Palm will introduce its first Palm OS 5.0 product on October 28, the company has announced.

Palm OS 5.0 will be the first to run on processors based on a high-speed core from ARM. It will let Palm's software developers tap into the mobile-phone market, and offer faster clock speeds and improved security features.

"Our first Arm-based OS 5 products will be hitting the market in the fall, beginning October 28. But it is a horse race to see if we have the first product out or if it's Sony," Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm Solutions Group said in an interview with the IDG News Service on yesterday. Sony is a Palm licensee.

Bradley declined to offer details about the product.

Much of the mobile-phone market and Microsoft's Pocket PC already use ARM processor. Palm announced OS 5 earlier this year and in February began demonstrating the OS running on ARM chips from Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments.

"Licensees received the code for OS 5 in May. There has been an enormous amount of work around application migration and we've put lots of new features into the devices. Things like ARM, networking applications, Bluetooth cards, a display screen with 320-x-320 pixels, enabling the products to be part of personal area networks and attachments over and above Graffiti (Palm's handwriting recognition software)," Bradley said.

Palm has promised that its OS 5 will feature an enhanced user interface that will bring increased personalization, security, multimedia and wireless networking, as well as compatibility with existing Palm OS software programs.

The major marketing push for Palm OS 5 will come in 2003 when a variety of products will be released, Bradley said.