Monday, January 1, 2001

PalmSource 2000 in review


The Kyocera QCP 6035 Smartphone unites the power of a cell phone and a Palm OS-based organizer. (click for larger image)

As mentioned above, Samsung Electronics announced that it had licensed the Palm OS platform for use in wireless intelligent terminals. The agreement will allow Samsung to develop a family of handheld smartphones that will be wholly compatible with all Palm OS-based applications. The first product is slated to be a CDMA handset that's expected to be available in North America in the second quarter of 2001.

Yankowski then moved on to what he called Security Phase 1, in which Palm handhelds will be used as passkeys and to perform services associated with a wallet. Possible uses include repositories for a driver's license, a passport, and credit cards. In Security Phase 2, Palm is counting on industry infrastructure to mature to the point where Palm handhelds will be used as electronic wallets, conducting secure transactions, including payments, corporate transactions, offline banking, and customized "me-commerce." VeriFone, which produces secure transaction terminals, has already announced collaboration with Palm toward this end, and Yankowski said more announcements are imminent.

Palm in the enterprise

The second day of PalmSource was kicked off with a keynote address by Palm's Chief Operating Officer, Alan Kessler. Kessler's focus was Palm's initiatives in the corporate marketplace. According to Kessler, Palm has already established a considerable presence in this arena, citing that 40 percent of Palm devices are paid for or reimbursed by businesses. Meanwhile, a full 80 percent of Palm devices are already synchronized at work. Kessler then introduced the company's new Vice President of Enterprise, Jerry Jalaba.

Other announcements made on the second day of PalmSource included the following:

  • Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that it will ship a developer release of Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME), and the Mobile Information Device (MID) profile for the Palm OS platform.
  • Palm announced its Solutions Market Place, a database of applications showing the projects on which developers are working on the Web.
  • Palm and AppForge, Inc. announced that Palm has obtained a license to distribute AppForge Booster runtime software, which will allow you to run Virtual Basic applications developed for the Palm OS using the AppForge development platform and Microsoft Visual Basic.

A model Palm device user

Finally, PalmSource attendees were treated to a visit from supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who was there to announce that her Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition is now available on her Web site at Schiffer helped design this limited edition model by picking out the color. It's an aqua metallic blue, as you can see in Figure B.


The Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition comes in an attractive aqua metallic blue. (click for larger image)

The device also comes pre-loaded with some of Schiffer's favorite applications, including a guide to New York and London, image software that allows you to see photos on your Palm device, a Claudia puzzle, diet software, and a fitness tracker. Schiffer hopes the device will draw more women to the world of Palm computing, working under the assumption, one supposes, that women are primarily interested in shiny things and dieting.