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Technology

 June 28, 2000
Palm Mobile Internet Kit, Linking Palm Handhelds With Mobile Phones

 Palm, Inc. has announced the first product to enable Palm users worldwide to connect wirelessly to the Internet from most Palm handheld computers in use today. The Palm Mobile Internet Kit is an easy-to-use, inexpensive software product that allows millions of Palm users worldwide to connect wirelessly to the Internet using a mobile phone or a Palm-compatible modem. The new kit offers Palm users the same quick and easy access to Internet content and communication tools that is available today through the Palm VII wireless handheld computer. The Palm Mobile Internet Kit will be available worldwide later this year for less than U.S. $50.

In addition, Palm announced the names of 37 content providers including 25 new companies that will provide web clipping applications for their popular web content that will be bundled in the box with future Palm products.

Kit Provides Access to Content, Mail and Messaging

Once installed, the Palm Mobile Internet Kit, provides access to Internet and web content, e-mail and messaging services through several popular methods. Web clipping technology, which was first introduced with the Palm VII product, is Palm's own technology which lets users quickly and efficiently access valuable information wirelessly without the burden of graphics and undesired information. Today, there are more than 350 web clipping applications available for free download at www.palm.net, and all will be available to Palm Mobile Internet kit users.

For easy access to email, the kit also includes an email solution, MultiMail from ActualSoft, providing access to any POP3 or IMAP4 mail account. The kit includes a tool for using the popular short messaging service (SMS). SMS is the GSM standard for sending and receiving brief messages. This type of messaging is made quicker and easier than on phones alone by taking advantage of the easy input method of a Palm handheld. In addition, Palm Mobile Internet Kit offers users the option to access content via the wireless application protocol (WAP). The WAP software provides much of the same content and filters available on some mobile phones, but can be viewed and manipulated easier via the larger screen of a Palm handheld.

Wireless Access for Upgradable Palm Handhelds

The Palm Mobile Internet Kit may be used with all upgradable Palm handhelds, including the Palm III, Palm IIIc, Palm IIIx, Palm IIIxe, Palm V and Palm Vx products. For those devices that do not currently ship with Palm OS 3.5 (the Palm III, Palm IIIx, Palm IIIxe and Palm V products), the Palm Mobile Internet Kit provides the added advantage of upgrading the OS to accommodate the new wireless applications and services.

To use the Palm Mobile Internet Kit, users may connect their Palm handheld with a mobile phone via infrared (IR) communication or a cable (sold separately). Many GSM mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and others offer infrared beaming capabilities and are ready be used with the Palm Mobile Internet Kit today. In addition, several companies offer cables that will connect Palm handhelds and many popular mobile phones from market leaders such as Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. In addition, the Palm Mobile Internet Kit works with all versions of Palm-branded modems, the Palm V GSM Connect Kit and many Palm-compatible snap-on wireless or wireline modems from third parties, such as Novatel's wireless Minstrel V Modem.

"The Palm Mobile Internet Kit is a major milestone in our drive to make existing Palm handhelds wirelessly enabled by the end of this year," said Alan Kessler, chief operating officer, platform and products, for Palm, Inc., who demonstrated the product at a press conference this evening. "An important part of our product strategy is to offer our users a variety of options in their path to wireless connectivity. First, we delivered the Palm VII product for those who wanted an integrated product. This new Mobile Internet Kit is the only option that will offer handheld users everywhere the choice to connect on their own terms, using the wireless technology they already own."