Palm showcased a beta version of Palm OS 5 at the PalmSource conference this year. Sometime next year, expect to begin seeing a new generation of ARM-powered Palm OS devices competing with Pocket PC devices in terms of features.
With the Bluetooth specification finally stabilizing, watch for a group of products built around the short-distance wireless technology, such as Palms Secure Digital Bluetooth module, to begin expanding connectivity options for small devices.
2.5G technologies such as GPRS and 1xRTT are becoming widely available through U.S. wireless carriers. These network services will boost the usefulness of mobile devices by providing them with wire-free connections at 56K-bps modem-level speeds.
With Palm undergoing a platform change and Microsoft and Symbian slow to release personal digital assistant/handsets based on their operating systems, IT managers should wait for the smart-phone market to develop further before wedding themselves to one of these platforms.