All those companies with ongoing Palm projects take one step forward. Where do you think you're going Wind River?

5 September 2007

One clear casualty of the decision by Palm to axe the Foleo is embedded operating system supplier Wind River. Less than a month ago, Wind declared to the world that its Linux distribution and development tools were to be at the heart of the Foleo. Palm did not plan to use its own firmware in the stripped-down laptop.

Now that plan lies in tatters. Although the deal was unlikely ever to make Wind rich, Palm CEO Ed Colligan made it clear that the software supplier is unlikely to feature in any of the smartphone and PDA maker's products any time soon:

"Foleo is based on [a] second platform and a separate development environment, and we need to focus our efforts on one platform. Our own evaluation and early market feedback were telling us that we still have a number of improvements to make Foleo a world-class product, and we can not afford to make those improvements on a platform that is not central to our core focus. That would not be right for our customers or for our developer community."

Even if Palm revisits the Foleo - Colligan claims that is the case although I have my doubts - it will not be based on Wind's "platform for consumer devices":

"When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category. We're not going to speculate now on timing for a next Foleo, we just know we need to get our core platform and smartphones done first."

The problem for Wind in all this is that its pitch for selling into consumer devices is that moving to its environment speeds up development, because it is all supported by a third party. Palm basically said that it was too much like hard work getting the Foleo ready using that third-party environment and that it would be better off sticking with the roll-your-own software used in the rest of the company:

"I would also like to thank the developers who have supported our Foleo efforts. They have been loyal to Palm and have worked hard to deliver some compelling solutions on the Foleo platform. I know that they will understand that the right thing to do for the long run is to focus on one platform that will live for years, rather than invest energy in a one-off solution."

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