly enough, all the phones in that list are virtually identical except for display and radio hardware, so I wonder what took them so long. And Flash Lite (which is also there in all the ones I tested) doesn't get a mention. Hmmm. Finally seeing the standards light?
  • Finally, if you liked my Xmas Phones post but live in the US, there's a comprehensive Holiday Gift Guide over at Phone Scoop.