Palm Introduces Synchronization Software Package

BOSTON (05/30/2000) - Palm Inc. today introduced technology that it said will make it easier for businesses to link handheld devices to corporate information systems.

Palm said its HotSync Server - which allows corporate IT managers to synchronize Palm applications with office systems - will initially support Palm handheld computers. But the company said it expects to add support later this year for devices based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE operating system, which includes the Pocket PC introduced in April.

Christopher Fletcher, Palm's managing director for enterprise business applications, said HotSync Server marks the transition of handheld devices, once viewed as "annoyances" by corporate IT departments, into useful tools that need to be centrally managed in order to harness their power.

"This gives (IT managers) the tools they need to manage these devices at the network level," Fletcher said.

Palm, based in Santa Clara, California, said the server software, which has a base price of $2,400, allows for centralized management of handheld computers and applications and enables synchronization with enterprise groupware. It also provides a development interface for new handheld computer applications, the company said.

The server software will also help users integrate Microsoft Exchange e-mail and the Exchange calendar with the Palm date book and mail applications. Palm said Hot Sync Server will also provide developers with application programming interfaces based on Microsoft standards to add synchronization services to virtually any enterprise application or data source.

Palm said it based the HotSync Server on ScoutWare software from Aether Systems Inc. in Owings Mills, Maryland. Chapura Inc., in Mobile, Alabama, developed the software for the Exchange hooks, the company said.

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