Palm extends into the enterprise market

Following the acquisition of Extended Systems, personal digital assistant (PDA) manufacturer Palm feels confident of its ability to be a "great conduit" into backend systems in the enterprise space.

Craig Will, director Japan & Asia-Pacific for Palm Computing, said Palm's ability to data synchronise was important to CIOs, while the ability to control the syncing of information was vital to the IT department.

Palm recently acquired Extended Systems, which makes middleware software that ties mobile devices to back-office systems, in a $US264 million deal.

Palm said the acquisition is part of an enterprise push, which will provide corporate technology managers with the tools needed to support handhelds, which are typically bought by individual users.

The company is now looking to provide support for multiple operating systems in an enterprise infrastructure.

"Palm is a multiplatform tool. The deal with Extended Systems means users have the ability to sync to the Palm OS and other systems due to the open technology platform," Will said. "All major operating system vendors have relations with Palm."

Will said Palm will continue to focus on integrated products. It is currently with working, often with partners, to support everything from wireless carrier services, including a wireless Ethernet interface (probably in the form of a 'sled'), to short-range Bluetooth wireless links.

"With Ethernet and wireless LANs, there will be the great potential for a high bandwidth pipe into the enterprise or Internet," Will said.

Palm also said that it plans to deliver by June devices fitted with a slot that supports the Secure Digital standard for add-in memory.

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