Palmsource 2000 reached a climax yesterday with two major announcements from Palm, and the delivery of a keynote speech by the company's CEO, Carl Yankowski.
In his keynote speech to Palm developers, Yankowski discussed his vision for handheld computing, and announced a series of technological plans and partnerships for the OS.
He announced the imminent delivery of a range of wireless modems and integrated wireless handhelds for the Palm OS. He revealed that PalmPowered handhelds will be able to access most of the world's major wireless networks in 2001.
Mobile phones He also announced that Samsung has licensed the Palm OS for a smartphone that the company has scheduled for release in the first half of 2001. The Palm OS has now been licensed by Nokia, Motorola and Kyocera for use in future products.
Yankowski announced the creation of The Palm Economy Association, which will debut later this year. This will be led by independently elected officers who will encourage two-way discussion on technical and OS-related issues.
He said: "Customers are voting with their wallets, showing their confidence that we will deliver what we say we will. We will work hard with you to ensure that the Palm economy remains the Palm advantage."
Online future Yankowski delivered further details of his six-part vision for Palm OS. He reaffirmed the company's commitment to maintaining development of Palm OS as a personal-information management solution. He also discussed Palm's strategy of taking its OS online, with the creation of the MyPalm.com portal – opening by the end of the year – and Palm's acquisition of AnyDay.com. The portal will offer wireless email, online calendar-synchronization, browsing, Web searching and a variety of online content. All of the features will be sized to fit the handheld's screen, and be capable of being delivered over Palm's wireless Web.
Looking forward, Yankowski said that Palm would extend its existing email solutions to include message notification and instant messaging in 2001.
He looked at Palm OS 4.0, announced by the company yesterday. Version 4.0 is built to enable Palm OS-based telephony. In the future, Palm will add voice-as-data features to the handheld. Palm is working with Motorola, Nokia and Samsung to develop next-generation smartphones integrating these functions. Kyocera and Handspring already sell Palm OS-based smartphones.
Enhanced security Security features will also be improved. Phase one of Yankowski's security plans involve enabling Palms to carry such data as drivers license, passport and credit card details, all protected by Palm OS 4.0's security features. The second part of this plan involves developing technologies aimed to enable Palms as electronic wallets, capable of conducting secure transactions.
With this end in mind, VeriFone– a secure-transaction-terminal developer – has announced its collaboration with Palm to implement electronic wallet features.
Yankowski also told the three thousand-strong gathering of Palm OS developers that more announcements were imminent.