IBM, Palm Building IM Platform

Instant messaging platform for the Palm will be based on Lotus Sametime technology.

IBM on Tuesday will announce an extended partnership with Palm Inc. to develop various enterprise handheld applications.

Leveraging IBMs WebSphere Everyplace Access server software, which now supports the Palm OS, the companies are building an instant messaging platform for the Palm that will be based on Lotus Sametime technology. It is due in September, according to IBM officials in Somers, N.Y.

"Effectively its the same user experience as if you were receiving instant messaging on a laptop," said Letina Connelly, director of pervasive enterprise strategy at IBM. Sametime is not interoperable with other instant messaging platforms and neither will the Palm version be, but IBM is keeping an eye on IM interoperability efforts through the industrywide Open Mobile Alliance, Connelly said.

In the meantime, Palm and IBM will continue to work together on a mobile client suite for the Palm that ties into several enterprise applications through the WebSphere Everyplace software, officials said.

In addition, IBM will be reselling Palms portfolio of Palm-branded handhelds through its own channels, a move prompted by IBMs decision earlier this year to stop manufacturing its own line of handhelds, the Workpad, which ran on the Palm OS.

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