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Palm unveils Linux "Pre" smartphone

Jan 11, 2009, 06:03 (2 Talkback[s])

"Considering Palm's missteps in recent years, some were expecting the company to stumble again with its long-awaited, Linux-derived "Nova" operating system (OS). Yet on first glance, the WebOS distribution and the Pre phone it runs on appear to hold up just fine next to high-end smartphone platforms like Apple's iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry Storm, and Palm's fellow Linux traveler, the Android-based HTC G1 phone. (More on the Pre is available farther below, and more on Palm's tumultuous history over the last decade is available in last week's pre-release coverage, here.)

"The Linux-derived WebOS leverages industry standard technologies, including CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript, says Palm, presumably using a technology such as Movial's just-open-sourced Browser Dbus Bridge to give privileged Javascript access to operating system-level APIs. The UI itself is apparently rendered by Webkit, according to reports. Real details about WebOS will not be available before Palm begins distributing the Pre, though software developers may be able to get early access under NDA (non-disclosure agreement)."

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