Palm with Linux at Las Vegas Show

Jan 10, 2009

One of the highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) just ending in Las Vegas is Palm's offering of its WebOS for mobile devices. A fitting name for its coming attraction in mid-2009 that uses this OS is the Palm Pre, to be offered exclusively through Sprint.

Palm has added its contribution to mobile platforms. The WebOS is based on a Linux kernel, according to a Palm spokesperson's response to a Linux Magazine Online query, although they're keeping specifics close to the chest. To be sure, the user interface will likely involve the CSS, XHTML and JavaScript web technologies.

Much like the Android system currently offered exclusively by T-Mobile on its G1, WebOS keeps a consistent online presence: calendars, mail and contacts are kept up to date. Palm's Pre brings these components together using its Synergy feature through a 3.1" touch screen with 24-bit color depth and 320x480 resolution. Like the Android, a full keyboard slides out.

The Palm Pre smart phone with WebOS has the requisite features: UMTS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB provide the connectivity. A GPS and handling sensors for ambient light, proximity, and accelerometer are built in (the display dims in certain lights, turns off at ear level and adjusts to the device's orientation). Memory is 8 Bytes, 7.4 of which are available at any one time.

Dimensions of the device when closed are 2.3"x3.9"x0.67" and it weighs in under 5 ounces. Palm is hoping for its release mid-2009 in the U.S., with a version for the UMTS market to follow. Further details are here. For WebOS developers, Palm also announced a Mojo Application Framework and Mojo SDK.

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