"Palm Inc was considering Linux as the foundation of the
next-generation PalmOS as recently as last spring, sources tell us.
Palm eventually acquired Be Inc's development team last August, but
internal discussions on the viability of a Linux-based handheld OS
were taking place as recently as fifteen months ago. These were
squashed by the lawyers, who concluded that Palm couldn't reconcile
the GPL with the in house view of intellectual property.
"'Palm had a Not Invented Here syndrome in spades,' a former
staffer tells us, and the company spent much of 2000 indecisiveness
reigned over what should succeed PalmOS.
"Late in 1999 Palm and Symbian had agreed to base the
next-generation PalmOS on Symbian's kernel, promising developers
new APIs within months, but the discussions went nowhere. (Going
open source doesn't necessarily compromise one's IP: as Mozilla
demonstrates. And both Sharp and Samsung have marketed Linux-based