Palm Pre, Meet Palm OS

By  |  Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Palm ClassicI’m in Las Vegas at the CTIA Wireless show, but one of the day’s more intriguing tidbits of phone-related news was announced back in San Francisco at Web 2.0 Expo: Palm will be working with MotionApps, a third-party developer, to make Classic, a Palm OS emulator available for its upcoming Palm Pre phone. The move makes sense given that Palm surely wants to devote all its mental bandwidth to its new webOS, but there are surely a fair number of long-time Palm users out there for whom the idea of running existing apps on the Pre is an appealing security blanket. (The whole scenario is roughly similar to what Apple did with the early versions of OS X, which had the capability to run old Mac OS apps in emulation mode.)

I confess to a basic innate skepticism when it comes to emulators in general: None of them run everything perfectly, and most of the power of the Pre, like that of the iPhone, will come from its integration of new hardware, software, and services. And many of my favorite old Palm apps don’t even run that well (or at all) on modern Treos–they were too tied to the guts of earlier versions of the Palm OS. But MobileApps says it’ll publish a list of compatible Palm OS apps, and I’ll be on the lookout to see how comprehensive it is.

Palm’s news today also involved details relating to the rollout of Mojo, the webOS SDK, to developers. Ultimately, getting that right will be ten thousand times more important to the Pre’s fate than a Palm OS emulator could ever be.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. tenpoundhammer Says:

    I really think that the Pre is finished before it’s even gotten a start. My problems are listed here . I do find an Emulator really interesting. Are they setting the stage for more emulators? Possibly and iphone or android emulator. What about emulators for the NES or SNES. It does set an exciting precedent!

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