I usually don't repeat the obvious competitive mudslinging, but there's some truth to Palm's statements that Palm Pre's web OS is a generation younger and specifically designed for phones. Here's what Newsweek heard:
Palm's aging operating system, Palm OS, was originally created for a relatively simple personal organiser; it was then added to and patched up to do things like power a cell phone—a task it was never intended to perform. It was a bit like using a lawn-mower engine to build a go-kart, then adding a bigger chassis and turning the go-kart into a real car, then turning that into a plane, and then trying to make the plane fly to the moon. Palm needed a fresh start.
It's much slower; Rubinstein and his team say that's because the OS X code is not lean enough to run swiftly on a mobile device's relatively tiny processor and small memory footprint. And you can only do one thing at a time.
Apple introduced OS X for its personal computers in 2001, but pieces of the system trace their roots back to the 1980s, when they were used in the operating software of computers made by Jobs's other computer company, NeXT. Palm sees an opportunity to come out with something newer, better and—perhaps most impressive to gadget geeks—faster. A lot faster. "We're already four times faster than the iPhone, and we're still optimising," McNamee boasts.
Palm expects people will keep 15 to 20 applications open at the same time.
A great feature, with lots of side story.
[Dan Lyons on the Palm Pre]