Palmsource's chief executive argued in his keynote address at Comdex in Las Vegas that many of obstacles to wirelessly connected devices had been resolved, paving the pay for a new era in computing.
While acknowledging that security and bandwidth issues remain a problem, particularly for IT managers, David Nagel said the next release of Palm OS version 6 - codenamed Sahara - specifically addresses the shortcomings in handheld security.
He also claimed that 1.5 billion people will be within reach of high-bandwidth networks by the end of the year.
"The next generation of computing, without too much hyperbole, can touch every person on the planet," Nagel said. "Perhaps this will be the ultimate in computing."
Among the many devices demonstrated during his talk, the handheld Zodicac from Tapware got the most enthusiastic response form the audience. The entertainment device, which is smaller than a peperback book, has Bluetooth networking built in and allows two players of a racing car game to compete.
Nagel said devices like the Zodiac, which also has standard features such as a celandar and address book, meet the criteria for what the market wants. These include the ability to handle general-purpose tasks as well as those specifically designed for the device, such as built-in entertainment, geographical location and messaging.
To manage these devices more effectively, IT managers will need to test them on their networks and make sure they are all based on a single platform, he added.
Mark Hall writes for Computerworld