Palm has released a public beta version of its Palm Desktop Software 4.0, specifically designed to work with Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X.

While Mac OS X users can work with older versions of the Palm software to sync their Palm PDAs (personal digital assistants), the new version is 'native' - specifically designed to work on Mac OS X - and is likely to offer more functionality and to work properly with Apple's new Aqua user interface.

As of this week, users can download the software from Palm's Web site. They must, however, register and complete a questionnaire about their Palm handheld and the type of Mac they are using.

Palm requests that they do not contact Palm technical support regarding any problems with the beta, but make comments via a feedback form.

Neither Palm nor Apple was immediately available for comment.