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Palm to extend Tungsten PDA line in Q3

New models to feature IBM Java code

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Palm will ship at least one new Tungsten PDA in the autumn, the company said today.

And we should learn this week whether the pictures of the Tungsten-T2, which appeared on the web last week, are the Real McCoy. Palm said it will demonstrate the new model at the JavaOne show, which opens tomorrow in San Francisco's Moscone Center.

The Java connection arises from the company's decision to license IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment Java 2 Micro Edition for "comprehensive distribution" with "future Palm Tungsten handhelds".

Palm continues: "Products are expected to ship worldwide in the fall of 2003."

The deal, you'll note, is with Palm Solutions Group, so this isn't a broad operating system licence, it's specifically for the company's hardware division - come the autumn, the company's only division, now that the PalmSource spin-off has finally received the green light.

The J2ME runtime will be "developed and fine-tuned" for the Tungsten line, and will be backed up by a free SDK that will work with any J2ME development environment, though IBM will naturally by touting its WebSphere Studio Device Developer set, which it will be optimising for the creation of Palm-hosted Java apps.

"The IBM WME will enable the support of the industry standards for the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) and Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), in compliance with the Sun Technology Compatibility Kits (TCK), which will allow Palm Tungsten handhelds to seamlessly execute J2ME-compliant MIDlet Suite applications," says Palm.

All of which is intended to improve the handhelds' acceptance by corporate IT departments rather than the individual buyers who make up the vast majority of Palm's customers. ®

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