Feeds

PalmSource bought by browser developer

Access all areas?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Japanese mobile content company Access is to buy the Palm OS, it said today. The move has the blessing of Palm.

Access will acquire PalmSource, paying cash for the shares in a deal that values the operating system developer at $324.4m. PalmSource's Nasdaq-traded share price closed at $10.09 yesterday. Access' $18.50-a-share bid amounts to an 83 per cent premium on that price.

PalmSource's shares shot up in price towards the end of August on speculation that the company was about to be acquired. The stock leapt to well over $10 from a year-low of $7.39. However, the most likely buyer was seen as PalmOne, which recently bought PalmSource's rights to the Palm name and rechristened itself Palm.

Access specialises in Internet access and content delivery software for mobile devices. Its main product is NetFront, a browser which runs on a variety of platforms, including Windows Mobile and Symbian/Series 60. NetFront is the foundation for Sony's PlayStation Portable browser, which it recently bunded with version 2.0 of the PSP's firmware.

PalmSource last year acquired China MobileSoft to boost its ability to pitch its software at the Chinese and Asian markets, and to rebuild the Palm OS, this time on a Linux foundation.

Put all this together and you have, Access believes, a "comprehensive yet flexible solution for the mobile market". Or so the company said today. How its shift from a platform-independent application developer to the owner of an an OS that competes with the platforms on which it builds those applications will play out remains to be seen. Certainly, Access provided no up-front guidance on how the acquisition of PalmSource will alter its approach. Or how it expects the Palm OS' other licensees to react to the news.

The Palm OS' key licensee is Palm, of course. Company CEO Ed Colligan didn't welcome the deal explicitly, but he did say it will "allow us to continue to deliver great products for our customers". He added: "We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship to advance the Palm OS platform."

But Palm has made no secret of its willingness to embrace other platforms - a Windows Mobile version of the Treo smart phone is expected to be announced shortly - so it clearly no longer sees the operating system as central to its offer. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.