Palm Gets Jealous, Opens Software Store - InformationWeek

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12/16/2008
12:15 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Palm Gets Jealous, Opens Software Store

Following the footsteps of nearly everyone else, Palm has decided to jump into the software distribution fray with its own storefront. The new Software Store from Palm is available for both Windows Mobile and Palm OS-based handsets and has more than 5,000 titles ready to download.

Following the footsteps of nearly everyone else, Palm has decided to jump into the software distribution fray with its own storefront. The new Software Store from Palm is available for both Windows Mobile and Palm OS-based handsets and has more than 5,000 titles ready to download.Palm partnered with PocketGear to launch a mobile version of the Software Store. In order to access the store from either a Palm OS or Windows Mobile Treo or other Palm hardware, users will first have to download the appropriate storefront software to their phone. (The software can be downloaded from here.)

According to Palm, there are more than 5,000 applications and games already sitting in the Software Store waiting for you to download them. Of that 5,000, more than 1,000 of them are free. The Software Store has titles supporting some 25 different Palm models, ranging from the Centro to the Treo Pro.

Palm needs something like this to compete with the hordes of other software stores from the likes of Apple, BlackBerry, and Google. Developers have been making applications for Palm for ages. Discoverability, however, has always been an issue. Having a centralized place such as the Software Store gives those developers an outlet for their applications.

Whether or not Palm's Software Store will see the kind of traction the Apple iPhone Apps Store is getting, who is to say. Whatever it is that Palm announces at CES next month may play a large role in the success of its Software Store. With competing stores from other smartphone makers, Palm needs to make it as easy -- and attractive -- as possible for users to find and download apps. The Software Store is a good first step.

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