Monday, August 22, 2005

Palm OS Losing Grip on the Enterprise

It must be enterpise mobility day for the media and analyst worlds as writes that Palm OS's tenuous hold in the enterprise is looking even bleaker due to market share gains by Microsoft.

Gartner analyst Todd Kort said, "I am fairly certain Palm is going to be shipping a Treo with Windows Mobile by the end of the year." This could be good news for Palm as it attempts to further infiltrate the enterprise since "Windows Mobile will allow workers to seamlessly sync-up to more of their Microsoft Office data."

Kort noted Treos currently own more than 50 percent of the smartphone market in North America, but sell poorly in the Asia Pacific region. He attributed this not to the hardware but due to the antiquated Palm OS. "Palm's current devices are based on an operating system [Palm OS] that is fast becoming obsolete. There is a lot of legacy code, no multitasking, no protected memory. It's tough to sell devices based on that OS," he remarked.

Kort did cite PalmSource's efforts to support Linux, which he believed would allow the company to place less efforts "on maintaining the Palm OS kernel." Kort said, "[PalmSource] can survive on an operating system that is less expensive [to license]. They could even have very low-end phones running on the system."