Palm has reportedly removed the original PalmOS ROM from webOS 2.0, meaning that the Classic emulator app from MotionApps will no longer function. Because of this development, the company has decided to cease selling its product immediately, although it will continue to provide support for existing customers. Moreover, it has actually donated the entire Classic source code to Palm itself in the hopes that the HP subsidiary will be able to incorporate its functionality into future builds of the platform. Talk about feeding the hand that bit you.
Classic enables owners of legacy PalmOS software — a platform now owned and licensed by Access Co. Ltd. of Japan — to run those programs in an emulated environment on webOS 1.x devices such as the Pre, Pixi, and their Plus successors, but not the Pre 2, which ships preloaded with webOS 2.0. Considering that older Palm devices sported all of 8MB of memory, it seems like reintroducing the ROM to the operating system would be a technically trivial matter; we suspect that HP simply didn’t want to pay any more licensing fees for a feature it probably considered minor and decreasing in utility.
Still, there was obviously enough demand for emulator functionality that MotionApps was able to make a business of it, and Palm comes out looking even worse because it allegedly gave the developer no notice that the ROM would be absent from this latest iteration of the platform. This one seems to have all the makings of an online protest campaign, complete with virtual petition and maybe even some mailed-in gemstones of the Garnet variety.