Palm: OS X is Too Fat to Run Well on Phones

Illustration for article titled Palm: OS X is Too Fat to Run Well on Phones

I usually don't repeat the obvious competitive mudslinging, but there's some truth to Palm's statements that Palm Pre's web OS is a generation younger and specifically designed for phones. Here's what Newsweek heard:

Palm's aging operating system, Palm OS, was originally created for a relatively simple personal organizer; it was then added to and patched up to do things like power a cell phone-a task it was never intended to perform. It was a bit like using a lawn-mower engine to build a go-kart, then adding a bigger chassis and turning the go-kart into a real car, then turning that into a plane, and then trying to make the plane fly to the moon. Palm needed a fresh start.

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As for the iPhone:

It's much slower; Rubinstein and his team say that's because the OS X code is not lean enough to run swiftly on a mobile device's relatively tiny processor and small memory footprint. And you can only do one thing at a time.

Apple introduced OS X for its personal computers in 2001, but pieces of the system trace their roots back to the 1980s, when they were used in the operating software of computers made by Jobs's other computer company, NeXT. Palm sees an opportunity to come out with something newer, better and-perhaps most impressive to gadget geeks-faster. A lot faster. "We're already four times faster than the iPhone, and we're still optimizing," McNamee boasts.

Palm expects people will keep 15 to 20 applications open at the same time.

A great feature, with lots of side story.
[Dan Lyons on the Palm Pre]

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DISCUSSION

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Great so I can apparently run 15-20 apps at the same time on the Pre- but it only has one screen and I'm not an octopus. The iPhone can run more than one app at a time. Granted that privilege is only reserved for Apple's own native apps- email, music and Safari- but that's not to say they won't allow that functionality to 3rd party apps in the future. And anyway most apps will suspend when minimized and pick up where you left off when re-launch and the process is pretty quick- no lengthy loading times.

I'm not writing off the Pre and Palm do raise some valid points. Plus decent competition from them and Android will only speed up and enhance the development of the whole smartphone industry.

Apple entered the mobile fray late on and many predicted they'd fail or would never seriously compete against the giants like Nokia, Samsung etc.

But in the 2 years the iPhone has been to market they've managed to stir the whole industry into a frenzy of innovation and product development to try and compete against them and the might of the iPhone.

Sure the iPhone lacks common features found in other smartphones but Apple has taken a market that was primarily aimed at gadget/computer geeks and made it accessible and cool to the masses- No longer is installing apps, connecting to Wi-Fi networks and accessing Emails etc seen as needing an IT degree. They've simplified the UI and taken away much of the fear the average Joe has about these phones.

So the Palm Pre might have an awesome OS and win the mind, but Apple has managed to win the heart of many