Borland Extends C++ to Palm Devices

Looking to stem the rising tide of Microsoft-powered devices, Borland Software and PalmSource Monday announced a development deal to mix and match their respective software and operating systems.

As part of the partnership, Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Borland says it has licensed the PalmSource software development kits (SDKs) and will support Palm OS development in its newly released Borland C++BuilderX Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and latest Borland Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions for C++.

The idea, say the companies, is to help create the next phase of mobile device applications both for the enterprise and the individual at work or at home.

Currently, PalmSource supports two Borland development environments including C/C++ Builder and Delphi. The software licensing subsidiary of Palm also supports Visual Basic (VB), Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Java, Microsoft Visual C/C++ (MFC is not required) and any other COM-compliant language.

“By supporting PalmSource SDKs with Borland C++BuilderX, we are helping to extend enterprise development for mobile applications,” said J.P. LeBlanc, vice president and general manager mobile and C++ solutions at Borland. “More than 30 million Palm Powered devices have been sold to date, and our customers are looking for end-to-end C++ Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions that will allow them to create applications for the full range of handhelds and smartphones.”

To that end, Borland has added Rapid Application Development (RAD) capabilities for its C++BuilderX platform. The company says its technology preview offers better drag and drop development and easier access to internally developed and third party mobile component libraries.

The Borland C++BuilderX is currently available. A preview of the Palm OS SDKs for C++BuilderX is available on Borland’s Website.

The news comes on the same day that Santa Clara, Calif.-based PalmSource said the number of Palm Powered devices sold worldwide to date has surpassed 30 million. The Palm Powered licensee community currently includes 14 mobile device manufacturers: Aceeca, AlphaSmart, Fossil, Garmin, GSL, Handspring, HuneTec, Kyocera, Lenovo, Palm Solutions Group, Samsung, Sony, Symbol and Tapwave.

As for brand loyalties, PalmSource lays claim to more than 275,000 developers with a community that has created over 19,000 software applications in a broad range of categories.

But despite the rosy numbers, Microsoft-based PDAs are gaining ground quickly in a handheld market that has declined over the last couple of quarters.

Windows CE-based devices accounted for 36 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2003, and shipments increased by more than 330,000 from the previous year, according to research firm Gartner. CE actually surpassed Palm on an end-user revenue basis for the first time with 52 percent of the market, compared with 37 percent for Palm OS licensees.

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