RealTime IT News

Palm Acquires Extended Systems

Palm Inc. continued its push into the mobile enterprise space by announcing Tuesday the acquisition of Extended Systems, a developer of data management and synchronization products for the enterprise.

Palm said it is paying $22 per share of Extended stock, with the full transaction valued at about $264 million.

"Palm intends to be as popular with CIOs as it is with individuals," said Carl Yankowski, Palm's CEO in explaining the acquisition. He noted that the Extended acquisition will enable Palm to deliver information to users of not just Palm devices but to users of devices employing other platforms such as Windows CE, EPOC and RIM.

On the enterprise side, Palm cited analysts projecting as much as $1 billion in sales by 2003 of enterprise synchronization servers for mobile devices, such as those developed by Extended.

By most accounts, including Palm's, the handhelds initially became popular in the enterprise not because of information technology (IT) acceptance but because individuals purchased them and brought them to work. In the last year, Palm has stepped up its efforts to appeal directly to IT managers.

In a related move, Palm announced the creation of three new groups within the company that will focus on the enterprise, on individual users and on the Palm platform.