Palm buys AnyDay for Web savvy

That's one scenario Palm envisions, thanks in part to its acquisition Wednesday of AnyDay, which makes Web-based calendar tools. Palm hopes to incorporate Web-based personal information management services into a mobile portal, accessible from a Palm, desktop PC, and other kinds of wireless handhelds.

AnyDay already synchronises with Windows CE handhelds as well as corporate calendars like Outlook and Lotus Organiser. Palm doesn't plan to change that.

Rather, Palm will take AnyDay Web-based calendaring experience and make it mobile, says Bill Maggs, chief technology officer at Palm.

"People will be connecting to our mobile portal through a variety of devices including mobile phones," Maggs says.

Palm hopes to work with AnyDay to develop internet-based time and location-based services, Maggs says. "You'd be able to immediately buy things that you've said you were interested in and get timely information like notifications of flight changes and calendaring."

Currently, AnyDay users can store, access, and update their calendar information at Anyday.com via a PC or handheld cradle. With its plans to eventually support wireless handhelds and phones, Anyday will help Palm move its desktop software to the Web. Then, its PDA functions can be more easily accessed from myriad devices.

"Personalised information is much more useful in wireless world," Maggs says. "You need to have a location-independent place where you can keep information securely that can be accessed from multiple devices."

AnyDay will also work with Palm to capitalise on time-sensitive e-commerce, says Steve Watts, chief executive officer and cofounder of AnyDay. For example, birthday reminders in your calendar could immediately take you to a gift site all on the Palm in your car.

"It all starts with your calendar," Watts says.