Q. Can you give some background on CMS?
A. China MobileSoft Limited is a Bermuda-based holding company, founded in 2000, which owns 100% of MobileSoft Technology (Nanjing), the Chinese operating company. MobileSoft Technology was approved as a Wholly-Foreign Owned Enterprise (“WFOE”) under Chinese law in 2001. A WFOE qualifies for government incentives and is legally treated as a domestic company in China, even though it is funded from overseas. MobileSoft Technology offers a broad range of mobile phone software, from low end to high end. CCID Consulting, an arm of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry, named the company one of the “30 Chinese Software Enterprises with the Most Growth Potential.”
Q. What are CMS' products?
A. CMS currently offers its customers a wide range of software for mobile phones, including more than a dozen phone applications, operating software for smart and feature phones, and has been developing a version of Linux optimized for mobile devices. In the future, the phone applications and phone software will be able to take advantage of the Palm OS® look and feel and data compatibility, extending the Palm OS ease-of-use to all classes of mobile phones, and will be made available worldwide. CMS and PalmSource customers will continue to be able to customize the user interface to meet the needs of their markets.
Q. Does Palm OS for Linux replace current versions of Palm OS?
A. This is an addition to our line, not a replacement. Other versions of Palm OS continue to be available. As always, we'll make decisions on their future growth path based on feedback from our licensees and other partners.
Q. Will this delay delivery of devices running Palm OS Cobalt?
A. No. Palm OS® Cobalt version 6.1 is already finished, and the software is in the hands of licensees. We expect devices based on it to ship in 2005.
Q. Why Linux?
A. PalmSource's business model has always been based on shared innovation and enabling partners to innovate. The Linux community has the same philosophy, so we think we're a good match for each other.
We think by offering Palm OS for Linux, we can attract more licensees and developers, create more new devices, and bring in more users than either could on its own. Linux has a large community of developers who innovate rapidly and support new technologies aggressively, far faster than any proprietary operating system company can on its own. We bring an award-winning user interface, software frameworks-based on the best of Palm OS® and BeOS®, a large base of professional and consumer applications, and a community of more than 25 million enthusiastic users and over 360,000 registered developers. We believe we can help mobile Linux move beyond the embedded space, and grow rapidly in the consumer and enterprise mobile markets.
We believe that together we'll have the technological and market critical mass to challenge, and beat, even the biggest proprietary operating system companies in the mobile market.
Q. Will existing applications continue to run?
A. We intend to continue to offer the Palm OS® Application Compatibility Environment (PACE), allowing properly written Palm OS 68k applications to run on future versions of the operating system.
Q. When will Palm OS for Linux ship?
A. We intend to provide more information at our developer conference in the Spring.
Q. If you're not shipping yet, why announce now that you’ll support Linux?
A. Our partners -- developers, licensees, operators, chip vendors, and so on -- need to know the long-term future of our software. The development cycle for mobile devices can be very long (for example, some of our licensees plan products up to two years ahead). This happens with almost all platforms. For example, Symbian has announced Symbian OS version 8, but most Symbian products are still based on Symbian 6. And Microsoft has been talking about the next version of Windows for years.