Russell Beattie has an interesting post in his blog about PalmSource focusing PalmOS6 on PDA functions. I don’t think I could possibly agree with Russell any more than I do. I spent a decent amount of time thinking about it too, cause I do think that a limited function laptop is cool. For me at least, I can accept that what I want isn’t necessarily what others want. But because I think that the connected nature of the devices should be primary and the laptop features secondary, I don’t think that really counts as a disagreement. I was very happy when I thought that PalmOS6 was going to include features that would allow for easy syncronizaton of databases directly over a network using web services, and that the whole design of the OS was going to center around network usage. If PalmSource isn’t planning to do this, I agree that they really are missing the boat.
But that only starts out the issue for me. So what would happen if this is the case? What if the hardware manufacturer makes cool network enabled devices and the OS provider makes shit? Does someone else swoop in with an OS that runs on PalmOne hardware but does networking well? Is there any inherent connection between these companies any more? I was always a bit fuzzy still on what this seperation means. If it really means what I had assumed it would, that the hardware and software providers would be fully decoupled, it sounds like the time has come to get some other operating system in there to start filling in what appears to be a gaping hole. I keep forgetting that Handspring was snatched up by the hardware side, cause I was hoping that the next generation of the OS would be helped by that acquisition. But if PalmOne and PalmSource are really two companies, there doesn’t have to be any Handspring effect on the OS. Bad news. Both of the bright spots which I was hoping pointed towards better network support in PalmOS6 (web service data syncronization and Handspring possitively affecting the development) might either be untrue or end up having no impact. And there really isn’t anything remaining. Hopefully the news is wrong. But if it isn’t, what happens?