Speaking at an investor conference today, Palm CEO Edward Colligan has made official what many already suspected: the company won't be making any new handsets that run the Palm OS and instead will focus on its forthcoming webOS as well as Windows Mobile devices for business users. He also confirmed that Palm will launch its new Pre smartphone on Sprint, but expects other U.S. carriers to offer the device in 2010.

It's been a long wait for Palm to join the modern era of mobile computing, but until the company unveiled the Pre last month, it wasn't clear that it had any kind of viable strategy for replacing its ancient Palm OS. However, the fact that the new platform has been built from the ground up also means that older applications will not run in webOS, and the company will certainly want developers to start creating apps fast in order to compete with Apple's 15,000+ and growing catalog.

Perhaps for this reason the Pre will not only have a central application storefront at launch, but it will also be able to load unofficial apps made by developers who don't wish to go through the official store. Finally, referring to the possibility of a patent battle with Apple, Colligan said that there are no pending legal actions between the two at the moment but noted that Palm has amassed 1,500 patents over 15 years just in case.