Access, owners of the Palm OS now known as Garnet, have released a version of that platform for the Nokia Internet tablets N810, N800 and N770, providing access to the thousands of Palm applications still out there.
The release is a free download, and prominently labelled "beta", but can be installed alongside the pre-installed Linux-based OS and run when needed. Users are invited to report applications which work, and any that don't, but Access is promoting the software as being able to run 30,000+ Palm OS apps.
Of course, Access is supposed to be working on their Access Inc's mobile Linux Project (ALP), which would see the Palm OS ported to a Linux kernel and remains a work in progress.
We recently portrayed Palm OS development as dead, only to be lambasted by StyleTap, creators of the Palm OS emulator for Windows Mobile. According to StyleTap their emulator isn't just used for running legacy applications, but is enabling the development of new apps as well as improvements to old ones, by companies and programmers who like the platform.
StyleTap showed us a Symbian version of their emulator at the recent Symbian Show, apparently developed in response to customer demand, so it would seem that Palm OS is the platform that just won't die. It must have hurt Symbian that every visitor to the show was scanned with a Palm-OS-based handheld; demonstrating just how pervasive the platform remains.
Nokia tablets aren't sold in huge numbers, but companies considering the future of their Palm-based deployments may well be heartened by having an additional hardware platform supported. That could well be important when Access, and/or Palm, finally have Palm OS resting on a Linux base.
But at worst this means that owners of a Nokia tablet can play a decent game of Go - something which remains unique to the Palm platform. ®