RealTime IT News

Palm Hands Out New Software Download

Palm, Inc. announced Thursday a free download of its updated desktop software application.

Version 4.1 for Windows features a distinctly XP feel, featuring a new business expense tracker and memo editing utility, which ports to a desktop's Excel spreadsheet, though there is no word yet when the software will be available to Mac users (version 4.0 didn't get to Macs until late March). International versions of the new software are slated for this fall.

Two developer apps have been incorporated into the new build, featured first at PalmSource 2002 in San Jose this past February. Extensions and add-ins are used in the expense tracker and the new note pad application, which lets users port their notes and drawings to the desktop computer.

The new software is compatible with Palm's i700, m500, m100, VII, V, III and Pilot handheld products and runs on Windows NT 4.0, 95/98/2000/ME and XP.

Palm's desktop software has proven a valuable tool to get people's "feet wet" in the Palm handheld world. According to NPDTechworld, Palm has 87.2 percent market share in the U.S. among handheld users, making it comparable to the popularity Windows has in the computer world (with roughly more than 90 percent).

So it should come as no surprise the new software has a distinct "Windowy" appearance to it, and that Palm executives use the free download as a vehicle to drive more customers to Palm products.

"Once people use the software, they often purchase a Palm Powered handheld so they can go mobile with all of their most important information," said Ken Freeman, Palm desktop software product manager. "We encourage people to try before they buy -- it's an easy way for people to experience the power of Palm's personal information management software on their desktop computer."

According to Palm officials, the desktop software application Web site has more than 500,000 downloads a month. Version 4.1 is available here for free download.