PalmSource adopts Access name

Parent company Access absorbs PalmSource, will continue to sell the Palm OS

PalmSource will adopt its parent-company's name, nearly a year after being acquired by Access Co.

PalmSource, of Sunnyvale, California, was originally the operating system division of Palm Inc., the PDA (personal digital assistant) manufacturer now owned by 3Com Access, in Tokyo, acquired it in November 2005 to complement its NetFront Web browser for mobile handsets, set-top boxes and gaming consoles.

Now, Access will fully absorb PalmSource, as it continues to sell the Palm OS for mobile handsets against competition like Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Symbian.

It will immediately face a challenge, as PalmSource continues to feud with Palm Inc. after missing a deadline to develop a new generation of the OS called the Access Linux Platform.

At the same time, handset manufacturers are hustling to adjust to a changing marketplace. Consumer demand for simple PDAs has been dropping fast, while sales of smartphones continue to rise.

That shift has pushed hardware vendors like Motorola, Nokia, and Research in Motion to grab bigger slices of marketshare while Palm Inc. phases out its handheld organizers and relies heavily on sales of its higher-priced Treo smartphone. Palm Inc. is expected to launch a lower-cost version of its smartphone called the Treo 680 Thursday as a product to bridge the gap.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.