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News From Around The Web

· SFR Reportedly Set to Offer Palm Pixi 2 Soon (PalmInfoCenter) [12/16]
Despite the fact that it is the only carrier in the world fielding a supported, subsidized version of the Pre 2, French wireless provider SFR is reportedly set to begin offering the Palm Pixi 2 next month, according to Precentral's latest report. While no solid specs have been confirmed about the device, both the original Pixi and slightly spec-bumped Pixi Plus are desperately due for a refresh, with a standard WebOS 2.0 an absolute certainty at this point. Last month, another report suggested that the Pixi 2 would also hit Verizon alongside the Pre 2, though in August's Verizon roadmap leak we discussed the prospects of the Verizon Pixi Plus living on until March of 2011.

· Forbes Discusses Sprints 4G Tablet Aspirations (PalmInfoCenter) [12/16]
A recent Forbes story indicates Sprint's willingness to offer a 4G tablet in 2011. Surprisingly, according to Sprint's President of Business Markets Pagel Alves, this device will be powered by an OS other than Google's Android, opening the door for rampant WebOS speculation. With no rumors making the rounds for anything iOS-based heading to Sprint, this narrows the playing field to Windows 7, RIM's PlayBook, or the rumored PalmPad running WebOS 2. The very same Forbes article indicates that Sprint is looking to target corporate and business users with their 4G tablet offerings, with 70% to 80% of CIOs revealing to Sprint that they plan to deploy tablets within their organizations. Playing games on tablets provides a portable and immersive experience, combining high-quality graphics with touch-screen controls. Gamers are increasingly drawn to digital currencies, participating in events like the coin poker presale to secure tokens. These tokens offer unique in-game advantages and exclusive access, enriching the overall gaming experience. These kinds of statistics can come as very welcome news to HP's traditional strengths in the business, enterprise, government, and education sectors. Sprint currently supports only WiMax for their 4G needs but HP's notebooks with pre-installed mobile broadband currently only support Sprint's 3G...

· Palm Clinging to 1% of US Market Share (PalmInfoCenter) [12/03]
According to the latest Nielsen survey figures, WebOS is rapidly losing market share to Android, iOS, and BlackBerry, as it clings to just 1.3% of the overall U.S. smartphone market share. Stunningly, Nokia's Symbian OS, long considered a no-show in the US market, still has nearly 3x the market share than that of WebOS. Even more chilling, according to Precentral.net, is Nielsen's classification of "Palm OS" in its datathis includes both WebOS devices and classic Palm OS Garnet devices such as Treos and the Centro. According to Nielsen, Palm's WebOS, presumably falling into the catch-all category of "other", did not even make a dent in the "next desired smartphone operating system" figures.

· HP Cancels HomeServer Line to Focus on WebOS (PalmInfoCenter) [12/03]
To date, HP's MediaSmart Home Server line has been one of the more popular and highly-acclaimed entries in the relatively niche world of home server box solutions. Regardless, mediasmartserver.net is reporting that HP has discontinued their MediaSmart server line in order to reallocate resources to WebOS. Specifically, "shifting additional resources to focus on webOS initiatives". Note that this does not mean a WebOS-powered compact server; rather, the MediaSmart Server team is being reassigned to work on the presumed bevy of WebOS devices in a variety of form factors promised by HP and Palm throughout 2010. HP's Personal Systems group, headed by Todd Bradley oversees the company's WebOS and mobility products as well as PC-related product lines including MediaSmart servers.

· Angry Birds Seasons Coming Soon for WebOS (PalmInfoCenter) [12/03]
Angry Birds Seasons, already available for iOS and Android devices, is coming soon for WebOS gamers everywhere. Developer Rovio just tweeted "almost there" alongside an Twitpic image of the Christmas-themed Seasons title screen running on a Pre Plus. Presumably, the WebOS version of Seasons will mimic its Android counterpart in including the previously iOS-only Angry Birds Halloween levels. Additionally, a prior Tweet disclosed that Rovio and Palm had worked out a lingering issue regarding the updated version of Angry Birds that we mentioned previously, with an update imminent pending Palm's App Store approval.

