IBM and Palm to co-develop wireless business applications for PalmOS

IBM and Palm plan to co-develop a suite of business applications for Palm-based devices that could boost the viability of PalmOS...

IBM and Palm plan to co-develop a suite of business applications for Palm-based devices that could boost the viability of PalmOS as an alternative to the Microsoft PocketPC system

One of the first such applications promised from the agreement is Lotus's Sametime instant messenger software. The two companies also plan to offer wireless access via Palm-based devices to IBM's business application suites.

The first release of IBM and Palm's joint work is scheduled for September. The companies will sell and market the software jointly. IBM, as part of the agreement, will also offer Palm PDAs (personal digital assistants).

IBM has, in the past, sold Palm PDAs under its own WorkPad brand, but stopped earlier this year.

The alliance is part of IBM's pervasive computing strategy to extend its applications to devices including mobile phones and handheld computers. Earlier this year, IBM launched WebSphere Everyplace Access, a middleware software platform to extend WebSphere applications to mobile devices.

WebSphere Everyplace Access is aimed at companies with a large mobile workforce. Energy companies, for example, can use the IBM software to give workers in the field access to applications and information on systems at the office using a mobile device. IBM competitors and specialised vendors sell similar applications.

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