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Palm: Putting its future in the hands of developers

PalmSource Inc. recently launched its new operating system, Cobalt. Along with it, the company has assured its developer community that the new application program interfaces (APIs) will maintain a high level of interoperability, so that applications written for the new operating system work on the myriad of devices that now use the Palm OS.

The company needs to keep its developers happy, because as Alex Slawsby, a mobile devices analyst with the research firm IDC put it, "the folks writing applications for the Palm are critical to the future of the company."

Palm sees developers as crucial not only to its overall health, but also to its ability to hang onto the enterprise market.

Contrary to what many may think, Palm does appear to be the market leader in the enterprise. But the enterprise is still a market where PDAs have come in the door in employee pockets, not in packed crates with attached corporate order forms. In general, IT departments are not making large purchases of PDAs.

As businesses take on a bigger role in the procurement of handhelds, Palm may find itself facing a much tougher marketplace as it is forced to compete head to head with Microsoft, which has become almost synonymous with enterprise IT.

Is Palm doomed to go the way of Apple? Does it have a strong or even dominant future in the enterprise? Click the Sound Off link below and let us know what you think.

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