Palm to release new faster, secure system software

CIOL Bureau
New Update

SAN JOSE: Palm Inc., the leading maker of handheld computers and software, on

Tuesday said its software unit plans to deliver later this summer a faster, more

secure version of its operating system, which will enable device makers to build

enhanced screens and audio qualities.


PalmSource, Palm's software division, said it has released to developers

preliminary copies of Palm OS 5, which will be used with ARM-compliant chips,

made by semiconductor makers such as Intel Corp., Motorola Inc. and Texas

Instruments Inc.

Palm's OS 5 marries the Palm platform with ARM core-based processing

architecture, a powerful handheld computing standard of Britain's ARM Ltd. The

architecture is used in so-called "smart" phones, Web browsers, and

other devices.

The move follows Palm's previously stated plan to allow hardware

manufacturers to create more innovative devices to run on the Palm OS operating

system, as well as spurring companies to build more advanced applications for

the devices.


Analysts says the new software should help Palm better compete with Microsoft

Inc., maker of PocketPC software. While the vast majority of handhelds run on

Palm's software, many corporate users desire PocketPC-based models, which

generally boast greater computing power and audio and visual tools.

That is significant because corporate users tend to pay more for their

devices, at a higher profit margin, and often order additional software and


"Palm's migration to ARM is critical to meeting the Microsoft PocketPC

threat and we expect Palm to roll out ARM-based PDAs while maintaining

comparatively lower ASPs (Average Selling Prices) than PocketPC vendors,"

said UBS Warburg analyst Don Young, in a note to clients.

Palm said the new operating system brings to mobile handheld devices 128-bit

systemwide data-encryption security services, the ability to record sound and

play CD-quality digital audio, support for higher screen resolution, and

advanced wireless options including 802.11b for connections to wireless Local

Area Networks.

(C) Reuters Limited.