PalmSource eyes Linux and open source options

Although appointed only yesterday, Tim McVeigh, the interim CEO of PalmSource has already begun to hint at big changes.

McVeigh said that the changes at the top of the company, which makes the PalmOS for PDAs and smartphones, were more than merely a change in personnel. In the past year, PalmSource has replaced its CFO and its chairman and named two new board members.

He revealed that high up on the agenda is a move to an open source operating system, possibly based on Linux.

‘I can tell you several major players have already contacted me and what they tell me is this: they want an open alternative – no closed, proprietary systems,’ he told the Associated Press.

One analyst has suggested that the most logical outcome of the changes at PalmSource and yesterday’s other announcements is that palmOne may attempt to buy the OS maker, less than two years after their amicable separation. palmOne – soon to revert to its original Palm name – will pay $150mn over the next four years for a PalmOS licence, yet PalmSource is valued at around half of that.

‘You don’t have to be a math major to figure this out,’ Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Jamie Friedman told ‘It’s cheaper to marry than to date.’

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