PalmSource has announced that PalmOS licensees can use Research in Motion's (Rim) BlackBerry wireless e-mail software in their PalmOS handhelds and smartphones.
Rim will bring its popular wireless e-mail software to Palm devices through the BlackBerry Connect licensing programme. Users can send and receive e-mail from a wireless device and access corporate data with the software, which Rim usually combines with its own hardware.
The two companies will work together to promote the BlackBerry software to enterprise customers where the technology makes sense, said Michael Higashi, director of OS marketing for PalmSource.
As PalmSource prepares to break away from parent company Palm, it needs to increase its standing among corporate customers who are willing to pay more money than consumers for a handheld device that connects them with their corporate data, said Alex Slawsby, an analyst with IDC.
Those corporate customers require a flexible handheld that can work with different e-mail providers and back-end systems. The BlackBerry software is just another choice that PalmOS can offer through its licensees, Higashi said.
Palm recently announced that it would delay the expected spinoff of PalmSource until after the third quarter.
"[PalmSource is] moving from an OS developer sold into unconnected handhelds into one that has an eye on a connected future. The future is not standalone handhelds, Slawsby said.
RIM rival Good Technology recently signed an agreement to work with Dell Computer to market its GoodLink wireless e-mail software to Dell customers.
The companies will also work on bringing Good's wireless technology to Dell's Axim handhelds, based on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.
Good and PalmSource have an agreement to promote GoodLink software on Palm OS handhelds.
Rim also announced the BlackBerry Connect licensing programme at CTIA in March. One of the first partnerships was struck with smartphone OS supplier Symbian.