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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Palm Inc has launched its first full-blooded web browser after years of commitment to its proprietary web clipping technology.

The new Palm Web Browser combines the ability to read pure HTML with "sophisticated compression technology" that renders text rapidly while graphics continue to download in the background.

Palm said the browser will be able to view "any URL on the internet" displayed at the appropriate size for the device. Caching technology will allow users to save content for offline viewing. The overall effect will not be dissimilar to the specialized mobile web terminal from UK startup Pogo Technology Ltd.

Backwards compatibility with Palm's web clipping technology is built in, meaning that existing users of Palm's content services can continue to view their favorite content.

Palm Web Browser is compatible with most recent Palm models, although those without built in wireless connectivity (i.e. most) will require a modem or mobile phone connection.

The browser will be available for paid download from Palm's website in the US from April 8 and from the end of April in Europe. Other regions will follow in due course. The price will be around 23 euros ($20).

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