PalmSource, the software subsidiary of
Palm Inc., has begun shipping the final version of Palm OS 5 to licensees and developers.
One of the benefits of the new version of the Palm OS 5 is that it’s friendly with ARM-compliant processors. Licensees can now choose from a fuller range of processors, starting with the ARM 7 CPU and scaling to the highest-performance ARM chips from Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments, “effectively broadening the market,” according to David Nagel, president and chief executive officer at PalmSource.
Palm OS 5 also sports a revised user interface. Icons and fonts have been enhanced to support high-resolution displays and to provide greater readability. Plus, the user interface can now be personalized with color themes.
Meanwhile, the hardware subsidiary of Palm, Inc., the Solutions Group, plans on releasing the best ARM-based handheld around, Todd Bradley, president and chief operating officer, said. “With the power of Palm OS 5, Palm handhelds can deliver a richer multimedia and wireless experience while preserving the size, weight and battery life users count on,” he added.
Palm OS 5 offers enterprises software investment protection through software compatibility and provides security enhancements and support for wireless standards, Nagel said. It offers strong data-encryption services and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) services for more secure e-mail, Web browsing and online transactions, he added.
Palm OS 5 also maintains a small footprint. Developers can continue to use the same tools they used in previous versions of Palm OS. Also, with the PalmSource Compatibility Program, developers can qualify their software for Palm OS 5 and receive permission to use the Palm Powered Compatible logo. This logo assures customers that the software runs well on current 68K products and future ARM-compliant products, according to Palm.
Version 5 also boasts higher-fidelity sound and support for high-density screens. And in addition to current support for WAN and Bluetooth, Palm OS 5 supports 802.11b for connections to wireless Local Area Networks.
Meanwhile, PalmSource has licensed components of the Palm OS platform to MediaQ, a semiconductor manufacturer, to further support the development of Palm-powered products with advanced graphics and multimedia capabilities. MediaQ has joined the expanded Palm OS Ready Program, which is targeted at providing Palm OS licensees with silicon solutions ready to run Palm OS.