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Palm OS 6 to be designed for wireless

Release slips to late 2003

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Palm OS 6 will ship to licensees by the end of the year, PalmSource says.

In an interviewe with CNET, Albert Chu, PalmSource's VP of business development, talks of a 12-18 month OS release schedule, taking day one as the date when hardware based on the previous release ships. Palm OS 5 devices from Palm and Sony appeared last autumn, timetabling the OS 6 release somewhere during Q3 and Q4 this year, with devices following early 2004.

Last we heard, Palm was shooting for a mid-2003 release, suggesting development of the new OS is taking slightly longer than planned.

As we wrote last October, one of Palm OS 6's focus areas is wireless communications, building support for all the major wireless standards, and providing a high level of security to protect communications over whatever connection the user initiates.

Screen shots received by PalmInfocenter purporting to show Palm OS 6 in action, shows a virtual Graffiti entry area with a wireless signal strength indicator alongside the battery level indicator, and an e-mail access button alongside the home, find and info buttons. It has yet to be confirmed whether the shots genuinely show Palm OS 6's look and feel, but if accurate it marks a significant improvement in the Palm UI.

Palm OS 6 is also expected to be the first version of the operating system to contain technology developed at Be, acquired by Palm a couple of years back. Certainly, the OS is expected to feature a more advanced multimedia framework, and multi-processing and multi-threading support - all key features of BeOS. That's not to say Palm OS contains BeOS code, rather it utilises approaches to solving these problems uncovered by the Be team when they were working on the older OS. ®

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