PalmOS Operating System (PDA)

900 words [ 5 Screenshots ] [ 12 Versions ] [ 3 Weblinks ] - Last update: 2023-12-22 Page created: 2004-04-03 [SB]


Palm Computing

Palm OS Screenshot The company Palm Computing was founded by Jeff Hawkins in 1992 and Donna Dubinsky was appointed as CEO. At first Palm develops the applications software for numerous handheld models. Palm Computing can be defined as a pioneer in the market of mobile and cordless small computersWith the self developed operating system Palm OSŪ for handhelds it is possible to having permanently important data handily and mobile available. Palm OS works as a personal assistant for the information management. From more than 7,000 applications in April 2001 the number has increased to more than 18,000 in July 2003. The combination of Palm OS with a handheld makes the intuitive and simple operation possible at high battery runtime. Because Palm OS resides in a ROM, the hardware reset puts the PDA into the origin status, all modifications and after installed applications are removed from that battery buffered non-persistent memory. Palm OS has a flexible, open architecture, the maximum resolution on the monochrome LCD are only 160x160 pixels.

Palm was bought in June 1996 of U.S.-Robotics. The first Palm Pilot was released in March 1996. In May 1997 the 3Com Corp. acquire the company U.S. Robotics with Palm Computing. The Palm III organizer is introduced to the public in March 1998. Palm OS 3.x uses features of the AMX kernel of the company Kadak. Because of licence conditions only singletasking is possible for applications. To solve this restriction, Palm OS 5.x uses the own developed Kernel MCK with the ability of multitasking for applications.

Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky leave 3Com corporation in November 1998 and set up the company Handspring, Inc. which becomes a licensee of 3Coms Palm OS. In March 2000 the company Palm Inc. is founded by 3Com as an independent subsidiary firm, main field of enterprise is the development of Palm OS based PDA devices. The market share of Palm OS was 65 percent in 2000 (source: Gartner). Important business and technology partners are for example Handspring, IBM, Kyocera, Sony, Samsung and Symbol Technologies. Handheld models with DragonBall or ARM CPUs (supported since Palm OS 4.0) are the Palm IIIe, IIIx, IIIxe, IIIc, V, Vx and m100.

The foundation of the subsidiary Palm was completed successfully at the beginning of 2002. The company Palm was renamed in PalmSource (Inc.) in May 2002. Palm OS was ready for further device manufacturers for independently licensing. The device manufacturer Palm Solutions announced in June 2003 to take over the company Handspring. Palm had completed the take-over of Handspring in August 2003 and renamed for the area of hardware to PalmOne and for software and Palm OS to PalmSource. Mayn investor at PalmSource is Sony. PalmSource buys China MobileSoft (CMS) in January 2005.

Update July 2003: Till now, Palm OS was sold almost 30 million times, more than 260,000 developers support Palm OS and applications. New handheld models are the Zire 71, Tungsten C and Tungsten T with an ARM9 CPU.

The worldwide sales of PDA devices in quantities spread out as follows in comparison of the previous year to the 1st quarter 2004 (source: Gartner).
Palm OS fell from 49% (1Q03) to 41% (1Q04), Windows CE got itself of 37% by 3%, devices with RIM (Research In Motion) increased from 3% to 15%. Devices with Linux stayed approximately constantly with 2%, other operating systems fell from 9% to 2%.

Number of Developers (estimated, Source: Palm)

1998, Dec. 3,500
1999, June 13,700
2000, March 41,000
2000, April 65,000
2000, Sept. 100,000
2001, Jan. 140,000
2001, 170,000
2003, 260,000
2004, 300,000

Palm Vx Foto(a) Button for contrast control
(b) On-/Off button and Lighting
(c) Display
(d) Holder for the pen
(e) Write range with the system symbols,
Application Launcher, Menu, Calculator and Search
(f) Key field and scroll button

The Palm computer had a sensitive display area which serves at the same time for the representation. By the key field the direct access to the calendar, adress book, task list and nbotices is possible. To install new programs (file format *.prc) a PC with installed Palm desktop software is required, which is used to install the programs about the Hotsync process. The synchronisation of the notes and dates for example between the PC and Palm happens the same time, the deinstallation of programs can be done directly in Palm OS.

Website 2007 PalmSource belongs to the Japanese software provider Access since September 2005. Palm OS is renamed in Garnet OS on January 25th, 2007, old equipment with a Palm OS and new equipment of Access are indicated by the logo "Access Powered". Till now, the version 6 of Palm OS was not successful.
GarnetOS supports different screen resolutions like 160x160 to 320x480 pixel in grey color or 16-bit colour depth. Wireless connections, IrDA, Bluetooth and WLAN are available for data interchange. The architecture based on 32-bit ARM 4T processors, the 16-bit ARM version is also supported. Executing of 68k applications allows the Pace (Palm Application Compatibility Environment) utility.
This operating system needs at least 4 mbyte flash ROM and 1 mbyte RAM to work. The GarnetOS covers less than 300 kbytes of RAM and can manage up to 128 mbyte RAM.
The Palm OS successor "Access Linux Platform" (ALP) was published in the version 1.0 in February 2007. ALP consists of the Linux operating system, a GTK+ Toolkit and the emulation layer "Access Garnet of Virtual Machine" to execute applications for Palm OS and GarnetOS.



PalmOS Operating System (PDA) screenshot 1PalmOS Operating System (PDA) screenshot 2PalmOS Operating System (PDA) screenshot 3PalmOS Operating System (PDA) screenshot 4
PalmOS 3.5 - Start logo of PalmOSPalmOS 3.5 - Application information of PalmOSPalmOS 3.5 - System icons, time, battery load and Category selectionPalmOS 3.5 - Options display of the menu icon
PalmOS Operating System (PDA) screenshot 5
PalmOS 3.5 - eMail box


Date - Version
1996 - PalmOS 1.0
1997 - PalmOS 2.0
1998 - PalmOS 3.0
1999 - PalmOS 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
2000 - PalmOS 3.5 3.52 - need at least 16 MHz CPU and 8 mbyte RAM
2001 - PalmOS 4.0 Bluetooth able
2002 - PalmOS 4.1 bug fixes
2002 June - PalmOS 5.0 bigger Display, multimedia and telephony functions, 128 bit encryption for network connections and security applications
2003 - PalmOS 5.2 Graffiti 2 for better detection of handwriting
2004 Jan. - PalmOS 6.0 (cobalt) programmed from the scratch, new security features, better support of WLAN
2004 Sept. - Palm OS 6.1 (Cobalt) available for developers and device manufacturers
2007 Feb. - Access Linux Platform 1.0


[ ACCESS ][ palmsource ][ palm ]