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Intimidation, perhaps? Palm has hired Paul Mercer to begin working on something for Palm. Mercer isn't an average joe, he is a designer and former Apple computer engineer. Mercer joined up with Apple in 1987 and his design resume includes Version 7 of Mac finder. He also founded Pixo, a software tools firm that created a system used by the Apple designers that designed the iPod interface. Recently, Mercer worked on the Samsung Z5. He is known as a designer that can take complicated systems (smartphones?) and make them very accessible and simple.

What does this mean for Palm? Well, the obvious answer is potentially a new OS for the Treo smartphones. Palm finally gave up on Palm OS, and then reluctantly switched to Windows Mobile, but I could see a new custom or hybrid OS being developed to compete with the iPhone OS and GUI.

Palm Responds to the iPhone [NY Times]