PalmSource has responded to news that it has ended development of Palm Desktop for Mac.
In a statement, supplied to Macworld UK, the company states: "PalmSource is fortunate to have a great Palm OS developer community who provide solutions for Mac compatibility today.
"Palm OS provides an open and flexible architecture and allows its licensees to decide whether to ship a Mac compatibility solution with their Palm Powered device. One such solution is provided by Mark/Space."
The company chose to stress that the relationship between Apple and Palm has not ended, saying: "We are continuing our efforts with Apple to provide compatibility between Palm OS and Macintosh."
PalmSource's executive team features many former Apple staffers. Speaking to Macworld UK in October PalmSource vice president of business development Albert Chu talked about those experiences.
While at Apple, Chu was responsible for the Newton, which launched in January 1992. He said: "Newton was good technology. It had a lot of great features, but when we launched it, it was not launched as part of Apple."
"It was ahead of its time and was a great exploration, but was just not ready for primetime: handwriting recognition didn't work, for example."
Apple and its Mac users remain important to Palm, said Chu. "We very much value the Mac user community," he said.
Chu also hinted at Palm's now-public move to rely on third-party developers to keep Macs in the loop. "At least in the interim, we are working with third parties to ensure that Mac users have solutions for their platform and for Palm," he said.
He added that Palm's desire to maintain feature parity for users of Palm-powered devices despite their choice of platform is hindered by Apple's famed corporate secrecy.
Chu described the hurdles faced by third parties tasked with keeping pace with Apple's fast-changing OS: "Apple is very secretive with developers, and isn’t revealing when the next OS releases are due to take place, or what's on the road map. This means we need to be reactive, not proactive. This is a lot harder for us to plan for because we’re trying to get our platform to work with another platform.
"Apple's secrecy isn’t helping us plan ahead, so if we knew, for example – and I certainly understand why Apple wouldn't want to tell us – that it would release on this date with these different features, then Palm can plan for that. But we just hear about it maybe the day before, whenever – and by that time, we can't come up with everything."