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InformationWeek: Linux In The Palm Of Your Hand

Jul 13, 2001, 22:30 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Levitt)

Here's another backgrounder on handheld Linux with an interesting quote from Agenda's Brad LaRonde near the top:

"But even today, commercially available Linux PDAs and associated application support are hard to come by. "We're at the beginning, the birth of Linux on PDAs," says Bradley LaRonde, CEO of Agenda Computing Inc., which in March became the first company to ship a Linux PDA to the U.S. market. While LaRonde, a staunch open-source advocate, sees the closed-source licensing of Palm OS and Windows CE as their primary drawbacks, he also questions Palm's ability to move ahead.

"Palm is stuck with operating-system technology that was out-of-date when they wrote it," LaRonde says. "Palm's applications are built with the limitations of the Palm PDA. Things like the pointer and memory-management schemes are inherently limited."

But with an estimated 85% share of the PDA market, Palm's consistency and simplicity have served it well despite its lack of robust multitasking, a high-resolution screen, and CPU horsepower. Palm has been careful to maintain a consistent API with the Palm OS and has pretty much standardized on the Motorola Dragonball processor for hardware implementations. As a result, applications have flourished."

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