They’re fierce competitors as well as business partners. “They” are
Handspring, two leaders in the PDA (personal digital assistant market). And today the two firms announced that Handspring has extended its license of the Palm OS operating system, which it uses in its line of Visor devices.
Under the terms of a new agreement reached this week, Handspring can continue to develop and market products based on the world-leading Palm OS through April 2009. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“Handspring is a great platform partner,” said Alan Kessler, general manager of Palm’s Platform Solutions Group, in a statement. “We are excited about our efforts to expand the Palm OS, making mobile and wireless handhelds pervasive across consumer, business and education solutions.”
Jeff Hawkins, Handspring chairman and chief product officer, added that the extension of the license means “we can continue to build great Palm OS based products for many years to come.” It also guarantees that Palm and Handspring will continue to work together to refine and enhance the Palm OS so that it will meet the needs of the rapidly changing mobile computing market, he added.
Handspring began licensing the Palm OS in 1998. The company has worked with Palm to support the Palm OS in such ways as integrating Handspring-developed features such as USB and 16-bit color support back into the Palm OS for the benefit of all licensees, Hawkins added.
But don’t think that all this love means that Handspring and Palm won’t continue to battle each other in the sales of Palm OS devices. The former recently
rolled out its Visor Edge and Palm has
two new handhelds that sport an expansion slot for memory and peripherals.