Palm (PDA) - History - The Next Generation

The Next Generation

The next couple of Palms, the PalmPilot Personal and PalmPilot Professional, had backlit screens, but no infrared port or flash memory. Their RAM size was 512 kB and 1024 kB respectively. They used version 2 of the Palm OS.

Palm III, and all the following Palms, did not have the word "Pilot" in their name due to the previously mentioned trademark dispute. The Palm III had an IR port, backlight, and flash memory. The latter allowed the user to upgrade Palm OS, or, with some external applications, to store programs or data in flash memory. It ran on two standard AAA batteries. It was able to retain enough energy for 10–15 minutes to prevent data loss during battery replacement. It had 2 Megabytes of memory, large at the time, and used Palm OS 3. (Palm also produced an upgrade card for the Pilot series, which made them functionally equivalent to a Palm III.)

Meanwhile, with Palm Computing now a subsidiary of 3Com, the founders felt they had insufficient control over the development of the Palm product. As a result, they left 3Com and founded Handspring in June 1998. When they left Palm, Hawkins secured a license for the Palm OS for Handspring, and the company became the first Palm OS licensee. Handspring went on to produce the Handspring Visor, a clone of the Palm handhelds that included a hardware expansion slot (early Palm devices also had a hardware expansion slot, however this was for device upgrade purposes, not peripherals) and used slightly modified software.

The next versions of Palm used Palm OS 3.1. These included Palm IIIx with 4 Megabytes of memory, Palm IIIe without flash memory or hardware expansion slot (and available for cheaper price), Palm V with 2 Megabytes of memory, and, Palm Vx with 8 Megabytes of memory.

Palm VII had wireless connection to some Internet services, but this connection worked only within the USA. It used Palm OS 3.2. Palm IIIc was the first Palm handheld with a color screen. It used Palm OS 3.5 which provided extensive tools for writing color applications.

Some of these newer handhelds, for example Palm V, used internal rechargeable batteries. Later this feature became standard for all Palms.

Palm handhelds initially ran on the popular DragonBall processors, a Motorola 68000 derivate. More recent models use a variation of the popular ARM architecture (usually referred to by the Intel Xscale brand name). This is a class of RISC microprocessors that is widely used in mobile devices and embedded systems, and its design was influenced strongly by a popular 1970s/1980s CPU, the MOS Technology 6502.

Read more about this topic:  Palm (PDA), History

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