"Five years from now most phones on 3G networks will be running Linux. In three years we will have major penetration," he said.
But they also cannot afford to keep developing their own software or to keep using existing third-party applications, he contended. 3G phones require advanced functionalities such as multi-threading which are hard to design.
"The software model that has been in existence for the past five years is in the process of breaking," said McVeigh.
PalmSource develops the Palm OS software that runs on PalmOne's handheld computers and the Treo phone. The company will change its name and the name of the software within the next four years.
Although the Palm OS software had a strong start powering PDAs, that market keeps shrinking. PalmSource revealed a strategic refocusing on mobile phones at its developer conference last year.
Although the current version of the Palm OS software is a proprietary product, the software developer plans to replace that with Linux. To start off the open source transition, PalmSource earlier this year acquired China Mobilesoft.
"We will converge our focus over time," said McVeigh. "Our goal is to bring the advantage of the ease of use and apps [of the Palm OS platform] to the open world of Linux, and work with that open world because users want more control over their destiny."
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