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The Future of Palm

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The future of Palm. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. These haven't been the best of times for Palm Inc. Slumping sales and stock prices have hurt the company that is still the number one maker of PDAs. It has sold more than thirteen million of the devices. Now the company is pushing ahead with plans to spin off the company that makes and licenses the Palm operating system... and call it Palm Source. And its CEO David Nagel tells us it makes sense...

"It makes sense because we're very different businesses. The software business and hardware business have different financial requirements. They sell differently ... frankly it just makes sense to make it very clear that the decision we made many years ago to license the operating system is an irreversible decision."

Nagel expects the split to be formalized around the end of the year. With devices running Microsoft's PocketPC operating system providing more competition... .Palm is hoping to stay on top with a new version of its operating system... .OS 5... running on new, more powerful ARM processors...

"It's anywhere from two to twenty times faster... raw computing power... than the 68K processor family that we have traditionally been on. So this really opens up the third party developers to do multimedia applications, really great sound applications, really great video applications and a number of things that are just either very difficult or in some cases impossible to do on a slower processor."

The kinds of things that Palm... previously... didn't feel were necessary in a PDA. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.