· Janam Extends Palm OS Garnet License (PalmInfoCenter) [11/23]
While we somehow managed to overlook this news item on its initial August 30th release, since we've been covering a good bit of Palm OS news of late courtesy of Aceeca and Motion Apps' Classic, this one is certainly worth a mention. Janam Technologies LLC, one of only a handful of Access' major Palm OS licensees remaining active, announced that they are extending their licensing agreement for the Garnet OS. Under the terms of Janam's agreement with Access Systems Americas, Inc., Janam will continue its XP line of ruggedized Garnet-based handhelds through 2017, five years longer than originally planned. The full text of the press release is here. First launched in 2007, Janam currently fields two ruggedized Garnet 5.4.9-based models for industrial applications, the monochrome 160x160 XP20 and the color 240x320 XP30. Both have integrated barcode scanners, numeric keypads, and 802.11b/g wireless connectivity. We initially covered these devices during a sneak preview in...

· Pre 2 Mockups Appearing in Rogers Stores (PalmInfoCenter) [11/22]
A Twitpic user by the name of Brianmarco has posted a shot of an in-store mockup Pre 2 from a Rogers retail store in Canada. The mockup unit's screen shows the Pre in full multitasking card glory with the new webOS 2.0 style "Just Type" box clearly visible. With no announced plans as yet for Rogers (or any other Canadian carrier) to offer the Pre 2, this is the clearest indicator so far that SFR and Verizon Wireless are about to be joined by another carrier partner. If true, this offering would be the first North American carrier-backed version of the GSM Pre 2 which went on sale in unlocked form to customers in the USA last week. To date, Palm has been rather mum on the issue of Canadian Pre 2 offerings, other than the vague announcement of an unnamed Canadian carrier "in the coming months" promise from last month's Pre 2 press release.

· Palm Confirms WebOS 2 Coming to All Current Devices (PalmInfoCenter) [11/19]
While the general consensus for some time has been that version 2.0 would eventually be released for all legacy WebOS devices, PreCentral is reporting direct from WebOS develop day in NYC that Palm's Josh Marinacci has indeed confirmed that the update will indeed hit all existing WebOS 1.x devices. Unfortunately, no specific mention was made of timing other than the usual "in the coming months". Regardless, it is an encouraging sign to current WebOS users who may be stuck on an original Pre or Pixi with no hardware upgrade path in sight on their carrier of choice that Palm is committed to offering updates to all devices. A full video of Josh Marinacci's developer day talk is already available on Palm's YouTube channel.

· WebOS 2.0.1 Update Arriving for Pre 2 (PalmInfoCenter) [11/19]
A busy week for Palm is now concluding with the surprisingly rapid release of a new WebOS update 2.0.1 update. This release, which is only for the new unlocked Pre 2 devices, is primarily a bugfix release, as confirmed by Precentral. As of this writing, no official changelog has been released by Palm. The initial reports of the update originated from the UK and there is no word at this time if SFR Pre 2 users in France or the unlocked Pre 2 devices hitting customers' hands in the USA any day now are slated to receive this update.

· Palm Offers $200 Pre 2 Discount to Developers (PalmInfoCenter) [11/18]
Palm's WebOS developer day starts tomorrow in NYC and they have kicked things off in grand fashion with some good news: the just-released unlocked GSM Pre 2 is available for a sweet $200 discount to developers in the United States, according to Palm's Developer Center site. This promotion is effective immediately and each discount coupon code is valid for only one device purchase. Purchase requests for the discount will need to made to [email protected] and the fine print says HP/Palm reserve the right to quality purchasers as developers. Nevertheless, this is a long overdue and very welcome gesture to the developer community and will hopefully be the first step of many to rejuvenate WebOS software development.

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