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Palm to rebrand as ‘PalmOne’

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Palm will become PalmOne when its operating system division, PalmSource, finally becomes in independent company later this year.

It's not yet clear whether PalmSource will continue to describe PDAs based on its technology as 'Palm-powered', since that description will be technically meaningless. Effectively, the Palm name will vanish at that point.

Actually, it already is meaningless, and became so as soon as Palm separated its system software operation from its hardware business. How can a Sony Clié be "powered" by a rival brand, after all? Once Palm as 'Palm' no longer exists, such idiosyncrasies should vanish too.

The PalmOne name positions the company as the leading supplier of 'Palm OS-powered', 'PalmSource-powered' or whatever branding is chosen to described Palm OS-based devices generically. Let's hope they don't all continue to muddy the water with 'Palm-powered'.

PalmSource, however, is not the owner of the 'Palm' trademark, Palm, inc. is. Will it gain ownership when Palm, inc. becomes PalmOne?

According to the official rationale behind the name-change, the PalmOne conveys: "The company's heritage as a pioneer in handheld computing; Palm's worldwide leadership, which it has retained despite an influx of competitors; and the conviction that Palm always would place customers first, thereby delivering what matters most to them."

The company will also be changing its corporate colours, from a blue to red and orange. Products will begin to bear the new brand name in 2004, Palm said. ®

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