Palm OS to Support NetFront Browser

Access' NetFront 3.0 is slated to be the default Web browser for the Palm OS5 handheld, say sources.

Access next week will announce a multi-year deal with Palm Inc. subsidiary PalmSource Inc. to make Access NetFront 3.0 the core Web browser technology for the Palm OS5 handheld operating system, according to sources close to Access Systems America in Fremont, Calif."

Access Systems America is the American subsidiary of Access Co., Ltd. of Tokyo. The company specializes in the embedded browser space and is best known for the browsers that power NTT DoCoMos i-mode phones, which are dominant in Japan.

NetFront features a set of modules that includes a Web browser, Internet mail, PPP driver and a TCP/IP module. The browser supports JavaScript, cookies, Web printing and multiple languages and can include plug-ins that support features such as SSL security and streaming video.

PalmSource announced on June 10 that the company had started shipping version 5 of the PalmOS to developers.

Officials at PalmSource declined to comment on the deal with Access, but the company has said that OS5 will feature enhanced security and multimedia support, as NetFront does.

Analysts said that the move is a step in the right direction for Palm.

"Access has been delivering some pretty interesting solutions for a variety of wireless vendors around the world," said Mike McGuire, an analyst at the Gartner Group in Stamford, Ct. "And so it certainly shows Palms willingness to look beyond the companys own engineering department."

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