Palm's new chairman, Jon Rubinstein, has admitted that his company is 18 months away from introducing smartphones running a new Linux-based operating system.
This pushes back by half a year the expected launch of products running this OS. Earlier this month, Palm Inc.'s CEO Ed Colligan said that they would on the market before the end of 2008. Rubinstein's comments to Dow Jones now makes it clear that this won't happen until spring of 2009.
More about Palm's next operating system
Palm is not going to be a licensee of any other company's mobile operating system, but is developing its own that will be based on Linux. This will include important parts of the Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS Garnet).
The company has refused to give the name for this, although the smart money says that it will be called the Palm OS, as Palm, Inc. now owns all the rights to the "Palm" brand. It is therefore generally referred to as Palm OS II.
Colligan says the upcoming operating system will be as easy to use as the current one, and Palm has promised in the past it will be able to run legacy Palm OS software.
Palm has a new Chairman of the Board because a deal announced this summer has now been completed, and a private equity firm, Elevation Partners, has purchased 27% of the company for $325 million. Rubinstein becoming Chairman was part of the arrangement.
In addition, Rubinstein, former head of the iPod division at Apple, will lead the company's product-development efforts.