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RealTime IT News

Sprint Licenses Handspring Browser

Looking to make the wireless Web a more stimulating experience for its customers, Sprint Corp. Monday licensed the Blazer Web browser developed by Palm arch-rival Handspring Inc. .

Blazer supports access to content marked up in HTML, WML (WAP) and cHTML. The browser supports color graphics, bookmarks and personalization. Sprint said it has been optimized for enhanced speed and security, and can access secure sites through encryption technology from Certicom.

"Not only will the Blazer browser allow our customers to access virtually any Internet site via the Sprint PCS nationwide network, it will provide a richer, fuller and more compelling browsing experience than is typically available on a PDA device," said John Yuzdepski, vice president and general manager, SprintPCS.com. "This enhanced browsing experience widens the appeal and productivity benefits for consumers using Palm Powered devices to help manage their personal and professional lives."

In addition to enhancing Sprint's wireless offering, the deal opens another revenue stream for Handspring, which like Palm has been hit hard by the slowing economy.

"This agreement is a critical step forward in establishing Blazer as the standard for Internet access on Palm OS-based handheld computers and personal communicators," said Ed Colligan, chief operating officer of Handspring. "We are excited about working with proven industry leaders like Sprint PCS that share our vision and have the expertise and innovative spirit necessary to make enhanced wireless Web services available to a growing number of customers."

Initially, Sprint plans to make the browser available on the QCP-6035 Sprint PCS Phone manufactured by Kyocera. It will also be available in Sprint PCS Wireless Web Palm Connectivity and Adapter Kits for the Palm III or Palm V using Palm OS 3.5 or higher. Sprint also said that Blazer will be packaged on a CD-ROM with the soon-to-be-launched Palm Powered SPH-1300 Sprint PCS Phone by Samsung, as well as the Sprint PCS Wireless Web Digital Link, a CDMA Springboard module for the Handspring Visor handheld. Additionally, the company said all future Palm OS-based products offered by Sprint PCS will take advantage of the agreement.