Palm unveiled yesterday not the release date of the Palm Pre on Sprint, but interesting information for developers.
Besides expanding its early access program for the Palm Mojo Software Development Kit (SDK), announcing a Palm branded cloud service; Palm also announced that the Palm Pre will get a Palm OS Emulator Application. The application, called "Classic," will be available for purchase when the Palm Pre phone becomes available from Sprint in the first half of 2009.
Most Palm OS applications are supposed to run on webOS Palm Pre. Now this move is very smart, besides the charging money for it thing.
Palm is not developing the Palm OS emulator in-house. A company called MotionApps is. This is I assume the main reason to charge for it. To be able to run Palm OS apps on the Palm Pre is great for Palm addicts, but also great for developers. All the programmers that developed for Palm OS back in the day can bring their apps to the Palm Pre and jump start their App sales.
In parallel they can start porting their apps to WebOS and develop more native Apps.
The Palm OS Emulator could be crucial to get a significant amount of developers onto the webOS train. It will be a tough battle with the Apple iPhone, but if things work out the way they look, Palm could beat Android very early on in terms of App availability.
Via this Palm announcement. More Palm Pre News.