Saving Palm

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 24, 2007

Since writing a column about the new Centro and the future of Palm, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the struggling handset maker must do to ensure its future. The enormous challenge facing Palm is grafting its deservedly popular user interface onto a modern operating system core that will replace Palm’s old and creaky code. That PalmSource, Access, and now Palm itself have been struggling, without notable success, to do this for nearly five years is not encouraging.

Maybe the best hope for Palm would be if incoming executive chairman Jon Rubenstein, Apple’s former hardware guru, could somehow lure Avie Tevanian out of retirement to spearhead the effort. The challenge facing Palm has some similarities to situation at Apple when Tevanian took charge of its OS project in 1997. Apple, too, was struggling with the mess left by failed efforts to modernize Mac OS, and OS X was the brilliant result. (Interestingly, David Nagel managed the abortive efforts at both Apple and PalmSoft.)

Tevanian, who was never one for publicity, has kept an extremely low profile since leaving Apple in 2006.

Reader Comments

Scott Lawton (Blogcosm)

October 25, 2007 4:24 AM

Typo: cgharge

Steve Wildstrom

October 25, 2007 8:09 AM

@Scott Lawton: Thanks. It's fixed.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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