Palm launches new OS developer program

Snuggling up to its developers, Palm Inc. on Tuesday announced a new two-level Palm OS developer program, a new certifying program and online training courses.

Palm hopes the effort will move developers to create more and better applications for PDAs (personal digital assistants) that run the company's operating system, Palm OS. The company is also targeting corporate IT managers, who might want to create company-specific applications, Palm said in a statement. The company said it has registered more than 175,000 developers.

The "Basic" level of the Palm OS Developer Program is free and offers developers SDKs (software development kits) and limited access to source code, among other things. "Advantage" level membership costs US$500 a year and includes technical support, a quarterly resource CD and some marketing opportunities, Palm said.

Developers wishing to add a credential to their resume can take a written exam on application development for the Palm OS to become a Palm Powered Certified Developer, Palm said. No information was available on the cost of the exam, which is offered together with testing company Prometric.

Two Palm OS specific online courses are available today: Introduction to Palm OS Application Development, priced at $425, and IT Essentials for Palm Powered Handhelds, which costs $149. The latter course is targeted at enterprise IT managers. The online learning is offered in partnership with DigitalThink Inc.

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