Palm Inc. subsidiary PalmSource Inc. on Monday announced that it is shipping the final version of its new operating system, Palm OS5, to developers.
OS5 bests its predecessors with support for ARM-compliant processors from Intel Corp., Motorola Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc., all of whom plan to provide chips to the various hardware licensees of the Palm OS. Palm OS4 supports the slower Motorola Dragonball processor.
The new operating system also includes a better user interface, enhanced security, support for multimedia applications and better wireless support, said officials at the Santa Clara, Calif., company.
The icons and fonts in OS5 support higher-resolution displays and are easier to read than in OS4, they said.
The OS now offers Secure Sockets Layer support for those customers who use their Palm devices for online transactions. Palm OS5 also supports 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless LAN networks.
Although officials insist the release of the OS is on schedule, they also have acknowledged that it came out later than it should have because of missteps in initial plans. There was an 18-month lag between the release of OS4 and OS5.
PalmSource shipped the beta version of OS5 in February at its developers conference, where Chief Competitive Officer Michael Mace said that in the future Palm plans to upgrade its operating systems incrementally and twice as fast.
"It wont be another 18 months," he said.
The next version of the Palm OS will have improved multimedia support, features that take advantage of next-generation wireless networks, and support for digital signatures and certificate management, officials said.
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