Palm Enhances OS Expansion Support

BOSTON (06/27/2000) - Future versions of the Palm Inc. operating system will support multiple expansion standards covering memory, application, and external expansion, company officials announced at PC Expo in New York on Tuesday.

The expansion architecture will support Secure Digital (SD) Card, Sony Corp.'s MemoryStick storage technology, Compact Flash, Handspring Inc.'s Springboard modules, and external expansion options for existing Palm handheld devices. The new expansion cards will provide data storage and I/O access and will be available early next year. All Palm OS licensees will have the option to use the new technology and developers will be able to add expansion support to all Palm OS products no matter the expansion card technology used in the product.

A product line manager for handheld-maker Handspring embraced Palm's move. "We see it as a good sign that other companies see the value for expansion," said Greg Shirai.

The expansion cards will enable file storage, access to digital media such as electronic books or MP3 files, and wireless connectivity using Bluetooth technology.

"Expansion until now has been formulated for the hardware," said Claudia Romanini, Palm's director of market development services. "It is not about being behind; it's about giving people what they want."

With the news that it was opening its OS for the SD card, Palm officials also announced they will put a SD Card slot into future handheld products by early 2001. The SD Card was developed by Matsushita Electric, SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

Palm, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-326-5000 or at http://www.palm.com/.

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