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At MWC, ACCESS Battles to Stay Relevant

Fri Feb 20, 2009 - 3:38 PM EST - By Annie Latham


ACCESS CO., the global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and "beyond-PC" markets (and the provider of the OS that is powering the Palm Centro and other formerly known as Palm OS-devices), has been working to make itself relevant in a world full of alternate mobile platforms (i.e. webOS, Windows Mobile, Google Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc.).

At the Mobile World Congress being held this week in Barcelona, they announced and demonstrated a broad range of mobile solutions, including Version 3.0 of the Access Linux Platform (ALP), which was announced in October.

The big deal about ALP is apparently support for "Hollywood-style" graphics (including 2.5 and 3D graphics environments). Another selling point is that it adds LiMo (as in Linux Mobile) support while retaining compatibility for the legacy Garnet OS.

Breaking that down...

  • The LiMo Foundation is an industry consortium dedicated to creating the first truly open, hardware-independent, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices. It has backing from major industry leaders. In essence, ACCESS is planning for future devices... beyond Palm. Perhaps even beyond handhelds as Netbooks grow in popularity.
  • Being backwards compatible for Garnet (think Palm OS) means all those tens of thousands of apps won't necessarily go to waste when Palm EOL (end of life) smartphones running Garnet/Palm OS.

If you want to take a gander at where ACCESS is going with ALP, check out the 5-min video demo at Engadget where the OS is running on a TI Zoom OMAP34x-II Mobile Development Platform. The NetFront™ Widgets are cool.

Warning: This video has annoying pop-up ads that seem to randomly appear on the lower part of the screen. .

As they noted in their press release, ACCESS is looking at being part of the discussion for solutions that enable "a true connected life--from core networks to platforms to Internet technologies and applications, to solutions for new categories of Internet-enabled devices such as portable navigation devices, set top boxes and IPTV."

Looks like they have a solid game plan for life beyond Palm. The question is, will they find their niche in a very crowded mobile space?


Special thanks to Ryan Kairer at PalmInfoCenter for the heads-up on this.

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