Palm to Debut Nova Operating System Next Month

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Having seen its market share dwindle during iPhone’s reign and with BlackBerry not too far behind, Palm Inc. is gearing up to make a comeback with its new operating system, code name Nova.

Palm will unveil the software, which it hopes will compete with systems such as Google’s Android, on Jan. 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The efforts to bring the Nova to market are being orchestrated by executive Jon Rubinstein, who led the development of the iMac and the iPod for Apple. The funding is coming from Elevation Partners, a private equity group ran by former Apple finance head Fred Anderson and financier Roger McNamee and which owns 70 percent of Palm shares.

Although Palm has struggled as of late, it does have relationships in the electronics business and introduced breakthrough products such as the original Palm PDA and Treo smartphone, which paved the way for the BlackBerry and the iPhone.

"The next 10 years is all about the transition from notebook to mobile computing,” Rubinstein said.

In the short term, meanwhile, Palm’s financial performance is off, with sales nearly 50 percent short of analysts’ projections for the current quarter. The company has laid off 10 percent of its workforce and some analysts are skeptical that the Nova is going to do much to turn things around.


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