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Palm to Abandon Palm OS

Palm to Abandon Palm OS

Speaking at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom & Internet Conference 2009, Palm CEO Edward Colligan confirmed that Palm has no plans for future devices running the existing Palm OS. Instead, Palm will focus on Windows Mobile devices and its forthcoming webOS, although it does plan to roll out the existing Palm Centro to additional carriers. Colligan also confirmed that Palm will launch its new webOS-running Palm pre on Sprint, but expects other U.S. carriers will offer the Palm pre in 2010.

Palm unveiled the Palm pre and its new webOS at this year’s CES show to generally good reviews; webOS was generally praised for its elegant interface and the pre for offering iPhone-like capabilities with a slide-out keyboard for messaging. Colligan also confirmed that while Palm will be operating an application store for the pre, but—unlike the iPhone—Palm doesn’t plan to lock the device to the applications store, meaning users will also be able to side-load webOS applications from PCs or from other online application providers.

Colligan also assured investors that Palm respects others’ intellectual property, and doesn’t anticipate a patent battle with Apple over the Palm pre—despite the Cupertino company’s recent saber-rattling. Colligan believes Palm’s own patent portfolio is more than strong enough to cover the pre and webOS, and says the company will defend itself should Apple initiate legal action.

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