The story is quite complex, if you are not a Palm follower. Palm spun off PalmSource (their operating system) some time ago and launched a Treo with Windows Mobile. Then Access bought PalmSource for $324 million and pushed it even further towards Mobile Linux. Now Palm is paying Access $44 million for the license of Palm OS Garnet (the old version 5, the one that was supposed to be a transition to the version 6 that never saw the light of day, nothing to do with Mobile Linux).
So... You own an OS that everybody loves. You throw it into a separate company. You embrace a different OS that everybody hates (but you still launch a lot of devices on Palm OS, like the recently announced 680). Now you buy back an OS that is pretty much dead...
It sounds stupid, however:
- $44M is a steal if you look at the $324M Access paid for PalmSource (THAT was crazy)
- It protects your investment on the Palm OS Treo (650 and 680) and buys you time to move to a full Mobile Linux (which is a must to survive)
- It puts you in a better position to negotiate with evil Microsoft if you are thinking to add another Windows Mobile device (please don't ;-)
That's quite interesting. I look forward to seeing where they go with this...