ACCESS Linux Platform, the mobile software stack (and sort-of successor to Palm OS Garnet) that has failed to garner enough hardware partners to make a splash in the marketplace thus far. The Japanese firm is partnering with NTT DoCoMo and ESTEEMO -- NEC's joint venture with Panasonic -- to build a standard Linux stack that incorporates ALP while still using the carrier's existing Linux-based MOAP(L) platform. That's not all, though: they're tasked with making the new platform compatible with the LiMo Foundation's specifications, too. A tall order? Maybe, but it's likely an order that has to happen -- NTT DoCoMo's involved in all sorts of Linux initiatives, and it makes good sense to bite the bullet and have some company tie it all together. The one piece of the puzzle missing here is DoCoMo's tie-up with the Open Handset Alliance, and as far as we can tell, this announcement steers entirely clear of Android's domain. Confusing, yes -- but for a company used to releasing 23 handsets in one fell swoop, it's business as usual.