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Palm teams up with IBM for Java apps

Enterprise Java applications will be able to run directly on Palm Tungsten handhelds now that Palm has licensed IBM's WME (WebSphere Micro Environment) Java runtime environment.

The deal is part of a broader effort by IBM to bring the benefits of Java to a wide variety of devices, said Joe DaMassa, vice-president of marketing in IBM's pervasive computing unit.

IBM added that Nokia will offer developers a tool set to work with the Eclipse open-source development platform, originally created by IBM, and that QNX Software Systems is to integrate WME into its QNX Neutrino real-time operating system.

QNX Neutrino is used in consumer electronics, retail automation systems and other platforms.

Expanding Java from servers and PCs to other kinds of devices should make developers more productive by letting them use their existing skills to write applications for a variety of platforms, DaMassa said.

Palm will offer WME on all its Tungsten devices, a line of enterprise-focused handhelds, which include the Tungsten T, the wireless Lan-equipped Tungsten C and the Tungsten W, which has GSM/GPRS wireless capability.

The runtime environment, an implementation of J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition) that takes up about 600Kbytes to 700Kbytes of memory, may be extended later to Palm's consumer-focused Zire hardware line if a demand for it appears, said Chris Morgan, director of strategic alliances at Palm Solutions Group.

Applications written with any Java development tool will be able to run on the Tungstens through WME, but IBM's WebSphere Studio Device Developer will be optimised for creating Palm-based Java applications, the companies said.

Palm will also offer a free development toolkit that will work with WebSphere Studio Device Developer.

WME will become available as a download for Tungsten users in September and will ship with Tungsten devices starting early next year.

 


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