Software Briefs: PalmSource, COBOL

Software Briefs: PalmSource, COBOL

State of economy blamed for PalmSource layoffs

PalmSource, the operating system unit of Palm, is cutting 18 per cent of its staff across the board. The layoffs are being blamed on overall economic woes. Gabi Schindler, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at PalmSource, said all affected employees had been informed, but leaving dates would vary from one employee to another. “We are subject to the same economic conditions, for better or worse, that all companies are,” Schindler said. PalmSource develops and licenses PalmOS, which is used in PDAs (personal digital assistants) and other devices from Palm, Sony and other manufacturers.

COBOL vendor believes the language will live on

Like it or not, companies will be dealing with applications based on Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) for decades to come, according to Gerold Ekstrom, vice-president of strategic directions for Acucorp. Ekstrom told a software transformation seminar he had been listening to proclamations of the death of COBOL since the early 1970s but it remained a viable and evolving part of the corporate IT landscape. He said the lingering economic downturn contributed to COBOL’s longevity. But the COBOL market had its risks, he said. A major one was the advancing age of its experienced programmers. The IT industry had shown little desire to train new COBOL coders, and universities treated the language as deader than Latin.

Web services becoming reality, says IDC

Web services will become the dominant distributed computing architecture during the next 10 years and will eventually define the fabric of computing, according to market analyst IDC. Software providers are expected to peak first in 2007 but will decline as users build out platforms. Hardware is expected to reach the top of its curve in 2009 with professional services at its height in 2011.

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