Well, things just got interesting. The very evening of the App Catalog's launch of paid apps
, Palm has made a very different kind of announcement: it's going to let developers skip out on the App Catalog if they so choose. Devs will be able to submit an app to Palm, who will turn around and give them a URL for open distribution of the app over the web -- without a review process getting in the way! The App Catalog will still exist for those who want to use it of course, with a $50 entrance fee to get an app inside -- and we're guessing it'll remain the only way to distribute paid apps -- but the new URL distribution should decentralize things just a little bit. In other good news, Palm will be dropping the $99 annual developer fee for folks building open source apps, and hopefully that free ride applies to App Catalog entry as well, though now there's web distribution to make it less of a sticking point. Palm's also going to open up its analytic data to developers, and even is giving away Pres and Touchstones to the audience members of the little shindig privy to this announcement -- clearly the company is making a strong play for developers, and who doesn't like to be loved?