Palm to unveil OS 5 with multitasking capabilities

Palm's next-generation operating system, OS 5, which uses the ARM (Advanced RISC Machines)-compliant OMAP (Open Multimedia Applications Platform) family of processors from Texas Instruments Inc., will be unveiled at PalmSource the week of Feb. 4 in San Jose, Calif.

Several InfoWorld sources in the development community say they are both pleased with some of the new features and disappointed at what it still lacks. Palm officials declined to comment.

Three significant improvements include the ability to use multitasking and multithreading in applications, improved performance using OS 5 with the faster processor, and compatibility with current applications.

On the negative side, Palm will not leverage the multimedia capabilities of its recently purchased Be operating system, meaning such things as MP3 will not be available. Perhaps most aggravating to Palm users, so-called Hacks, is news that utilities written by third parties to expand the capabilities of the current OS will not be supported in OS 5. For example, it is a Hack utility that allows users to touch the title bar and get a dropdown menu.

"We were told that every single Hack will not work in the future," said a developer.

However, OS 5 will give Palm some enterprise-level capabilities, a source said.

"The multithreaded features will allow the development of peer-to-peer, wireless applications for data conferencing. In a warehouse, workers counting the SKUs (stocking keeping units) with a laser scanner can beam them into a spreadsheet and keep in synch with other workers in other aisles," the developer said.

Faster performance will also mean that when executing a function on the Palm, the user will not have to wait, sometimes as much as 10 seconds, to regain control of the handheld.

Backward compatibility will be addressed in OS 5 by running the older OS in emulation mode.

"Some of the old programs will run faster, some will run slower, and some won't run at all," said another developer. By deploying an ARM-compliant processor, the new OS will also give Palm the ability to gain a foothold in the cell phone market.

Developers said users will see Palm devices running OS 5 in the third quarter.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?