Palm OS upgrade coming this month

Users report that Palm is offering discounts to those who preorder a Palm OS 4.1 upgrade, set for launch on 15 November

Palm appears to be preparing an operating system upgrade for older Palm devices for 15 November, although the company has denied any such plans.

Several Palm registered users have reported receiving an email advertising an upgrade to Palm OS 4.x for 15 November for $39.95 (about £28). Users who preorder will get a $10 discount, according to the email.

New Palm devices currently run the 4.0 operating system, but older devices are only able to upgrade to OS 3.5.

Palm Europe says it is not aware of the email and has not set a date for releasing OS 4.x as a software upgrade. But Palm did confirm that it is planning to release such an upgrade eventually, and that it will probably charge for the software.

Only PDAs with flash memory will be able to accept the upgrade. Compatible devices include the Palm Vx LE, Palm Vx, Palm V and Palm IIIc, according to Palm. The m100, IIIe and VII wireless series are among those that cannot be upgraded.

For users running OS version 4.0, the new OS will mostly fix a number of minor bugs. The software will be most useful to those running a 3.x or older operating system: it will add security features, improve management of alarms, add support for 64-bit colour and improve data entry. According to reports, Palm will include its mobile connectivity software with the upgrade, which adds wireless Internet and email access as well as mobile phone messaging.

The current upgrade is 3.5. Palm OS 4.0 was launched in September with the m125 handheld. Version 4.1 made its debut with the Sony N760C.

Palm's upgrade only applies to Palm devices. Sony has already released an OS 4.1 upgrade and other Palm OS-based PDA manufacturers must come up with their own software update.

See the Mobile Technology News Section for full coverage.

See the Software News Section for full coverage.

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