Palm and BEA Systems last week said they're jointly developing software that would let companies deploy applications to Palm-powered devices using BEA's WebLogic application server. The deal could increase the number of apps available for handhelds that run the Palm OS operating system and pressure mutual competitor Microsoft, which markets its own handheld operating system and application server.
Under the deal, Palm will develop client software and development tools that would let programmers write apps in WebLogic's development environment that can be delivered to Palm devices. Palm and BEA's project will use Web-services standards such as XML, so businesses won't have to redesign or scale down applications to run on a Palm device, says Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst at technology researcher ZapThink. The deal could also help both companies stave off competition from Microsoft's Pocket PC software.